If you are running a business, which has a website or planning to create one, the most important factor to consider for building a successful online presence is web hosting. As in case of a building, the base is the most important, now think of hosting as the base of your website; if the hosting is crap, your website will also fail and your effort and investment will not bring any benefits to your business. If you are looking for a reliable small business host, here are the most important aspects to consider:
Choosing the right plan
For a small business website, that does not receive a high amount of traffic; a shared plan should be enough. Shared hosting is ideal for company presentation websites, small blog, photo gallery, but if you are selling products online and you need an e-commerce site, probably you should consider starting with a virtual private server.
Server uptime and performance
Your website should be available all the time. It is true that technical difficulties may occur, and it can happen that the server where your website is hosted is not available for couple of minutes, but a professional hosting provider should come over any problem quickly. Before you sign up with a company, you should check their terms of service or ask their online support about the uptime policy. Remember that 99% uptime is not a very good promise; it means that your website can be down for 4 days every year, which will result in a very bad customer impression.
The speed of your website is also important, not only for the users, but also for search engines. If possible, check the response time of the company’s network and request information from them as well.
Security and data encryption
Security is a very important aspect of an online shop or a website that process online payments. Make sure that your web host will provide you with all the necessary tools to protect and encrypt your websites data and customer information. If your host fails on securing their network and server, your business can suffer a lot and sensitive information will leak from your site.
Technical support and problem solving
Even if you are a techy and have a very good knowledge on how websites and hosting work and you can fix things yourself, there could be cases when you need to contact your web host. A reliable and professional hosting firm will have 24/7 available technical support, that will help you in time with any technical problems you may have with your account or with your website.
Easy control panel and account management
Different companies use different control panels for hosting management. The most popular for this purpose are cPanel, Plesk, DirectAdmin. These software will provide you with all the necessary tools to add-on domains, create email addresses, upload files, create and manage databases, monitor bandwidth and storage usage, check error logs, install scripts, shopping carts, blogs or forums automatically.
Certainly there are other aspects as well to be considered when looking for a business web hosts, such as money back guarantee and customer reviews you find on different portals and review sites, as well price and renewal fees, but I have been focusing in this article to show you the most important characteristics which are needed for a successful website and good hosting experience.