If you’re like most businesses, you depend on your website to gain clients, leads, and sometimes to make any money at all. If your website is down, or slow… it can represent real money being flushed down the drain.
With that in mind, it stands to reason that business websites might have slightly different critical hosting needs than blogs and entertainment websites. On top of a dependable server, there are plenty of other business-sensitive elements you’ll want to look for in your business website hosting plan.
The Importance of Scalability
How much traffic do you expect your website will have in one month? One year? Three years? Unfortunately, many business owners purchase the cheapest shared hosting plan they can find, only to discover later over the course of managing their business that their website is running out of bandwidth and isn’t showing for some visitors.
If you plan to try and grow visitation to your website into the thousands (or beyond!) then you’ll want to investigate potential hosting companies and verify that any plan you get is scalable with your intended audience. The worst thing you could do is lock yourself into hosting that will eventually constrict your business website to a small audience.
Did you know that approximately half of U.S. adults are hacked every 6 months? Data security has almost never been more important: especially if your website is handling consumer information and conducting transactions. It’s your duty as a business to protect consumer information, especially if it’s financial in nature: and any time a visitor or customer enters information onto your website, it’s possible for malicious hackers to gain access to that data.
Read through the security provisions any hosting provider offers without additional expense, and then make a thorough accounting of what additional security can be purchased for your website as a hosting add-on. The vast majority of hosting companies offer a baseline level of security and then charge for anything additional, such as encrypting or an SSL. It’s a good rule of thumb to strongly consider the hosting company which rolls the most security into their base package.
Will your hosting company be there for you if something goes wrong? Unfortunately, many business owners don’t invest much time in researching the quality of a hosting company’s support, which leaves a lot of people in the lurch when something goes wrong. But, how do you test a company’s technical support?
First, find out what kind of support they offer: what issues they’ll help you with, and which they won’t. Then, it’s a good idea just to call the tech support hotline and see how long it takes before you’re on-line with an operator. Long wait times can be a big red flag.
Once you’re there, be honest with whomever answers about what you’re doing: ask the operator about how busy they’re kept, what sorts of issues they assist with, and how long the average caller wait time is. What you learn might surprise you.
How often is any specific web hosting provider down? It’s an important thing to know before you pull the trigger on any hosting plan. Luckily, you can research this on websites like downdetector.com and even review websites like consumeraffairs.com. If a hosting provider’s servers are often down, you’re likely to see those issues crop up in reviews left on third-party websites.
Choosing a hosting plan for your business website is really just the beginning of your business journey: but it’s an important first step that can set the tone for your success. The most important things to look for to protect your business website moving forward include easy scalability, top-notch server security, easy technical support, and small periods of server downtime.