When starting an online business, it’s important to get the foundations right.
Part of the process is setting up your website, and a good website comes with a dedicated hosting service.
Having a web hosting service can improve your site’s performance, security, reliability, and uptime.
But how to choose a web hosting service?
Choosing the best hosting service for your business website can be daunting.
There are thousands of options available at your fingertips, and this might hinder your effective decision-making.
Don’t trip; this article got you covered. Here are eight web hosting tips you can use for your hosting service research and selection.
1. Know Your Needs
Just like starting a venture, you have to know your needs and consider some factors when looking for the best web hosting service. These include:
- Monthly traffic
- Data security
- Payment methods
- Available storage
- Loading speed
- Customer support
- Content management system
Having these factors in mind while searching for a web hosting service can make the entire process easier.
Not only will you save time and effort, but you can also set success-oriented goals based on your needs.
2. Evaluate the Hosting Provider’s Reputation
The next thing you should consider is the hosting service provider’s reputation.
While it might be true that you shouldn’t judge something based on reputation alone, that doesn’t mean you should discount it entirely.
Reputations exist because of people’s past experiences with a business or software.
A hosting provider with a good reputation has the following attributes:
- Truly Unlimited Plans. Some may advertise free storage or space but still cap at certain levels.
- High-Quality Training. Your hosting provider should let you learn how to manage your site instead of always relying on staff support to solve all your problems. You may not have a computer programming degree, but high-quality training will save all the work.
- Reliability. A good hosting provider ensures that your website is live at all times, doesn’t crash unnecessarily, and is safe from hackers.
- Expert Support Staff. When you can’t solve site problems on your own, a responsive and reliable staff should always be ready to address your needs.
- Additional Services. To save time from website maintenance, choose a hosting provider with additional services like backing up your data and fixing your bugs.
3. Consider Pricing
One important factor that some businesses fail to consider is pricing.
At some point, pricing dictates what you can and can’t afford to get for your business.
Now, it might be tempting to choose the most expensive hosting service provider because it’s a business investment—but this is flawed logic.
When considering rates and prices, you should make a budget and stick to it.
This is especially helpful when you’re just starting. In any case, if you outgrow your current (cheaper) hosting service, you can always shop for the pricier version.
You should also stop equating price with quality. Expensive doesn’t always mean that the web hosting service will be great.
4. Read Reviews
What do you usually look for when you shop a product online?
Maybe some people are already satisfied by looking at images and descriptions, but according to Oberlo, over 50% of buyers read reviews before purchasing a product or service.
The same is true when searching for the best web hosting service.
Reviews give honest information and testimonials.
If you only look at the hosting provider’s advertisement, you might automatically think they’re a good fit for your business.
Reading reviews firsthand gives you a more balanced view of the hosting provider, the services they provide, and their customer satisfaction rate.
Moreover, reviews will give you a picture of the less savory side of the business, including:
- Illegal business practices
- Poor or nonexistent customer support
- Non-guarantee of easy payments or refunds
- Fake promises
5. Scan through the Fine Print
Another important factor that people tend to overlook when choosing a hosting service is the terms of service agreement.
This agreement often comes in super long texts, and most people don’t bother to read it at all.
As revealed by USA Today, 91% of people agree to terms of service without reading them.
Well, it’s not advisable to just click ‘accept’ without reading the terms of service.
If you’re ready to purchase, you should go over the fine print of the contract to ensure that you’re well-informed and there aren’t unnecessary surprises awaiting.
If you can afford it, you may show the terms of service agreement to a lawyer or someone knowledgeable in the business to get the right insights.
6. Give an Allowance for Growth
While it’s important to be realistic in choosing your hosting service provider, you should also include some allowance for your company’s growth.
Don’t choose a provider that you’ll outgrow within a year or even less.
You should at least have a projection of how your company will look like in a few months or years.
Also, when you give allowance for growth, you can better choose a hosting provider that offers a long-term, consistent package or a provider that’s open for future upgrades.
7. Inquire for Automatic Backup Plans
Data is king these days, and you want your business data to be in secure hands.
However, it’s also good to be aware if your hosting service has an automatic backup plan whenever contingencies occur.
Even the biggest hosting services have occasional outages, so having a backup is safer for your business website.
Other benefits of having automatic backups for your website include:
- You’re protected from all the work you’ve put into creating your website.
- Saves you a lot of time, effort, and costs
- Enhanced security protocols
- Speedy site recovery
- Prevents revenue loss when the site goes offline
- Less stress, embarrassment, and frustration
8. Seek Excellent Customer Support
Even if you’re into small business web hosting only, excellent customer support is still important.
As a startup, getting your website up can be a massive headache, and a helpful customer support service can be a godsend.
Here are some of the reasons why you should seek good customer support:
- You can solve website problems anytime.
- Information is important.
- You can enjoy web hosting services that don’t give fake promises.
- You’ll get good advice about web hosting features.
- You can build trust and foster long-term relationships.
- According to a study by Forbes, 96% of customers say customer service helps establish loyalty to a brand.
Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Web Hosting Provider
Now that you already know the tips for the best web hosting for business, let’s quickly look at the mistakes you should avoid when choosing a hosting service:
- Using a free web hosting provider
- Choosing a shared hosting service package when you need a virtual private server (VPS)
- Not knowing your limitations (bandwidth, storage, email accounts, analytics, plugins)
- Subscribing to a web hosting provider that doesn’t guarantee refunds
- Buying based solely on price
Choose the Best Web Hosting Service for Your Online Business
Every new venture can be daunting and risky, including choosing a hosting provider for your website.
Most businesses want to get it right at the beginning, but getting it right until the end is the real challenge.
You should strive for what’s best for you and your company, nothing more and nothing less.
With these helpful tips, you can surely find the most suitable hosting service for your business website.