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So you’re ready to get your website started, you start your research and then you find out that you need a website host. When creating a website there is already a lot involved to get your head around, but website hosting is one of those things that can be found rather painlessly with the right research which can take time but is worth the investment for any business of any size. MangoMatter has an excellent comparison list of the best hosting providers, but for now, let’s take a look at why finding the right hosting is important for small businesses and how you can go about finding the hosting provider for you.
How does hosting affect your website?
Regardless of the size of your business, website hosting will affect your website. What you need to know is how the right or wrong host may impact your business website.
Speed and performance
The loading speed of your website is the first introduction to new visitors, if it takes more then 3 seconds for your site to load, chances are they will be turned off and ditch your website. This is crucial if you rely on your website to make money i.e. you run an eCommerce.
Good web hosts will be able to increase loading time and protect against downtime, ensuring that your website performance is near perfect on every load.
Security may be the most important aspect of website hosting. Your hosting provider should offer website security and an SSL license. Not only will browsers such as Safari and Chrome alert users when a website isn’t secure which may put them off using the website, but it also makes it easier for hackers to attack your website and valuable data, data that also belongs to your website visitors.
If your website is hacked, any good website hosting service will be able to provide you with a backed-up version of your website so you can restore your site and get back to business.
Say a problem arises with your website, it’s suddenly taking too much time to load, you should be able to contact your hosting provider with your issue no matter the time of the day. Most providers now offer 24/7 support as standard but you may find delays in response times. Finding a host with top-notch customer support is imperative to fixing issues and smoothing out any kinks to ensure that your website is running well at all times.
You might be a small business now, but you may not intend to stay that way. If your business traffic is set to grow with your business, your hosting needs to be able to keep up with that. They should also be able to offer you multiple pricing structures, with more resources on higher subscription tariffs.
Things to consider
Small businesses may not need the biggest web host packages but there will be some absolute musts on your list of things to consider when choosing a web host. As well as the list above you should think about the following:
What do you need?
As mentioned before, what you will need will depend on your business but there are some definite features you will need, such as an SSL license, some providers offer this at no cost while others charge. You may also need a domain, in which case you should check out web hosting that offers a year’s free domain with their subscriptions.
In short, make a list of things you 100% need and check them with what different providers offer.
If you’re on a tight budget, don’t worry, web hosting packages can vary from $2.95 up to $7.95 per month and sometimes more or less than that. This will depend on which hosting provider and subscription you choose. The cheaper the package the less you may be offered, so you can consider keeping costs down by choosing a provider that offers free SSL licenses, or offers a cheaper monthly/yearly cost if you pay for x amount of years upfront which can save you a big chunk in the long run. Always remember to check whether the price includes VAT before getting to the checkout.
We know that getting started can be challenging and many will pass jobs like these to web developers but nowadays, web hosting isn’t as big a minefield as it used to be. We hope this guide has given you some pointers with web hosting, and remember, if you do get stuck, any decent web host company will offer you support and advice before making a commitment to them, just count it as part of your research.