In today’s world, your website will introduce your business to most of your customers. Choosing which company will host your site is a big deal. With so many companies promising the moon, how do you make the right decision and understand what all of that jargon really means? Here are some tips.
First, if you haven’t done this already, look closely at your site and at what you want it to do. What is most important to you? What is the main purpose of your site? Will you need more than one domain, either now or in the future?
Make a list and keep it with you when you start to look at web hosts. Then you can match it with the profile of the company you are looking at, and narrow down possibilities. For example, if you are looking to expand your business, you will want a webhosting company that will be able to expand your website right along with your business.
Some of the most important things to look for are disk space, bandwidth, the number of e-mail accounts you’ll get, how many databases you’ll get, and the type of backup offered. You will also want to make sure that they can prevent spam to your e-mail account.
Remember that you often get what you pay for. If you want a dynamic website, then paying a bit more is worth it. Look for a company that meets your needs first, and then look at price later.
Extremely important is making sure that the company offers customer support that you can easily access. Will you have different ways of getting in touch with the hosting company? Are they available to you at all times? Will they be able to troubleshoot problems and talk you through them?
Don’t forget to ask what sort of servers the company uses. Are they up to date and reliable? You may have to push to get the answer to this one, but it’s important. Are the servers sited close to you? This can help with speed.
Hint: Take a look at a comparison of web-hosters and read the comments of other users.
Another good thing to keep in mind is if the company allows you freedom to make small changes on your own. Can you tinker around with your email and FTP without having to ask them for help? Even if you’re tech illiterate, you will have friends who would be able to jump in.
A company that has been around for some time is a good bet. Look at online reviews for the company for real-life customer experiences – a Google Blogs search is good for this.
Companies that do that little bit more to make themselves stand out from others show what is most important to them. If it’s important to you, too, then that’s a great sign that they are a good match for you.