Every small business needs a website that provides reliable web hosting so it’s available when customers want to visit. When you’re ready to create your online store or company website it is not uncommon to look for affordable hosting or cheap web hosts. However, your next sale could depend on the availability and performance of your company website, so it is absolutely critical that you choose a web host that can meet your site’s needs on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, many small businesses make mistakes when choosing a web host. Don’t make the same mistakes! Instead, educate yourself about the top mistakes small businesses make when it’s time to purchase web hosting, so you can make the right decision the first time around.
Here is a look at five common web hosting decisions to consider and mistakes to avoid:
Buying Too Much
Don’t pay for web hosting features and services that you don’t need. Believe it or not, you don’t need unlimited bandwidth or unlimited storage space, and most web hosts that advertise unlimited bandwidth or storage space aren’t telling you the full story.
If your site uses an excessive amount of bandwidth and is causing other sites on a shared server to perform poorly, you can bet that your “unlimited bandwidth” won’t be unlimited anymore. Pay for what you need and choose a web host that will enable you to scale up in the future as needed.
Not Conducting Research
You wouldn’t invest in any other business purchase that could cost your company hundreds or thousands of dollars each year without doing some research first, so why would you choose a web host without equal due diligence? Take your time and investigate each web host you’re considering. Visit websites that provide real data (not sponsored reviews), analyze metrics, and ask questions. Get information so you can make an educated decision when choosing a web host for your small business website.
Relying on Web Host Marketing Messages
Web hosting providers share a specific set of metrics with potential customers, but those metrics omit critical information. Which company has the most uptime? How many hours per day is each web host down? How many sites are down? Which web hosts are experiencing a lot of domain transfers to or away from them each day? These are just some of the questions that should be included in your decision-making process when you search for a new web host for your company website.
Getting the Wrong Features
Just as it’s easy to buy too much and overpay for web hosting, you can also buy the wrong web hosting. For example, if you’re not tech-savvy, you’ll probably want to choose a web host that offers a cPanel, so you can navigate the backend of your website easily. Meanwhile, if you own an ecommerce website, you need a web host that provides SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) for secure transactions.
Make sure these web hosting features are included in the web hosting package you choose. It might cost a lot to add them through the same web host later, or worse, you might need to change to a completely different web host to get features that are essential to your business.
Trusting Web Host Reviews
The first thing you’re likely to do when you’re looking for a web host for your small business website is to type a keyword phrase like “web host reviews” into Google. When you do this, you’ll find pages and pages of web host reviews published on a wide variety of websites. However, most of these reviews are not accurate or trustworthy.
For example, some of these sites will be dedicated web host review sites. They’ll offer lots of reviews, but often these reviews are published so the website owner can make money. The “reviews” were either paid for by the web hosts or the reviews are used to generate income through affiliate links and ads. The same is true of web host reviews that you find on blogs and other websites.
It is very common to run across paid reviews, which means they’re not published with your best interest in mind. So be very cautious. Never trust online reviews without doing some investigation to ensure they’re authentic; based on actual user experiences and backed by real data.
Bottom-line, don’t choose a web host without doing homework beforehand to identify your actual needs, ask questions, analyze current performance data, and read unbiased user reviews.
Manish Kumar is the CEO of SiteGeek, the world’s only free source for 100% impartial, data-driven web hosting reviews and reports that empower everyone to make educated web host buying decisions. SiteGeek provides current, unbiased reports on over 40,000 web hosts, which are developed using real-time, 100-point data tracking, social media sentiment analysis, and actual user experience commentary. SiteGeek is not affiliated with any web hosts and receives no affiliate payments, ad revenue or other compensation that affect the content of its reviews and reports in any way. It’s the first site that separates fact from hype so people around the world are empowered with the information they need to make the right web hosting decisions.
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