Any smart business owner will tell you that having a website for their company is the single most important way to increase brand awareness. A website is a perfect way to showcase your products and services; it helps new customers find you, it is a great way to connect with the media and press, and also attract potential investors.
When building a website, there are a lot of things to consider. You’ll obviously focus on how the website will look (the design), how it will work (the functionality) and what type of content will it feature. Next, you’ll have to deal with the search engine optimization work that is required. However, a lot of business owners will overlook one of the crucial aspects when building a new website – and that is hosting. Even though your website will, in the end, look awesome, have great functionality, and top notch content, without a proper hosting plan, it will perform poorly which quickly turns into annoyed visitors, financial losses and a negative image for your business.
Let’s take a quick look at what can go wrong if you choose the wrong hosting plan for your company’s website:
- loss of revenue and clients – if your website is very slow, or down, your visitors and potential customers will not be able to interact with your products or services. This means that your content, whether it’s text, photos or videos, is simply unavailable to clients. For instance, if your website also features an online store, you will lose out on potential income during the down time. What’s more, frequent down times don’t look good in the long run, as visitors will ultimately become annoyed and blacklist your website.
- it’s bad for SEO – Google absolutely hates websites that take forever to load. In fact, everything over 3 seconds is disastrous, as multiple recent studies have shown. This means that your website’s ranking in SERP will suffer and potential visitors will simply overlook your website.
- malware, spyware, backups and security – let’s face it: there is no perfect security solution when it comes to websites. However, a good hosting provider will be able to provide the tools, software and servers which will guarantee your website’s content and other features are safe in case your website is under attack. Similarly, a good hosting company will assist you 24/7 and offer maintenance and security check-ups frequently.
How can you choose the best web hosting provider?
Having a good web hosting provider is crucial on many levels: from security and data backups, to SEO and SERP rankings, to user experience and overall image. Whenever you experience any of these problems, it’s time to make a change and go for a better web hosting plan. Here are some tips that can help you make the best decision:
- understand the different types of web hosting – there are four main types of plans: shared, VPS, dedicated and managed web hosting. Before choosing from any of these options, you’ll have to carefully assess your website’s needs. How much traffic will it handle? Will you include an online store? How large will it be?
- excellent customer support is a must – always go for a provider who offer 24/7 support and has a reliable technical team. Keep in mind that the Internet never sleeps and, in case anything happens, your website will have to be up and running in a matter of hours, at the most. Some experts suggest that you should test call the support staff before signing a long term contract. Even a basic test like this may tell you a lot about how a company treats its paying customers.
- ability to scale – good web hosting providers will always offer you the ability to scale your plan, depending on your website’s needs. In time, this is extremely important, as websites have a natural tendency to grow. Your visitor numbers will grow, you’ll want to add an online store or a blog, so make sure your plan is easily scalable.
- a good reputation – try to do background check, find out what other customers have to say about the company, check downtime statistics and maintenance schedules before doing business with any web hosting company.
There are a lot of things that go together when creating a website. While everyone thinks about design, functionality or content, web hosting should never take the back seat when building your company’s website. Keep in mind that web hosting is the backbone of every website and, when it’s bad, it can quickly turn into a disaster.