Home Based Business

Looking Past The Pricetag: Important Web Hosting Questions

 

 

The company that hosts your website is an important partner in your online business. A good hosting provider can enhance the effects of your site, while a bad one can have a serious negative impact on your internet presence. Choosing a hosting company is about a lot more than finding the lowest price; here are some questions you want to ask before signing up with a hosting service.

How is their reputation?

It’s hard to keep secrets on the internet. Bad service and poor business practices will quickly surround a hosting company with a cloud of negative customer reviews. A few quick online research sessions will be enough to find out if your hosting company has a track record for treating its customers poorly. Don’t forget that online companies are still companies; you can check with the Better Business Bureau (for US companies) to see if there are any formal complaints against a hosting provider. You will also want to investigate a hosting company’s record for reliability at the same time. Most companies will assure potential customers that they provide minimal downtime; the reality of the situation is often not so rosy. This is another thing that shows up in online customer feedback, so avoid any hosting service that has a reputation for spotty uptime.

How much do they give you?

Because the market for hosting services is so crowded, many companies try to distinguish themselves by offering up extra services and features free-of-charge. In order to take these bonuses into consideration, though, you need a fairly good idea of your website’s technical requirements. An offer of free SSL certificates does not mean anything to you if you don’t intend to establish secure connections (for online commerce) with your website visitors. Some hosting companies offer blowout deals on super-high bandwidth or huge amounts of storage space. Again, ask yourself what you really need.

How easy are they to work with?

Customer service and support are areas where most hosting providers provide a range of options. Your own capabilities definitely play a role here; if you or your employees have considerable technical skills you likely do not need much support at all. If the reverse is the case, though, you’ll find no shortage of hosting services that will handle everything for you short of writing the actual content on your site. (And some full-service companies might even do that!) The really important thing to look at is what happens when your needs go beyond the level of support built into your plan. Some hosting companies provide additional support at modest prices; others view it as an opportunity to shear the sheep.

Your choice of hosting provider can have a profound impact on the success of your business online. After reading this article, you would hopefully agree that it’s a choice you should make based on more than just the bottom line. You can use the information you’ve reviewed here to make a more informed, more well-rounded decision the next time you pick out a hosting company.