In the digital era we live in, it is virtually impossible to start any Business without a quality website. Most novices in the small business world don’t devote that much attention to creating a website which is a mistake since good marketing is an essential ingredient to success.
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Websites’ purpose is for the customers to get acquainted with the products or the services and entrepreneurs should see it as a digital home to their business. Just as each home is built on strong foundations, a website is created on the foundations of a good web hosting provider. Upon first glance, all providers offer similar services, so it is sometimes difficult to make a decision just based on looking at the packages and the corresponding prices. With that in mind, here are a few pointers to take into account when deciding on a web hosting provider.
Be guided by your business nicheThe type of small business you opted for, together with the products or services you offer will play an essential part in many aspects of your business operations, starting from your business plan to your website. The choice between, for instance, a blogging site or an e-commerce one will greatly influence the complexity of the site and naturally, the budget you will be allocating for it.
If you are aiming for a small business website with more text than images, which won’t have any additional widgets, chances are that you will not be needing complex web design.
Having a clear image of what you wish helps you to be more rational with your expenditure. It also aids you to avoid opting for an expensive web hosting services that you don’t even need just because of the seemingly lavish package.
Mind the website’s speedImagine browsing for information on some product and then narrowing down the search to a few options: if you open a couple of websites in different tabs, how patient will you be if one of them loads slowly? Most probably you will not have any patience at all since you know that there is plenty of other fish in the sea and you would soon just close that tab and forget about that website.
To avoid this routine happening with your website, you need your website’s speed to be up to par or otherwise your bounce rate will be through the roof, while your conversion rate will plummet. Waiting just a few extra seconds can turn away visitors and they will not even stay as long as to look at your offer. If people cannot see the products and ideas you worked hard on, they won’t be able to purchase them.
|Image by Gerd Altmann|
Although each small business’ wish is to attract more customers and grow, you need to be ready to sustain that growth. If you have, for example, organized a contest with the aim of giving gifts to a number of people who click or register first, you need to have the promised number of products and more at the ready, as well as a website which can endure many visitors at the same time.
Assess the traffic capacity
Your web hosting provider needs to be capable to sustain high traffic and to make sure that the website’s speed isn’t compromised because of the already mentioned reasons. Since you are just starting your business, it would be a big stain to your reputation if you organized a contest and the website just crashed.
Think about technical support and data backupEven though it may seem like a secondary element, technical support is crucial for your website’s quality. If a problem arises, your web hosting provider needs to put an expert to deal with the problem so it can be resolved efficiently and quickly. Many cheaper providers are slow to react while you need 24/7 support to make sure all is optimal.
As for backing up your data, just as your smartphone needs it, your website needs it as well. You need to be protected from data loss because it can be detrimental to your business. Therefore, a mandatory task for you is to check whether this service is a part of your package, or you need to pay extra for it and of course, get this information in advance so you can include it into the decision-making process.
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The only manner to run a reputable small business and for it to develop, is to make sure that your website is safe. This is why you need to double-check what your web hosting provider can offer regarding security since both your and the customer’s data need to be kept safe.
Prioritize website’s security
Any website flaws, as well as any crash, can provide a hacker with an opportunity to come into possession of your customers’ personal data which is something neither your budget nor your reputation can sustain. Since losing your customers’ trust and not being privy to your own business secrets would be a great blow to any small business, consult with providers extensively until you choose one.
Consider shared hosting and web designThere are different types of hosting, such as Dedicated hosting, VPS hosting, Managed WordPress hosting, Cloud hosting but for a new small business, perhaps the most economical option would be Shared hosting. This is a neat solution if you are not that experienced with running a website but sharing a server also might leave you more vulnerable to malware attacks.
If you are also in need of website design, you might consider a web hosting provider which offers that service as a part of a package. For a beginner business which doesn’t need a complex structure, this could be a more affordable solution than hiring a web design agency and then in time as your business grows, you can see whether you need to invest more in the design.
ConclusionBased on the provided pointers, it is not difficult to see the importance of choosing a good web hosting provider. This decision affects your business directly and you need someone reliable to take care of everything 24/7 at affordable rates.
This is why it is crucial not to go straight for the most expensive option just because it seems to cover a lot of ground but instead, work on getting a better understanding of your website’s and business’ needs. In this manner, you will find a package that fits your business and which doesn’t put any unnecessary strain on your budget.
Bily Bum is an electrical engineer, tech, and gaming fan with 15 years of experience in the technology world. He is also a contributor on site Technivorz.
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