There are many reasons to create a website for your business, but one of the main ones is for marketing purposes. A website can quickly increase brand awareness, help new customers find you, showcase what the business can do for them, why they should choose you, and often even help to draw the attention of the press or potential investors.
When it’s time for you to create your first, or next, website, there are many decisions to make, from the design and functionality, to the content provided and the search engine optimization work involved. However, one area that marketing managers shouldn’t forget to concentrate on is the actual hosting of the site.
Luckily though, if you ask some smart questions up front, do your research, and find out the pertinent information from each company, and you can avoid getting stuck with horrific hosting that has high fees and poor service. Before you sign on the dotted line for any website hosting plan, make sure you ask the following questions.
The right Web hosting plan is important when it comes to getting good traffic and lots of conversions. You don’t want to end up with a provider that slows down your site, constantly drops out, and that doesn’t provide scalability as the website gains popularity. It can be tricky deciding who to go with though. There are so many business Web hosting options to choose from, and it can be hard to know how to properly compare apples with apples.
What Is the Uptime And Security Guarantee?
One of the most important things when it comes to choosing a website host is finding out what their uptime guarantee is. The last thing you ever want is customers experiencing an error message or a blank screen when they come to visit your site, so make sure you only ever choose a provider with an uptime guarantee of at least 99 percent.
Similarly, you also want a host that is reliable in the area of security. With cybercrime a huge issue for businesses around the world, it’s important to make sure that your website is secure from all angles. Not only your company data, but also that of your customers (such as credit card numbers, passwords, email addresses, and the like) needs to be protected from hackers, as does the actual site so that it doesn’t easily crash and end up offline.
Look for a Web host that has things such as Sitelock (which detects and fixes malware and other system vulnerabilities) and domain privacy, which helps to prevent phishing attacks as well as identity theft.
Will Site Content Automatically Be Backed Up?
It always pays to have your site automatically backed up by your web hosting service, but this isn’t something that every company provides, so make sure you check with a provider before you sign up. You might accidently delete a bunch of information on your website at some stage, or face a hacking issue, so you need to know that all of your important data is backed up somewhere.
While this is something you can do yourself, it is much easier if the process is automatically handled, on a daily basis by your Web host instead. Find out what your potential host’s disaster recovery plan is so that you know you’re covered.
Is The Plan Scalable?
Another element to consider when shopping for a hosting service is whether the company can scale with you as your business grows. You should only ever choose a hosting provider that has different levels of service on offer so that you can upgrade over time if you need to.
As well, it pays to find a host that lets you change plans without charging exit fees or contract cancellation costs. Many good Web hosting companies have a variety of tiers that you can choose from on a month-to-month basis, and which let you change up or down according to your needs. This helps if you have a sudden spike in traffic and need more bandwidth, as you don’t want to have to pay an arm and a leg for additional usage costs on your current plan.
What Support Do They Provide?
Another question you should always ask a hosting provider is if they provide free support, 24 hours a day, and if so, would you get to speak to a local expert? There’s nothing worse than having an issue with your site when you’re just sent out an email newsletter, had an ad run, or some other big sales or marketing tactic that is driving people to your site, only to have it crash. You need to be able to talk to someone in a hurry to get any problems sorted out, no matter the time of day or night.