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As a veteran or brand new small business owner, each expenditure you make should be one that over time will bring you a return on investment (ROI).
With that being said, how much time would say is necessary to invest in finding the right web host for your company? If your answer is that it really does not matter, then you might need to go back to the drawing board.
Owning a company brings with it the responsibility of making sound decisions, one of which includes finding the best web hosting service available. Even if your usage of the web is limited at best, keep in mind that many consumers these days turn to the web to browse and shop, so having a proven web host does matter.
If you are looking for your first web host provider or have plans to change the one you currently have, take note of a few important points:
1. Know your budget - Before you even begin to shop for a web host provider, make sure you know what you can afford to spend for such an expenditure. If you allocate a set amount to spend for a provider, do your best to stick to that amount, knowing that some providers will try and pass off extra fees to you along the way. While the right web host provider is an important decision for you and your business, do not mortgage your overall budget on just this one item;
2. Shop around - If you settle on the first web host provider you come across online or through a referral, you may just get lucky. Then again, you could wind up with a bad connection in more ways than one. Make sure you get a handful of quotes at the least, thereby allowing you to compare and contrast each provider. Settling for the first one is akin to just pulling names out of hat, something you can’t afford to do with such an important decision;
3. Growth down the road - In the event you see potential growth for your business down the road, make sure you select a provider that can meet such needs, that is without charging you an arm and a leg for such additions. Look to see what they offer you as far as bandwith and disk storage space, meaning you have more than enough space to satisfy your requirements. This also leads you to the decision early on on whether or not you want shared or dedicated hosting. With shared hosting, you share a single server with several other clients that company works with. While the host provider manages the site for you, keep in mind that numerous companies using that server can slow down performance time. Another option is dedicated hosting, whereby you have sole access to the plan, something many companies like to lessen the issues of server time and security issues;
4. Know what people are saying - While you would hope each web hosting provider you look at is honest about what they can offer you, reviewing what customers have to say is oftentimes a good route to go. If a provider’s reputation is being called into question by a sizable number of customers, keep that in mind before possibly selecting them. While one or two people may have a personal beef with the provider, numerous people calling the provider out can very well be a sign of trouble;
5. You can’t put a price on customer service - Like any business you deal with, getting solid customer service in return is crucial. Check to see the customer service track record for each provider you look at, including whether or not they have a negative history with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for starters. Also look at their financial stability, as you don’t want to be doing business with a provider who may or may not be here down the road. Finally, given the fact that many problems can occur after hours, is the provider offering customer service 24/7 (phone help and email assistance for starters)? If their customer service leaves something to be desired, another reason to look elsewhere.
With all that the web can mean to your business, make sure you connect with the right provider from day one.