When you first decide to setup an online business, there is a series of technical issues you will have to resolve. None of them, however, is as important as choosing the right web host. Unfortunately, there are two problems with this. First, most first-time online business owners have no previous experience in this field, which means they don’t know what to look for. Second, some of these features can’t be seen until you have already hired the provider in question. In order to make your life significantly easier, here are four tips for choosing the right web host provider.
The first thing you need to keep in mind is that the layout of your website, the design of your CTA button and the perfect custom made video for your homepage don’t mean a thing as long as your website is down. How often is this going to happen depends on the choice of the host. Most guides advise finding someone who can provide you with at least 99.99 percent uptime, but how much is this actually? You see, the difference between 99.9 percent and 99.99 percent may not seem as something significant, but in practice, it can be completely game-changing. For instance, on a monthly basis, 99.9 percent uptime means that your website will be down for about 43 minutes and 12 seconds, while with 99.99 percent, this amounts to only 4 minutes and 19 seconds.
2. 24/7 Support
Another thing you need to keep in mind is that when you have an online business, you are expected to be up and running at any time of the day. Moreover, if one of your offers includes international shipment, some of your customers will be in different time-zones, so they will contact you in the most unlikely of hours. You see, this means that for an online business, a glitch that occurs at 4 am can be as dangerous as one occurring at 4 pm. For this reason, you need a host that can guarantee you a 24/7 support so that you can contact them as soon as you notice there is a problem (just like your customers should be able to contact you).
3. Additional Features
Aside from the uptime and support available, there are some additional features you need to look for. Seeing how your website will already cost you an arm and a leg, it might be good to look for a host that provides you with a free domain registration and unlimited disk space. Aside from this, having an unlimited number of email accounts and MySQL databases is also a huge plus. Finally, some of the top-tier web hosts even provide their clients with a free drag and drop iPage website builder, which on its own saves a small fortune, seeing how you won’t have to hire a professional designer.
4. Read Reviews
In the introduction, we mentioned that one of the greatest problems with finding the right host for your business lies in the fact that you need to close a deal with them before actually seeing them in action. Well, this is what reviews and ratings are there for. This way, you can use experiences of others in order to avoid making the same mistake they did (or to simply reinforce your decision). Keep in mind, however, that not every comment you encounter will be genuine, so give it your best to spot and avoid any review written in marketing talk. The same goes for those who are deliberately leaving bad comments. Just to be safe, make sure to gather your information from more than one source.
As you can see, choosing the right web host for your online business is not exactly rocket science. The uptime, customer support, and additional features are paramount, seeing how they will have a direct impact on the model of your online business. When it comes to reviews and ratings, you can consider them to be a bit less reliable word-of-mouth recommendation.
Dan Radak is a marketing professional with eleven years of experience. He is currently working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies. He is also a coauthor on several technology websites and a regular contributor to Technivorz.
Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and web page design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.