5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing Web Hosting for Business
You want the best web hosting experience for your business website? Then make sure to avoid these common mistakes.
The web is abundant with advice on selecting the best hosting for your website. This overflow of tips, tutorials and articles on how to find reliable hosting is not coincidental, after all the type of hosting you get and the hosting company you sign up with will have a lot of say-so in the day-to-day operation of your website.
While most articles focus on the must-do’s of choosing a host, let’s see some of the pitfalls to avoid when searching for web hosting:
1. Falling For The Allure of FREE Hosting
Now, free hosting may sound like an excellent deal if you have a tiny personal website that doesn’t get updated much and you’re not using it to attract customers or business opportunities. In all other use cases, free hosting is unreliable and undesirable.
Some web hosts offer free hosting to draw in more customers that at some point might decide to upgrade to paid packages or that could become interested in the other paid web services marketed by the hosting company.
If you’re just starting out, you may be tempted to sign up for a free hosting service, but there are many caveats to consider, especially if you’re launching a website for your business.
First off, free web hosting and advertising usually go hand in hand. This means that your site will most likely be littered by ads or banners and turned into an advertising platform for the hosting company or its affiliates. It’s not hard to see how hosting your company website on a free hosting platform can tarnish your reputation.
Another issue with free hosting is performance. Free hosting comes with meager resources and terrible performance issues. Since you haven’t paid for anything, you can’t expect any uptime guarantees, security or support assistance.
Paying for hosting means you’ll get some guarantees when it comes to performance, availability, support or security. Good hosting isn’t necessarily expensive, and there are many budget-friendly web hosts offering reliable services.
2. Over-Sizing Your Hosting Plan
Hosting companies offer many types of hosting plans designed to cover the needs of all types of websites. Shared hosting is the most common and least expensive hosting plan offered by web hosts, but there are also virtual private servers, dedicated servers, and other specialized hosting packages.
Of course, supersize packages come with all sorts of bells and whistles that your small website probably won’t need, so starting out with a shared hosting plan is perfectly fine for most websites.
You can start looking into virtual private servers or higher tier options when your website starts to grow into a high volume and high traffic website. Until then, save your business some money and start out with a shared hosting package.
3. Ignoring Money-Back Guarantees
Not all web hosts offer money-back guarantees for their entry-level plans, but there are many reasons why you should find a host that does.
It might happen that you choose the wrong hosting plan and only realize that after you’ve made your purchase, or you might have a bad experience with customer support or have performance issues that might change your mind about the host you’ve chosen. In all these cases, you can claim a refund and take your website elsewhere.
The industry-standard money-back guarantee is 30 days, but some web hosts like InMotion Hosting offer money-back periods that go as high as 90 days.
4. Deciding on a Host Based on Price Alone
Going for the cheapest available hosting option on the assumption that they’re all the same won’t land you the best hosting plan, but neither will choosing the most expensive believing that it’s better than all the rest.
The key is finding a hosting package that has all the features, resources, and guarantees you’re happy with and need.
Another reason why it’s difficult to make a price-based decision is because many hosting companies create their hosting packages to include various freebies that may not be offered for free by other hosts.
For example, you may get a free domain with some hosts, but other hosts may ask you to pay extra for it. Same goes for security tools, website building tools, backups, and other perks.
When comparing prices across web hosts, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Prices displayed may be promotional prices applicable for the first term of your contract and packages will renew at higher rates at the end of the term;
- Prices displayed may or may not include VAT (VAT will usually be added at checkout);
- When signing up for longer periods (2 or 3 years) you can benefit from higher price discounts;
- Not all web hosts allow monthly payments, so the prices advertised may be applicable only if you sign up for the minimum contract term and pay upfront.
The bottom line is that the way plans are priced can vary a lot from company to company.
5. Not Knowing About Restrictions
Whenever you see the words Free or Unlimited associated with web hosting, always assume that terms and conditions apply and consult the Terms of Service, no matter how boring it may seem.
If a hosting company promises unlimited disk space and bandwidth, what they mean is that you won’t be charged by the amount of resources you use, but that doesn’t mean there is no limit. Resources are always capped and when your website starts to need more, your site will slow down and even go offline, unless you upgrade to a plan with more resources.
Besides restrictions that apply to resources, there are also restrictions concerning the type of content you can host on your account and streaming related restrictions. Some hosts don’t allow you to host adult content on your account, others don’t support streaming.
In short: don’t skip the fine print and get in touch with the support team of your host if you have special requirements for your website.
Unfortunately, you’ll need to research hosting companies and hosting plans when trying to find a suitable one for your website. Hopefully, our article can help you to zero in on the most important aspects of selecting a suitable hosting plan and avoid making mistakes along the way.