Most smart business owners utilize websites and blogs to engage with existing clients and reach potential customers. While most business owners see the value of creating awesome content, the importance of selecting a good web host often takes a back seat. In my experience, most small businesses end up making a wrong choice in the beginning because they do not properly evaluate their needs.
What Happens When You Make The Wrong Hosting Choice?
As a business, one of your most important priorities is maximizing profits. If you think choosing the wrong web hosting can't have a negative impact on your income, think again. Here are some bad things that can happen when you don't choose the best hosting for your needs:
- Loss of revenue - If your site goes down, your potential customers will not be able to view your blog posts or learn about your products and services. Even worse, if you host an online store, you will lose out on potential sales and income. Amazon recently had a 40 minute outage which cost them about $5 million dollars. Your loss might not be as big, but it's still a loss of revenue.
- Negative effect on your SEO Ranking - Your goal with content marketing is to rank high in search results so customers can easily find you. If your site is down repeatedly when search engines are attempting to visit, then your ranking will be adversely affected. Aside from downtime, many SEO experts believe that slow websites can also hurt your rankings.
- Security and Malware Attacks - There is no perfect solution for keeping your website secure. However a reputable web hosting company will back up your data to a remote server and make it easy to restore in case your site is hacked. They will also assist you with technical support, maintenance and security issues 24 hours a day.
How Do I Choose The Best Web Hosting Provider?
It's crucial to choose a reliable web hosting company to ensure that your website remains safe and accessible all year round. If you are experiencing problems with your existing provider or have no idea what needs/features to consider, here are some tips that can help:
- Understand the different hosting options available - There are various web hosting options available such as Shared, VPS (Virtual Private Server), Dedicated and Managed Web hosting. You can learn more about them in this article. It's always good to make an educated discussion, so you choose the best option for your needs.
- Excellent customer support is a must - The internet never sleeps. Look for a provider that offers excellent customer support. Hosting providers may claim they offer 24-7 support, but this will not guarantee you will receive fast, knowledgeable service. Test the response of the customer support staff before committing to any long term hosting contract.
- Choose a host with an excellent uptime track record - The hosting provider you choose should take every precaution to ensure maximum uptime. While no web host can guarantee 100 percent uptime, it should offer at least 99 percent uptime on average.
- Cost should not be your only consideration - As the saying goes, "you get what you pay for." As a business, you cannot afford to experience extended downtime. Basic shared web hosting is great if your site is generating only a small amount of traffic. On the other hand, if you're in the business of selling products or generating a large amount of traffic, then a dedicated or managed hosting provider is a far better choice. It will cost more upfront, but will be more reliable in the long run. The level and quality of technical support will be better too.
- Ability to scale - As your business grows, your website will tend to generate more traffic. The ability to scale will be increasingly important. Your web hosting provider should be able upgrade and scale to accommodate your traffic growth. Just remember that there is no such thing as "unlimited resources" (Truth about Shared Hosting).
- Good reputation is essential - Once you have narrowed the list of important features you require, the next step is to find a host with a top-notch reputation.
- Do a background check. Find out how long the company has been in business.
- Can they provide you with testimonials and endorsements from current clients?
- Check maintenance schedules and average downtime statistics
There are a lot of web hosting companies out there. It's crucial to select a hosting provider carefully since your business will be depend on it. Do your homework.
Remember that choosing a hosting provider solely on price is not worth the hassle and headaches if your site goes down. Are you happy with your web hosting provider? What steps did you take the last time you experienced downtime? What important features do you look for? Share your experience by leaving a comment below.