Know What You’re Looking for in a Web Host Provider?

For the millions and millions of small businesses across the nation, having an Internet presence is very important, especially in this day and age of a struggling economy. Without it, those who stay away from the web stand to quickly fall behind the competition.

If your small business is considering a foray into sales and promotions on the web, do you know exactly what you are looking for in a web hosting provider? For many small businesses, they know exactly what they are not looking for in such a provider.

Keep the following in mind should your business be in need of a web host provider:

Should you go with shared web hosting? – This is one question you will want to consider. One of the bonuses of choosing a shared web host site is that they are generally cheaper, with performance problems sometimes being an issue due to the number of customers sharing the site. If your small business has both light traffic and sales, then shared web hosting is likely the answer. For those companies overseeing ecommerce, it is advised to look for a provider offering a VPS (Virtual Private Server) solution, whereby your sites rests with its own virtual server, allowing it to be unaffected by others;
Quality customer service is critical – Just like your business is supposed to provide quality care to customers; you want the same from your web host provider. If you’re constantly having to call them to ask questions, discuss concerns, complain about the service, etc. you will likely grow tired of this rather quickly. While many web host providers are pretty much the same during selling you their services, it is what they do when there is a problem that will set one apart from the other;
Shop around for quotes – When your small business goes in need of supplies, it should be a given that you are obtaining a series of quotes. That being the case, you especially want to do that when in search of a web host provider. Also turn to those in the business community you are close to or family/friends to see who their provider is. Check for things like price, customer service, reputation in business circles and more;
Check on bandwith and space – Along with price and customer service; get the details on things like bandwith and space, two things that are very important as far as what you can get on your Web site in a fast and orderly procedure. If someone tells you the bandwith and disk space they will be providing you is unlimited, get the specifics prior to putting your name on a contract. The last thing you want is a slow site that is continuously being impacted by a limited amount of space;
Make sure there is a backup plan – As we have seen all too often, companies can be put in precarious situations should there be a data crash. Make sure you check with your provider that they have a backup plan in place in order to prevent you from losing a ton of data. You also want to make sure the web host provider you go with is up to speed on its security so that you are not saddled with hacking issues;
Read the fine print – Lastly, make sure you read the fine print to cover any potential hidden fees, longer than you wanted contract language, early exit charges, etc. The last thing you want is dealing with unexpected expenses and headaches that could have been avoided in the first place with a little closer observation.

Given the importance of having a web presence in today’s business world, make sure you find the right host at not only the right price, but one who makes you a priority customer from start to finish.

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Dave Thomas writes about a variety of small business topics providing helpful hints and tips to help grow a business. Dave’s background is in business insurance and telecommunications and has a passion for social media and sports.

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