Do you have a website for your small business?
If not, then what are you waiting for?
Marketing and sales, that is, reaching out to your prospective new customers is an uphill task. Companies without an online presence find it extremely difficult to reach out and get new clients. We live in a world which is connected and where everyone can discover everything related to products and services by just browsing the Internet. You don’t want to miss that potential opportunity! Therefore it’s time to build a website irrespective of how small your business is.
There is a huge list of Web hosting services available which are clamouring for your money. This huge list may include super-popular service providers or the lesser-known local providers available just round the corner. Large business houses and organisations which have huge budgets can pay each year for dedicated hosting or virtual private server (VPS) hosting but small businesses don’t have such luxury because their budget is limited and so are the resources.
For small businesses, it is prudent to do our due diligence and spend some time in reading between the lines especially if keeping prices low is of concern. Many hosting firms have variety of packages to offer. These start with an introductory pack which has some basic features at minimum basic price and as you add on features and ask for more services, the cost goes up. It is recommended that you do a comparative study with the information available on the internet about the web hosting companies and select the one with the right package which meets your requirement before pulling out your credit card.
Selection criteria for a web hosting company for your small business
There is basically a seven step criteria for the selection of the best web hosting services for small business:-
Check Web hosting reputation. Only consider web hosts that have been in the business for some time, are well-established and have a good reputation based on the verified online reviews.
2. Support. Only include those web hosts in your list that offer 24/7 technical support with short waiting times. There can be nothing worse than being kept on 45 minutes hold when your website goes down.
3. Ease of use. Web hosting should be simple as it is not rocket science. One should be able to log in, click a few buttons, and have a live website that one can customise to bring one’s ideas to life.
4. Pricing. Avoid web hosts that have misleading pricing, don’t offer money-back guarantees, and that don’t offer the facility to easily upgrade/downgrade your plan
5. Speed. Select the web hosts based on the speed of their servers. It shouldn’t take longer than 1 second to load a basic website.
6. Uptime. Go for a minimum server uptime of 99.9% or higher.
7. Perks. Perks like daily backups and unlimited usage etc are always welcome and can influence web host selection.
Web hosting is indeed an integral part of every major or small business. Business owners should consider all these factors before choosing web hosting services. Aside from the fact as to how much space one would need, one should also keep in mind the number of email-addresses and domains required. Security of the web page and the level of security provided by the host is another important factor that requires serious consideration.
Last but not the least, the final selection of a suitable web host should also depend on the overall rating given by third-party verified reviews and the additional perks on offer. These perks shouldn’t be the deal makers or breakers but it is nice-to-have them:
Keeping the above mentioned guidelines in mind and after searching for information on the net, we can safely say that for small businesses and beginners hosting hobby sites etc where one needs to test new ideas, it is safe to go for one of the web hosting firms listed below:
In the end, we will conclude by saying that our goal is to get a website live with a web hosting company that is not going to cause any major trouble. And on that note, now it’s over to you to do your due diligence, read reviews and take opinions of independent third party before deciding the web host for your small business.