Businesses that do not have their own website are becoming increasingly rare. But in order to get the most from an online presence, it is vital that you have a reliable hosting service. There’s no one size fits all approach to hosting and what suits one user won’t do for another. Therefore you need to ensure you find the right host for your needs. Here are some of the key points you need to consider when you’re selecting a host.
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What’s the Site for?
The first thing to think about is what your website is going to be used for. Is it just to showcase your business and allow people to contact you or are you planning to sell products directly via an ecommerce store?
If you want to sell on the web then you need to ensure that your chosen host supports the security features needed to allow you to accept payments. This means having Secure Sockets layer (SSL) support on the server. You also need to check whether you’ll be able to implement your own preferred shopping cart solution or whether you’ll be forced to use one that the hosting company provides. If you have to use the latter then this will affect your site design.
Uptime and Downtime
Your website is a shop window onto the internet so you need to be certain that it’s going to be available as much as possible. The nature of the internet means that if your site is down, then customers will go elsewhere rather than wait for it to become visible and usable again. Therefore, when choosing a hosting service you need to look at their record of reliability. Some downtime is inevitable but this should be scheduled for when it has the least impact. Try to talk to other customers of the host or check online reviews and find out how satisfied they are with the service offered by that particular host.
Check out the levels of support that are on offer too. If your website is down it affects your business so you need to make sure that you can get problems fixed even if they occur out of normal office hours.
It’s no good having a website if people can’t find it easily. As a first step to doing this you’ll need a domain name that reflects the name of your company and a good web host should be able to assist you to find and register one. If you need it they should also be able to help you with designing a website, managing the SEO to drive traffic to it and more besides.
If your site is going to get a lot of traffic then you need to be sure that your chosen host can cope with the expected demand. Traffic is usually measured in terms of the amount of data transferred, referred to as bandwidth. Although some hosts offer unlimited bandwidth there’s usually some sort of fair use limit and you’ll be penalised if you exceed it. If you’re paying by the amount of bandwidth you use then take the time to understand the pricing policy so you don’t get caught out by unexpected charges.
Luckily there is plenty of choice when it comes to finding a hosting service. Because your site is important to the success of your business you should take your time and compare the services on offer from several providers.
Jann Webb is a blogger who understands that a good hosting package can make all the difference to the success of your website. If you are looking for a reliable hosting service, Cape Town experts can recommend providers who can offer you great service for a fair price.