Whether you’re ready to launch the online portion of your business, or you’re looking to change service providers; knowing how to choose the best hosting for your needs is a great start.

Web hosting is very important, and choosing the wrong hosting company could not only affect your business’ reputation, but potentially your online revenue. Deciding on the right hosting company for your business isn’t easy, that’s why we’ve put together a list of important items and services to consider.

Understand your business and website needs

Before you settle down with a hosting company, take a moment to establish what your actual needs will be.

For example, will your business require a website with an ecommerce solution? Do you anticipate that you’ll have a lot of traffic right off the bat, and do you know how much bandwidth you’ll require?

Have you considered company email accounts, and do you know how many you’ll need? Will you only require a couple of email addresses? Perhaps one for you, and one to keep customer support emails in one spot. Will you be using a 3rd party service such as GSuite for your email?

Take a close look at the web hosting packages available

Web hosting providers often offer value packages. There’s obviously going to be a budget package (low cost, few options), the value package (more options for a slightly higher price, usually the most popular choice), and the “Pro” package, that has the most options but also comes at a high cost.

Matching what’s available to your needs is paramount. Additionally, if you don’t think any of the packages really suit your needs, it might not be a bad idea to ask about customized options and costs. Not all hosting companies will be open to creating custom hosting packages but, perhaps some of the smaller hosts might be willing to work with you.

Security Features

Of course it’s hard for a small business to know what security features to look for. You have a lot on your plate as a business owner. We recommend talking to your hosting company and asking them questions like:

  • What security features are available
  • How frequently do they update their servers, and operating systems
  • How do they stay apprised of vulnerabilities and threats
  • How frequently do they send reports (updates, and threats alike), to their clientele

Knowing that your host is proactive regarding security concerns is good, especially when you know their response to potential vulnerabilities isn’t going to be a knee jerk reaction.

Customer Support

Have you ever tried to call customer support or tech support for a product or service and had to deal with long wait times, a support person, who didn’t understand your issue, people who worked overseas and didn’t quite know that there was a service disruption in your area, or even perhaps a lack of product knowledge?

Working with a hosting company that has a strong customer support team that is informed and available is going to put your mind at ease. It feels good to be able to speak to someone when you’re having an issue with a product or service, and it feels even better when they’re able to solve the problem with ease.

Types of Hosting

In addition to all the security features and other things you should consider when purchasing your hosting, do you know what type of hosting you’ll need to get your business of the ground?

There are many types hosting available, but three of the most popular options are:

  1. Dedicated
  2. VPS
  3. Shared

Dedicated hosting means that you are renting / leasing an entire server with all of it’s bandwidth, You are not sharing this server with anyone else, or any other company. This is an ideal situation, but also the most expensive type of hosting.

VPS is a virtual private server, basically this means that a virtual machine has been created and sold as a service to you. In many ways it is the same as a dedicated server, offering the same options.

Shared hosting and servers are the most cost effective options, and also most common among small businesses. In very basic terms, shared hosting allows for many websites to reside on one server. If you expect that your website will have a high volume of traffic, you might want to consider a different option.

Control Panel / CPanel access

Although this sounds like something that is meant for techies and perhaps very advanced, it’s really not. A control panel is an easy to use interface meant to help the clients of hosting companies manage their hosting and product services.

Technical definition: The CPanel is an online Linux-based control panel that provides a GUI (graphical user interface), and provides automation tools designed to simplify the process of hosting a web site to the website owner.

Hosting Server Location

Know where your hosting providers are located. Are they located somewhere close to your business? Are they in the same city, in the same country or on the same continent? Location could cause a potential issue especially if the servers are located in a region where power outages are frequent, or perhaps where security might not be a top concern. Even language could potentially cause an issue.

Know Your Hosting Company

Who are they, beyond just where they’re located, do they own their servers? Are they white-labeling their services (meaning, are they selling some other company’s hosting services while using their name)? A company that has white-labeled hosting services might not provide, strong client support, and you might have to find your way through to the original provider. This could mean hours of lost time, and perhaps even really bad customer service when you need help most.

Hosting Cost / Budget

Although staying on budget is important, getting caught up in the cost of a service that could affect on the reputation of your business and could potentially impact the day-to-day operations of your organization, is beyond important. Do you really want to be stingy with this service?

Although staying on budget is important, getting caught up in the cost of a service that could affect on the reputation of your business and could potentially impact the day-to-day operations of your organization, is beyond important. Do you really want to be stingy with this service?

If you have any questions, We’re available, just drop us an email or give us a call.