Whether you sell clothes online or have recently set up a financial services firm, every startup needs to have a strong online presence in order to make the right moves in 2018. To do this, it is critical that you align with a premium-quality hosting provider. After all, if you choose a web host that is unreliable and does not deliver high levels of performance, then the usability and speed of your website will suffer. Not only will this frustrate your customers and prospects, but it will cause your search engine ranking to fall too. This is something that no business can afford, but especially not a startup that’s struggling to get established. So, with that in mind, read on to discover all of the different things you need to look for when choosing a hosting company for your startup.
Start by identifying your hosting needs
The first thing you need to do is understand your hosting needs. You won’t be able to find the right web host for you if you do not know what you need. To determine this, you need to first ask yourself a number of different questions, including the following:
- What type of platform are you going to use for your website? For example, will it be WordPress or a different platform?
- What sort of website are you going to build?
- Are you going to build a portfolio website, organisational website, blogging website, or something else?
- Are you interested in building more than one website?
- What is the sort of volume of traffic that you are aiming for?
- Are you going to require special software to code your site, for example, .net, java, php, etc.?
By answering these important questions, you will be able to figure out what you need so that you have a good starting point in your quest to find the best web host for your particular requirements.
Reliability, performance, and server uptime
There really is only one place to begin when it comes to assessing the quality of a web host business, and this is by looking at the level of performance and the guaranteed uptime they provide. Don’t settle for anything less than the best in terms of uptime, as your business cannot afford to be offline. Companies like HostGator and SiteGround guarantee 99.9 percent uptime. You should not settle for anything less than 99 percent.
Other factors also play a critical role in helping you determine whether a web host is reliable or not. This includes things like bandwidth, daily back-ups, and RAID protected storage. You will also want to ensure that the company provides 24/7 customer support, as you want to have complete peace of mind that any issues will be dealt with immediately so that they do not have a negative impact on your business.
In terms of site back-ups specifically, there are a few key questions you can ask a prospective company to get a better understanding of this aspect:
- Do you only provide the back-up itself or do you offer assistance in restoring the back-up?
- Do you offer any plug-ins for site back-ups?
- How often do automatic back-ups take place?
- Are there any options for manual site back-ups?
- Is there the option for site back-ups within the admin control panel?
This will help you determine how frequently back-ups occur and whether or not there is any level of customisation. This is critical because no business can afford to lose their critical data, so you need to be able to back-up your data according to your requirements.
Price and refunds
Businesses need to assess every purchase with care. This is especially the case with startups, as the way you spend your money is going to have a massive impact on whether or not your company survives. Most hosting providers charge around the £3-mark per month. You do need to be mindful of companies that charge more for additional services, as well as those that put their prices up considerably when you renew. The refund policy is also important. Is there a trial period during which you can get a refund if you cancel your web host account? Can you upgrade your plan after the trial period? Are there any cancellation charges in place?
The level of customer service provided
Customer service is another critical factor that needs to be taken into consideration before you sign up with a web host company. Some host providers claim to offer 24/7 customer support, but if that actually consists of typing your message to a live chat bot and getting a generic response, then it’s not going to be of much use, is it? Customer service not only needs to be easily accessible but it needs to be of a high level of quality too, so make sure you are clear on what their customer service policy entails.
It is highly likely that your needs and requirements will change as your company grows and progresses in the industry. In the beginning, many startups opt for a shared web hosting plan because this is a good way to keep expenses low. As a rough estimation for WordPress websites that have been optimised correctly, a shared web hosting account can host up to 50,000 unique visitors. When your website starts to exceed these numbers, you will probably need to upgrade your account. It is unlikely you will want to go through the hassle of transferring your website to another host, so it is important to consider upgrade options from the beginning.
As you can see, many different factors need to be taken into consideration when choosing a hosting provider. However, if you take note of all of the points that have been mentioned above, you should have no trouble finding the right provider for your needs, budget, and requirements. Don’t underestimate the importance of this decision. After all, your web host is going to have a huge influence on your web performance as well as an impact on your ultimate success, and we all know how important having an effective online presence is in the current day and age.