We no longer live in a world where business websites are optional. If you don't have a presence online, then you might as well not exist, particularly as more companies continue to connect with their customers in new ways, over email, social media, and more.
Since being online is crucial to success in today's digitally connected world, it's important for businesses to make sure that they choose a reliable web hosting services to keep them up and running as much as possible. Of course, finding the right business host isn't always as simple as it seems. With so many different options available, how do you decide which one is worth your time and money?
To help ensure that you're getting the best deal on your hosting experience, we'll outline just ten of the crucial things you should expect from your business host.
1. Ongoing Support
Most companies will need at least some form of support from their business website host. Ask yourself exactly how much guidance and help you're going to need to ensure that your website runs smoothly. Since no business can provide you with a 100% guarantee of uptime, you need to ensure that the host you choose can give you a solution when something goes wrong. Check out things like 24/7 customer support phonelines and instant chat service.
2. Automatic Backups
If something goes wrong with your website, the last thing you want is to have to build everything over again from scratch. That's why you need to ensure that your business website host has a backup service that automatically keeps your data secure. With the right backup service, you should be able to regain your content and information if you encounter an unexpected disaster. Check on your host's disaster recovery plan before you sign up for services.
3. Parking Solutions
Make sure that you can park your company's additional domain names easily. For instance, you might want to buy your .org, .net, and .com versions of your domain name and have them all in the same control panel to make sure that you don't lose any traffic from people going to the wrong destination. Check what the policy is for this with your host provider.
Some hosting services can make it difficult for you to make important changes to your website. If that's the case with your potential host, then you should probably go elsewhere. The host you choose should give you complete access to your server so you can make changes and create email accounts as frequently as you like. Most hosts will provide this level of accessibility, but it's best to be sure before you invest.
5. A Huge Uptime Guarantee
No company wants their customer to see nothing but a blank screen when they try to log onto a business website. This means that you need to shop for a hosting site that has a powerful reputation for redundancy and uptime. Your site can't be seen if your host is constantly having server outages, so make sure you have an uptime of at least 99% or more.
6. No Surprise Add-Ons
Although budget isn't everything when it comes to finding the right hosting company, it does have an important role to play. If you like the price that you're quoted by a web hosting service, make sure that you know exactly what you're paying for before you start handing over your cash. A lot of hosting services start by trying to grab their customers with a small initial rate, before turning up the expense. Make sure that everything you need from your hosting provider is included within one single quote. Nobody likes nasty add-on surprises.
7. Content Marketing Opportunities
These days, if you want to succeed in the world of business, then you need to make sure that you have a company blog, as well as plenty of social media tools and other solutions for content marketing. If you don't blog straight away when you're building your online business presence, that doesn't mean that you won't want the option to do so with time. Make sure that the hosting service you work with meets the minimum requirements when it comes to WordPress and other preferred blogging platforms. This is the best way to ensure that you can get your message out to your target market.
The nature of business means that companies often change and evolve with time. While you might start off looking for a simple hosting service for your small business, you could end up needing something much larger. Make sure that you choose a hosting service that can grow with you as you evolve, giving you the same level of reliability and features regardless of how many users and unexpected visitors you might get. Usually, you'll find hosts that offer different tiers of hosting that allow you to upgrade your plan according to your needs.
9. Shared Hosting Options
If you're looking for a budget friendly solution for your business hosting needs, then you might try shared hosting. This simply means that your site is hosted alongside other websites on the same platform. A shared hosting solution is often much cheaper than a private hosting service, but the problem is that you could have issues with your website if another company encounters problems. Shared hosting isn't right for everyone, but it's good to know you have it available as an option.
10. An Exit Strategy
Even if you love everything that your new web hosting service has to offer you, it's important to make sure that you carefully read the fine print about what you'll need to do if you decide you want to take your business elsewhere. The last thing you want is to be locked in with a host that no longer delivers the right services for your needs. Make sure that you can take your domain name and your traffic away with you if you decide you want to leave the current hosting environment.