Now that you’re ready to have an online business, reliable web hosting is a crucial element to success. Visitors want to be able to visit your website at their convenience, 24 hours a day, 7 days as week. A reliable web host keeps your website live so you don’t lose valuable customers to the competition.
Before you start shopping for a web hosting provider, get to know the language. The servers host (store) your website files and make them available to others to view via the internet. A domain name such as yourname.com points to the server your web hosting account is on by using nameservers. To point your domain registration to your hosting account you would list the server’s nameserver entries on your domain registration.
Now that you know the key terms, you’re ready to look for the right web hosting deal. In most instances, you get what you pay for and the same principle applies to web hosting. Free web hosting companies rarely offer the reliability or features you need for a professional website. Most web hosting companies charge an annual or monthly fee for the services as it cost them money to setup, configure and maintain reliable servers.
Beyond price, your web host must provide the services and tools you need to do business with. Make sure you have enough disk space (also known as storage) to accommodate photos, video clips, files and info you want to include on your website. Find out how much flexibility you have to expand and make changes along the way as your business grows. If you use an online site builder, see if you can make additions in the future as needed.
Also verify how much traffic your web hosting package allows. You want to be able to accommodate traffic so nobody gets shut out from visiting your website. Other features to consider are an online shopping cart to make shopping easier and a secure server (SSL) so people feel comfortable buying online and sharing their personal information.
Another useful feature you will find amongst the top web hosts is 1-click install of the most popular open source Content Management Systems (CMS) available today which include Joomla, Drupal, WordPress, phpBB and more. Content Management Systems are used to build and manage your website using your browser. No special technical skills are required to build and manage your website… just a desire to learn something new and useful.
Outstanding customer service is crucial so you are always aware of what’s going on with your website. Choose a web hosting company that provides customer support every hour of the day, 365 days of the year including holidays. An uptime of 99.5 percent should be expected from your web hosting company.
To find out more about web hosting companies, check out online webmaster & hosting forums and reviews. Find out what other webpreneurs are saying about various web hosting companies and their reliability. Inquire about customer service and pricing. The level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction expressed by other business people helps you make a more educated decision.
Take time to find the right web hosting package for your website. Just like a storefront retail store, your website is the front door to your online business. Make sure you offer easy access to encourage visitors to stop by again.