In 2017, it’s virtually impossible to run a business without a website. If you are taking your business online for the first time, you must choose a reliable hosting provider so customers can easily access your website.
What to Look for in a Web Host
Here are some things that you must keep in mind while shopping for a web hosting provider.
1. Uptime Guarantees
Keeping your website up and running is extremely important. Jeff King, Senior Vice President of GoDaddy Web Hosting, told PC Magazine that it is a much more important factor than price.
Online security is an afterthought for many businesses, but it shouldn’t be. Approximately 30,000 websites are hacked every day. You need a very secure hosting provider to keep your site safe.
3. Customer Support
You will encounter technical problems even with the best hosting companies. It’s something that you just can’t avoid. You will want to have a hosting company that provides excellent customer support.
I listed price last for a reason. It is something that most people look at first, which can be a huge mistake. If you buy a hosting plan for only $4.99 a month, but find your site is always crashing and the hosting company is never available to address your issues, then you will end up losing a lot of money. On the other hand, you don’t want to pay more for a company that offers the exact same service.
Best Hosting Companies
Here are some of the best hosting companies.
Who Is Hosting This and other review sites have rated PickAWeb as one of the best web hosting companies in the world. They provide excellent uptime guarantees, especially for customers in the United Kingdom.
Their services aren’t as cheap as Godaddy’s, but are still very reasonable. You can purchase a starter hosting plan for £2.49 a month. Other plans are more expensive, but great options for rapidly growing businesses.
Godaddy is well-known for its economical web hosting plans. However, sites go down much more often, despite one of their own vice-presidents saying downtime costs money.
“Any downtime means lost money,” King said. “For every minute you’re down, you’re not able to sell your product. This should be the number one or number two thing to focus on.”
There are other reasons downtime can hurt your online business. If you are running Adwords advertisements, it can hurt your quality score or even get your account flagged for violating their thin pages policies. Excessive downtime can also hurt your SEO rankings.
Despite the downtime (which isn’t great but not terrible), Godaddy is pretty decent hosting provider. They are also known for their extra amenities. Their hosting plans will allow you to get up to 10 email addresses for as little as $1 a month. If you need these features anyways, you might as well get them as a discount with your plan.
Godaddy is good for businesses on tight budgets, but isn’t the best for ecommerce sites.
Blue Host is another popular web hosting company. One of the reasons it is so popular is that it has excellent uptime (99.94%).
Their high uptime is particularly important if you process customer credit cards, work in healthcare or the financial services industry. You can face very serious legal costs if you don’t take adequate steps to protect your site from hackers.
However, their hosting plans are relatively expensive. You will have to pay at least $8.99 a month for even their most basic plan. If you want better functionality, you will have to pay even more.
They offer 24/7 technical support and do a good job actually resolving your problems.