Every website has a web host, but how do you choose one when there are literally hundreds of providers, all offering a dizzying amount of packages?
The first step is to familiarize yourself with the essential components of web hosting.
Essentials for Web Hosting
Internet users will not tolerate slow-loading websites. Therefore, you need to look for a web hosting package from a provider that offers superior performance. The average website loading time is 2 seconds. Load speeds of anything longer will significantly increase your bounce rate.
You should also consider where your host’s servers are located. The closer your customers are to the servers, the faster your site will load for them. So, for example, if your customers are in Amsterdam, you will want a host with data centers near this location.
Most small businesses won’t have large amounts of media files or streaming, so they don’t need a lot of bandwidth. However, your bandwidth needs may grow as your site changes or your site’s traffic grows. Therefore, you should consider the future when selecting a web hosting package and pick one that provides the opportunity to expand. That being said, we recommend opting for at least 10GB a month.
As a small business, you’re vulnerable to cyberattacks. So, you need to choose a hosting package with robust security features. Additionally, you want a package that lets you set up an SSL certificate.
If the worst happens and a cybercriminal does take over your website, you want to be sure to have a backup so you can get back to normal as soon as possible. We recommend selecting a package that comes with automatic backups. If your site gets backed up automatically, this is one less thing you have to worry about.
It should go without saying that you want the best customer support hosting provider. If you don’t have good support from your web host, you’ll find it challenging to manage your web hosting. Therefore, the package you select should offer 24/7/365 technical and customer support.
Some control panels are more user-friendly than others. For instance, cPanel is known to be intuitive to use. Regardless, you should choose a package that offers a clean user interface with features grouped by category so they are easy to find.
As a small business, you benefit from having your website builder integrated with your hosting because it saves you time and money. However, every company has different needs, so you need to choose a package that comes with a builder that meets those needs. You may also want to consider a package that provides access to popular CMS options such as Joomla, Drupal, or WordPress.
You will want to choose a hosting package with add-ons that increase your site’s functionality and security. This can include things like DNS services, domain names, and professional email addresses.
Sometimes you don’t know until you try, so you need to choose a web hosting package that offers you a refund if you aren’t happy with the service or features.
Now that you know the components that a web hosting package should contain, you need to figure out what hosting needs your website has. To do this, ask yourself the following questions.
- Are you selling products or services? If so, you’ll need a secure server.
- How much traffic do you anticipate? This will determine how much bandwidth you need.
- Will you include a blog on your site? If so, you’ll need a web host that supports the latest version of PHP.
- Are any of your pages going to have server-side code? Server-side code such as Java, PHP, ColdFusion Markup Language, etc., needs to be supported by your host.
- How often do you plan on updating your website? This will determine how often you need to backup your site.
- How do you want your website built? Do you want to use a site builder or a Content Management System (CMS)?
What is the best web hosting package for a small business?
The best web hosting package for a small business depends on your company’s unique needs. In some cases, you may need a package with a lot of bandwidth and WordPress-optimized hosting capabilities. In other circumstances, you might only need a small amount of bandwidth and a drag-and-drop site builder.