As a business owner, it is almost impossible to exist without a website. If you operate an online business, it is essential. Brick and Mortar businesses are also seeing the importance.
The number of website hosting services have grown over the years. The growth of software and apps to assist websites with layout and design is a contributing factor. Building a reliable web site is is easier than ever.
In 2019, there were 354.7 million domains globally. Not all of these are attached to active websites but the numbers are close.
Choosing the right website provider will require research. There are a few things that you should always seek when looking for a host platform.
Are you currently looking to start a website or simply looking for a new provider? Keep reading for five things to consider when looking for a website service provider.
What is Website Hosting?
Website hosting is space on the World Wide Web that is sold as parking space for people wanting to create a website. Anyone can start a website. They are not just for businesses but also for personal use.
Paying for a hosting platform is common for small businesses, brands, and individuals. Large corporations have web developers and although they also need a hosting site, they are not using website service providers.
These platforms are generally reserved for businesses that only need a few pages on their website. Growing in popularity are landing pages. These are temporary web pages used for event marketing and registrations.
The average provider will offer different website hosting plans. They range from free sites that contain ads, up to enterprise sites that offer more customizable options and other options.
1. Adequate Customer Support
The type of customer service a company offers can be a dealbreaker for some consumers. When you’re looking for a reliable web site review their contact policies. These companies work in volume and may not be able to provide live representatives to answer calls on basic issues.
What you will end up with is an extensive Q & A section that attempts to direct you to an answer. Once you have exhausted all options, you’ll most likely end up at form that equates to an email submission.
Another option a web host may offer is access to a community of users who are proficient in how the platform works. These are not employees of the company but subject matter experts that can answer basic questions.
The higher-level business packages will come with increased access to customer service representatives. When purchasing an enterprise package, be sure it offers a designated number and customer rep.
2. Terms and Services
Read the terms and services for every web hosting provider you look into. It is common for website service providers to use a sales promotion to lure people in. It could include a free domain for a year or the first year of web server hosting at a reduced rate.
The terms and conditions will spell out the details. A free domain is usually tied to the website service provider. You want to ensure that it is your own customized domain name registered to you. The provider is simply paying for the first year. Afterward, renewal is your financial responsibility.
The web hosting annual renewal is sure to double after the introductory rate. Some providers require users to sign up for automatic renewal so make sure you understand how much you will pay the second year and moving forward.
3. Add-on Services
Add-on services are important to understand. These addons are not to be confused with the apps and software that are part of your package.
If you want to have email addresses that replicate your web domain, it will cost you. Some providers use email support from companies like Google’s Gmail. You can expect to pay an annual fee for each email. This can be costly when you can get a Gmail account for free.
As mentioned above, your domain is also a separate annual renewal. Depending on the website service provider, their tier-pricing structure will have additional add-ons for each level that is not available on the less expensive package.
Look to pay for a higher tier if you need ECommerce or booking applications.
4. Opportunities for Content Marketing
Websites are needed to help drive content marketing strategies. For businesses, having the tools to promote your product or services is vital. Many web hosting providers offer search engine optimization services to help get websites noticed.
A reliable website hosting provider will offer design tools that help with SEO. These include font sizes, content boxes, images, and video.
Other tools like social media integration and blogs will be beneficial to your plan. Also important is having a website that can be easily converted into a mobile-responsive site for people using smartphones and tablets.
5. Space and Usage
Like most services, web hosting can have limitations when you’re trying to save money. A free or budget site will not have the same bandwidth or storage as a premium site.
Review each level of the service plans to see how much bandwidth you will have, as well as storage. Bandwidth will affect the site speed of your website. Storage measures how much content you can upload. Some sites measure video in minutes of footage. However, the size will count against your storage.
Are You Ready to Start Building a Reliable Website?
Finding a reliable website is not a long drawn-out process. There are basic things to look for when looking for a hosting site. This list gives you a general idea of what to look for.
Once you make your selection, if you find the site is not what you want, you can switch to another provider. It will only cost you the investment that you made. In the long run, it won’t be a tremendous loss.
If getting it right the first time is important to you, we’re here to help. Contact us today to see what we have to offer when it comes to web server hosting.