When it comes to getting your business online, building your website is only half of the equation. Once you’ve completed your website’s design on WordPress or another platform, you’ll need to pick a website host.
Hosting gives your website a spot on the internet so people can actually visit it. Where you host your site matters, and there are many hosting providers out there.
A website host will impact your site’s speed, performance, search result ranking, and more. So, it’s a service that you’ll want to choose wisely.
Here are six things you’ll need to look for when picking a website hosting service.
No. 1: Speed. How fast is the hosting service?
Speed matters online, especially when it comes to business websites. That’s because if your website doesn’t load within a couple of seconds, a visitor is much more likely to leave it and head to a competitor’s site. So, you’ll want to make sure the hosting service offers blazing fast speed so you don’t lose potential business.
Speed also plays a very important role in your website’s ranking. Google is now clocking website loading speeds and using that to determine which sites it puts first on the search results page. The faster your website, the higher you are likely to rank on Google. A faster website could actually help bring in more website traffic.
No. 2: Security. How secure are the website hosting servers?
Security matters for your website. Not only does it protect your site from outside attackers, but it protects your customers’ data, too. Consumers are getting savvier about their online activities. They are less likely to interact with an unsecured website especially if that involves a transaction with their credit card. When you are shopping for a hosting provider, look for services that offer powerful firewalls as standard along with Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates. These are essential if you want to take payments through your site, but good practice for all websites in general.
No 3: Price. How much will hosting cost?
Price shouldn’t be your primary consideration when it comes to hosting, but it’s a factor that you can’t ignore, either.
You’ll find a huge array of prices when it comes to website hosting. You can pay anything from $0 to thousands of dollars a month, depending on your needs.
So, before you look for the best deal possible, make sure you know what you want from a host.
Make a list such as: Offers SSL certificates, can handle a certain speed, or offers live support 24/7. Then find a hosting service that offers all that at the best price.
It can be tempting to grab a free hosting deal—and for some websites, that might work. Keep in mind, though, that free hosting often means you’ll be giving up benefits like speed and security. Giving that up can hurt your website’s performance.
As the saying goes (and is usually the case)—you get what you pay for. So, it’s often better to pay a little each month to get access to better hosting services.
No. 4: Scalability. Will their hosting services scale with your business?
Hopefully, your business will continue to grow in the coming years. Can your new website hosting service keep up with the growing demand? Think about what your website is now and what you want it to be five years from now. Do you want to have an e-commerce site? Are you hoping to host lots of product videos and images? What sort of resources will you need for your website? Choose a hosting provider who can scale along with your site, giving you the resources you need without sacrificing site speed or quality.
No. 5: Support. Do they offer support when you need it?
Most hosting services offer a comprehensive service, where they’ll handle all aspects of the hosting. You’ll just update the website as needed.
What happens, though, when your website goes down?
You need to be able to contact support to get the site back up and running as quickly as possible. So, be sure you know what sort of support a potential hosting provider offers.
Your website is a 24/7 salesperson for your business, so the hosting service needs to be on call at all hours to help fix any issues that might occur. After all, every visitor who can’t access your website is potentially a new client for your competitor.
No. 6: Type of Hosting. What kind of hosting environment do they offer?
There are different hosting environments available. Which one you pick will impact the performance of your website as well as your monthly bill.
Most hosting services offer one or more of the following:
Your site lives on a server along with many other websites. This is the least expensive option, typically, but also the least secure. It’s also the most likely to experience issues with speed and performance.
Your website has a dedicated portion of a server, so the performance of other websites on the same server shouldn’t affect you.
Dedicated server hosting
Your website has its own server. This may be an option if you are hosting a website yourself, with servers that you maintain and upgrade in-house.
Managed dedicated hosting
Your website has its own server managed and upgraded by the hosting company.
This uses the power of hundreds of servers connected by the cloud to host your website, has little downtime, and is easily scaled to meet the needs of your website. Typically, you only pay for what you use.
If you aren’t sure which option is right for you, talk to other business owners to see what hosting environment they are using. You can also ask the hosting company about the pros and cons of each of the hosting environment options. What you choose may also come down to your budget.
Looking for the Best Website Hosting Option for Your Business Site?
If you want a safe, fast, and affordable website hosting option for your company’s site, LocalBizGuru can help. We offer web hosting services and ongoing website management for businesses in Cleveland and beyond. Plans start at just $79 a month for reliable hosting that ensures your website is open and ready for every visitor. Get in touch with us today to learn more about hosting options that can help your website become a pivotal part of your business’ growth.
Nachum Langsner is the Co-Founder & CMO of LocalBizGuru, a full-service digital marketing agency based in Cleveland, OH. He has over 10+ years of experience in the SEO industry and is a frequent presenter and instructor of digital marketing and SEO seminars for entrepreneurs and small business owners in the Greater Cleveland area for organizations such as COSE, Jumpstart, the Better Business Bureau, Score and the Ohio SBDC at CSU.