Ensuring that you have a consistent connection with your clients is of utmost importance in today’s business scene. Consumers value the possibility to reach you or to instantly access the information they need at the time that is most convenient for them. A reliable website is the number one tool to accomplish this. What goes into keeping your website readily accessible might feel like a massive challenge but the right web hosting support provides a key component to successful connections. But, how do you choose a web hosting company?
Here are five things to think about:
1. Your hosting needs
The first step in this process is to ask yourself what you need. What your business offers, its intended audience, and how interactive your site will be will influence the traffic volume you might expect on your site. This will directly impact how much space and monthly bandwidth you will need. When it comes to your file transfer needs, would FTP (File Transfer Protocol) be enough or would you need SSH (Secure Shell)? Finally, if you already have a website, consider what platform you used to design it and if a particular company supports it or is familiar with it.
2. The company’s strengths and expertise
Of course, a company’s reputation is something to pay attention to, but make sure you do your homework and explore deeper aspects about them such as where they are located, how long they have been in business and what they are known for. For example, a particular company may be known for specializing in specific platforms such as WordPress, TYPO3, etc. Another important factor is if they have their own servers or if they are resellers of another provider. Finally, sometimes, small is better. Smaller companies tend to provide better customer service and owners and managers might be just a phone call away to help you address a particular issue.
3. Starting and renewal costs
While it might be tempting to go for the lowest bidder out there, keep in mind that you get what you pay for and that often, companies have an increased renewal costs or hidden fees. What may be advertised like an unlimited service for $3.95/month may easily become $40/month. Always be on the lookout as you may find that unlimited has well defined and costly limits. It is also good to research a company’s renewal policy as well as their cancellation guidelines in case you are not happy with their service.
4. Support available to you
Since a web hosting company is really a part of your team, it is best that you choose a company that sees themselves as such. Should you run into a problem which affects your website, you want to be able to reach a real, live person on the phone or via chat, someone you can trust to get your site back online immediately. If you click on the “contact us” button of the company’s website and only see one method, you might want to keep looking.
5. Easy to use hosting control panel
First of all, be sure that the hosting company actually gives you access to a control panel! At SeeThrough Web, we have come across hosting accounts where any changes have to be requested through the hosting company, leaving the client at the mercy of tech support staff which may be hard to reach. Be sure to retain control of even basic server changes that may come up. Also, be sure that you can easily learn to make these changes through a user friendly interface.
While there are many other things to consider, at SeeThrough Web, we believe that these five aspects will get you thinking in such a way as to minimize frustration.
A final thought when choosing a web hosting company, always go with the company that is interested in engaging in real conversation with you so as to concretely address your business needs, answer your questions and give you peace of mind.
If you’d like a quote for hosting your website, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.