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A small business proprietor shopping for a web host will be spoilt for choice because there is legion to choose from. However of utmost importance is to ask pertinent questions in respect to choosing what web host to settle for.
The first consideration should focus on what your business web hosting needs are. Understanding your web hosting enables you to make the right decision according to your unique needs.
This question will include but is not limited to:
- What sort of website does your business have
- Will you need a windows application
- What kind of traffic does your business anticipate
- Does your website have common features like word press or is it more sophisticated to include payment platforms, escrow accounts or reservations platform
- Do you need a particular version of software like PHP
A well-done website plays a pivotal role towards the success of the business by providing a reliable business online presence and attracting new customers from around the world. Equally important is a reliable web host that meets your business needs and helps sales soar.
What to look out for when selecting a web host for a small business
- High uptime guarantee: you need to choose a web host with high uptime guarantees, this means that your site stays online and available to customers at all hours giving you the best return on your website investment.
- The web host should be one that can offer both web hosting technology for both Microsoft and Linux
- Strong support services: hosting companies that provide technical support should be favored because they allow you the time to focus your efforts on your business passion and not technical aspects of running the website
- Value for money: depending on your hosting needs, you can save a lot while meeting your business needs by choosing a web host that has shared plans. This option provides you with all you need to make a successful website like a free domain, a website builder, advertising credits, SEO tools, e-commerce capabilities and around the clock support for an unbeatable price.
- eCommerce hosting: a small business can significantly expand its online sales by adding an online store front and shopping cart program allowing shoppers to purchase from anywhere and boosting sales. Adding eCommerce functionality to your website can be complicated for novices. You had better go for a host that offers one-click installation of most popular tools and excellent, knowledgeable support service to help you implement them.
- Email hosting: customer relationship management is at the heart of maintaining, retaining and acquiring more customers. You want to choose a host that includes all manner of reliable, secure and easy to use email features with your hosting plan. Be on the lookout for unlimited accounts, free domains, autoresponders, spam filters and forwarding webmail options.
- Ignore disk space and data transfer for the time being: disk storage and bandwidth hardly matter for a normal website because images can be stored on Flickr, files, and documents on Google Doc, videos on YouTube and Vimeo and large files can be stored in the cloud. As a small business, you would not need to worry about disk storage and bandwidth for now.
It is important to realize that though your business is starting small, you will need to anticipate growth and expansion options from your web host should you need them at a later date. This includes being able to upgrade from a shared hosting plan to cloud hosting or hosting on virtual private servers (VPN) that allow your business the much-needed resources that ensure you can keep up with your customers’ demands.
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