Nowadays, no business can get away without having a dedicated website. If a potential company wants your service, the first thing they will do is Google your name, and you need to be sure that your name will come up in the results.
However, for the less tech savvy, finding a good web host can be tricky at best. Cloud Kompare will help you compare web hosting services and pick the one that’s best for your company. However, what do you even need from your web host? Look below for the most important questions you should ask when comparing potential hosts.
- Will they offer adequate support? While a good web host will do their best to keep your site up and running smoothly, there may be issues from time to time. Will they be available when you need them to address such an issue? Some hosts, like Hostinger, will offer support via phone and live chat, helpful if you need a quick answer.
- What kind of contracts do they offer? Most providers will offer a month to month rolling contract, which may be best for you, especially if you’re just starting out. However, watch out for hosts that want to lock you into fixed contracts. It may sound like a good idea at the time, but if you need to leave at any point they could be inflexible.
- Do they use advertising on your site? If you look into free hosting, check how they use advertising on your site. The Site Wizard explains that certain types of adverts can have either a positive or negative effect on your site. For example, many web users don’t like pop-up ads as they’re distracting and annoying, as are flashing banner ads or ads that play video or music.
- Can they back up your website? You won’t notice just how important back up of your web site is, until something goes wrong. It’s very easy to accidentally delete important information from it, potentially losing it forever. See if your host offers a backup service. If they do, it should be easy to contact them and have them reset your site to an earlier, saved form, with little fuss.
- Do they support blogging? Many companies now look to offer blogs on their websites, keeping their customers updated on what they do. If you want to use blogging, look into whether your host can support a blogging platform such as WordPress.
- What features do you need, and what can they offer? UKCentric points out that a website is rarely just a static page of information. You may want customers to look through photos, contact you directly, or buy products from your site. Check what your host can offer you. Useful features can include forms, shopping carts, and email capabilities.
- What’s included in their price? A host may offer a low start-up rate, but will quickly up the price if you need some essential features, such as email and blogging. Before you commit, make sure what exactly they are offering for the price you pay. You may find that it can’t quite offer you what you need.
- Do they use shared hosting? One way that web hosts pass on savings to you is by using shared hosting. What that means is that your website is hosted on a server along with many other websites. While this sounds okay in theory, in practice, if one site encounters problems, all the others on the service will encounter them too. This can be an issue if a customer can’t access your site due to someone else’s site issues, so think carefully about whether you want to use shared hosting.
- What happens if you go over your bandwidth? An important question is what will your host do if you go over your bandwidth limit? Many hosts will charge you a fee if that happens, so make sure you know what that is before you sign up. Also, some hosts offer ‘unlimited’ bandwidth but in reality, that isn’t really If your site attracts a lot of traffic, it could be shut down or you could be pressured into upgrading.
- Is the hosting flexible? You may find that you attract more visitors than you initially expected, and will need more features or increased bandwidth to cope with the demand. Check to see if your host can offer upgrades if needed.
- What’s in the fine print? Inc warn that however happy you initially are about your web hosting service, at some point you may well want to leave. Check carefully for what your host’s policy is regarding leaving. Some hosts may charge a fee, or make it difficult for you to transfer your domain name over. Hopefully though, that shouldn’t happen, and with these tips you’ll be able to find the perfect host for you.