There is a classic joke about running a small business – “you have the freedom to work any 12 hours of the day that you choose!” Yes, most people that run a small business wind up working 12 hours for themselves to avoid working 8 hours for someone else. The last thing most business owners need is to add another task to their To Do lists. That’s why you’ve got to get web hosting done right. So here’s what to look for:
Start with what is the goal for your website?
For some small businesses, you may need an e-commerce store and a shopping cart. Perhaps you want e-mail addresses that match your business. It’s easy to see that what the business down the street does is not going to match exactly what you need. So their web hosting plan probably won’t be quite the perfect fit for you. Your specific business needs have to be kept in mind
What are your business goals for the next 12 months?
Every savvy business owner creates a business plan. It is important to keep your goals in mind when looking at web hosting. Why? Because if you are expecting tremendous growth, you want to recognize that you might need hosting that is moved to a larger server or even a dedicated one, just for your business. If you’re launching a new product, it is best to anticipate the traffic that will come to your website. This way the chances of your site crashing from too many visitors are minimal. Your web hosting company can work proactively with you to manage the traffic seamlessly.
How do they offer Customer Service Support?
No matter who you choose, you always want Customer Service to be available 24/7. Because websites don’t seem to wear wristwatches and can develop bugs at just about any time of day – or night. Or even major holidays like July 4th or Thanksgiving Day. No small business owner wants their site to be down for a day or a holiday weekend, when sales should be surging like crazy. That Customer Support can be offered by text, phone or even e-mail. It is actually ideal if they have different options, so you’ve got more than 1 way to reach someone.
Do you have several options for web hosting packages?
Web hosting is not one-size-fits-all. This is not like ordering a fast food burger. Your web hosting is going to keep your website up and running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Not every web hosting package is right for you. Why should you pay for services that you don’t need? Savvy web hosting companies realize this, and typically create at least 2 packages for you to choose from, sometimes more of them. Small businesses have lots of different needs. There are some companies have several different websites, compare this to the small business with just 1 site! If you travel, you’ll want your server in the Cloud or a Virtual Server so you can always access it easily.
What type of technical support services do they have?
Now, no one likes to think about needing technical support. Some don’t realize that it should be offered, until something goes wrong and then they really want to contact someone! But you always want to be able to reach technical support. Web hosting companies handle this in different ways. At some you’ll see an offer of only a no-frills plan. Others have several different plans you can choose from. Some web hosting companies completely manage your site, including the design of it. When shopping for a web hosting company, look for one that meets your specific needs.
Web hosting is critical to the success of any small business. You especially want the ability to have your hosting grow with your company. Every company owner wants to build and scale their company to become larger and have more sales. If your web hosting is unreliable, then your site is going to be unavailable or have a lot of unexpected downtime. This will affect your relationships with future customers. Most who visit your site once will not give it a second chance to impress them.
Having options with your web hosting means that your hosting can grow as you grow. If your small business opens new office locations, then you can have a server in the Cloud, so that everyone can easily access it. Fortunately today there are lots of choices to accommodate a business’ needs. But you’ve got to think ahead, about where you want to be and how you’d like to have web hosting support you in getting there.
Let web hosting be part of your success team while your company grows.