For modern businesses, the importance of a strong online presence is beyond dispute. Every successful entrepreneur would acknowledge that their website plays a fundamental role in the running of their venture, from driving sales through to creating a more tailored customer experience.
That’s why your choice of web host is of vital importance, especially for smaller businesses that don’t have an in-house team of experts to guide their decision making. With the responsibility squarely on your shoulders, there are three essential components in particular that you need to keep in mind: speed, support, and security.
Be realistic about how much handholding you’ll need
When it comes to choosing a web host, one of the most important questions to ask yourself is how much handholding you’re going to need. While it’s easy to assume that you’ll be able to get a handle on things with minimal help, we’d urge you to be realistic about your experience and skillset. Most providers do offer email, live chat, and phone support should you need them, but the truly inexperienced may still be better off opting for a managed service, where you delegate the role of caretaker to those who know what they’re doing. These professionals will not only be able to make sure your system is properly configured but that backups are taken care of and your on-site security is up to scratch.
Estimate how much traffic you can expect
As a general rule of thumb, providers charge more based on how much storage you require and how much bandwidth you use. The more people who are likely to visit your site, the more of this you’ll need, so it’s important to be realistic about your requirements. This means that if you’re a smaller enterprise with a limited customer base, you can probably get away with paying less in exchange for a more conservative package, whereas those who are taking full advantage of SEO to get their products to the top of the page will need a greater bandwidth, making low-ended shared servers a no go. What you want to do is strike the correct balance between cost and capacity.
Use a reputable comparison site to weigh up your options
As we mentioned above, the most important factors in choosing your web host should be the speed, security, and support that’s on offer. While this makes sense on paper, it can be a little harder to weigh up in reality, when each individual provider is doing their level best to sell their services and stand out from their competitors. Luckily, there are a number of hosting comparison sites out there, to help you get an unbiased opinion on your various options. By comparing up to three companies at a time, you can see which is most closely aligned with your individual criteria.
When it comes to choosing the right web hosting company for your business, it’s important to spend some time and ensure that you’ve taken all of the relevant factors into account. Do the legwork in the short term, and you’ll almost certainly reap the rewards moving forward.