Your website is the most important marketing tool available to expand and promote your business. It is a powerful, free, and dynamic tool that not only markets your business online but also improves brand awareness among your target audience.
Unlike offline marketing – print ads and word-of-mouth of marketing – online marketing is boundless: anyone having a decent Internet connection and computer can access your website and know about your business.
As a vital tool, your website has to be available 24/7, so that as many people can access it, no matter what their local timezone is. Your website also has to load fast. In addition, you also need to be able to make changes to your website from anywhere, anytime.
In short, where you host your website is very crucial.
The web hosting company has to offer high performing and fast server to you. They have to offer you enough space to host all of your files as well as enough bandwidth to easily handle any amount of website traffic to your site.
So, what are the basic website hosting tips should you, as a beginner online website owner or a marketer, should keep in mind when choosing the best web hosting company for your site or blog? Here are top website hosting tips for beginners.
Top Website Hosting Tips for Beginners:
1) Is “web hosting” their main business?
Many small online businesses get lured by exciting web hosting packages from unreliable sources – for e.g. from their ISP providers. This is a huge mistake!
Usually, ISP owners already have over tens of thousands of customers. So if they are offering cheap web hosting services, they are doing it to lure more customers who will purchase their Internet packages, not for web hosting packages.
That means you won’t get good customer support if you run into web hosting issues with your ISP provider. And if you decide to stop using their web hosting services, it won’t matter because it’s not their ‘primary’ business in the first place.
My advice: stay away from these types of web hosting providers, even if they offer cheap web hosting services. Remember, ‘cheap’ does not always mean ‘affordable’.
2) Do they send you notifications about updates, maintenance, and new services?
True story: On Friday, November 2006, one of my clients reported to me that one of their website I needed access was down for a week. I was writing for their blog, so I had asked their WordPress site’s login credentials to upload contents.
However, when I typed their URL on the address bar, I saw an ugly PHP error saying “database connection error.” When I contacted the web hosting customer support to notify the issues, they told me that they had actually “disabled” the MySQL database because one of their server were compromised by external brute force attack.
They didn’t have a backup server! That was really strange because almost all popular web host providers have a network of backup servers that they immediately switch to in case their primary servers are compromised.
Then, I asked them how long will we have to wait before his site is back up and running. You won’t believe what response I received from one of their customer support staff. I was something like this: ,
“We are looking for the MySQL issue and hiring database experts in a week and look into the matter and call us back in 14 days…”
I was like, “are you kidding?”
I mean where in the world would you expect to receive such a lame answer from a web hosting customer support department? Only from a web hosting that is cheap and unreliable.
Immediately, after this fiasco, I asked my client to transfer to a new web host – nice and affordable (for $5/mo) – where he gets awesome 24/7 phone support, important notifications 30 days in advance, and enough space and bandwidth.
3) Does the web hosting company provide easy to use cPanel?
An online service such as cPanel is a must manage your website. Many web hosting company use 3-rd party applications such as Plesk and cPanel, and some have their own cPanel as well (for example, Hostgator, 1and1, inMotion, and BlueHost).
Without access to cPanel, you will always have to wait for the customer staff to make even the minor changes on your server.
4) Is the web host flexible in its feature offerings, server types, and supported languages?
No project goes as planned and flexibility is the crucial component into deciding where you will host your site. Flexibility could also mean a slightly higher price, so we advise you to pay it because, in the long run, you may pay even higher if you don’t.
5) Does the web host offer 24/7 customer support via PHONE or LIVE CHAT?
Most popular web hosting company – think BlueHost, 1and1, and inMotion – offer customer support these days over the phone, live chat, e-mail. But there are also few that lack “phone” and “live chat” support simply because:
- They do not have sufficient budget to hire additional tech staffs for phone or live chat support
- Dealing with issues through e-mail takes the human element out of the picture, so it would be must easier to tell “it’s your problem, not ours”
- They can also outsource their support without you ever knowing about it
- They can take more time to provide their support – a phone or live support would mean providing immediate support.
So, long story short – do not settle for a web host that does not offer “live chat” or “phone” support.
That’s not all. Ask these questions as well to choose the best web hosting company for your site or blog:
- Where is the web hosting company located? In your city, or outside your country?
- Is their tech support outsourced to foreign countries?
- Do they provide you enough web space and autoresponders for email marketing?
- Can you talk to the tech staff directly through the phone number
Web host is a crucial component of your business. It has to offer all the features – enough space and bandwidth, 99.99% uptime, money back guarantee, excellent 24/7 phone support – to run your website or blog smoothly, while also making it easier for your wallet.
If you get stuck in the future figuring out what to look for in a web hosting company to select the best, make sure to come back to my site and refer this article, or simply bookmark this article for future reference.
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