Though most smart businesses today understand the importance of creating quality web content for their websites and blogs in order to engage with existing clients and reaching for potential ones, they often ignore the import process of selecting a reliable web hosting company and generally go for the first available cheap options that most of the time produce hazardous results in the long run.
Things that happen when you make a wrong hosting choice:
So, you really believe choosing the wrong hosting provider cannot affect your business? Well, it’s time to think again. Let’s see the side effects of not going for a reliable host.
- Decreased SEO Ranking
Your overall concern with content marketing is to rank high among search engines so that customers can easily find you. But how will it happen, when your site is repeatedly down every time search engines are attempting to visit.
- Security and Malware Issues
Another one of major concerns, but a good host apart from assisting you with technical support, maintenance and security issues 24/7, will also back up your data to a remote server making it much easier to restore in case of any security breach.
- Loss of Revenue
The biggest setback is the loss in revenue due to the losing out on potential sales and income, an aftereffect of your site continuously going down letting your potential customers not being able to view your blogposts or buy your products and services.
But you don’t want this for your online business, what am I saying, nobody wants any of this ever to happen to them. So, what are your best possible choice? To take the right action at the right time and hope for the best. And by right action, I mean asking the right questions before you zero in on any hosting provider. Let’s take a look at these questions.
Are you available 24/7 for tech support?
A dedicated support team available 24/7 is much more important than you can imagine. Ask them if they offer customer support that deals with billing and account issues or full-fledged support service more specialized in troubleshooting and if they are local and on-site with the server? Also, what kind of response time to expect and whether you have to pay any fee for additional support or not.
How do you propose to handle security breaches?
Find out how often they conduct malware/virus scan along with what security measures are taken to ensure data. You can also ask questions regarding system failure and your site’s capability in detecting and preventing cyberattack. When it comes to the protection of your business’ critical data, leave no stone unturned, ask them everything from firewalls to IPS to security compliances.
Where is the physical location of the server?
Yes, the physical location of the server matters. Ever noticed how Google displays search results based on the geographic location whenever you search something? That’s because your site’s loading speed will decrease (along with drop in SEO rankings) as the distance between visitor’s and server’s location increases. So, it’s always better to have the server located in your country rather than somewhere far.
Do you provide cPanel with its support as well?
For those who do not know, cPanel is the control panel used for managing websites but is generally not offered by many host providers. So, it’s always better to inquire beforehand if your host company provides it along with the support services or not. And if yes, then how to gain access to cPanel without going through AMP and whether it’s possible to set up other user accounts to access cPanel.
How many websites will I be sharing the server with?
You have every right to know exactly how many sites you will be sharing the server with and what is the potential of that server. Now this question is important as it directly affects the speed of your site. Do not compromise your site’s performance by choosing hosts who have a reputation for overloading their servers to maximize profit because the more the number of sites, the slower their speed will be.
How often do you back up the site’s data?
Restoring a good back up of your site is the fastest way of recovering from a hacked website. So, it’s better to inquire about how often they run these backups (provided they do run), making sure that your databases are being backed up as often as your files. Backups should be conducted at least once a day, the more the better. Having a quick access to your data will not only save money but time and work as well.
Does your hosting service include SSL certificate?
SSL or Shared Secure Locket Layer certificate provide security to your credit card transactions, data transfers, logins etc. and is currently the standard security measure in practice, though you might want to check on the level of security as they tend to change from host to host. Also ask for information regarding security updates on your Content Management System, themes and plugins.
How easily can I scale up/down if the need arises?
Often times you will need to scale up or down depending on the market. Ask your hosting provider whether you can increase or decrease bandwidth and storage accordingly and if there are any extra charges involved in this. Choose the hosting provider that is flexible in nature and provide regular feedback on your site’s traffic apart from offering different packages to accommodate different SMBs.
What if I am not satisfied with your service?
Enquire well before signing any contract with the hosting provider as to whether you will be penalized or fully refunded in case you’re not satisfied with them or if moving to a new host will result in downtime or missing links. Check out the different satisfaction guarantee policies and migration services, thereupon opt the host that best suits your needs along with offering some form of guarantee or trial period.
Having settled on what type of website you want to build is the initial step, finding a reliable web hosting provider that offers features relevant to your needs is the real challenge which is something similar to finding a needle in a haystack. So, how do you find your suitable host? Simple, by asking these 9 (above-mentioned) questions to your short-listed web hosting companies that will not only give you a clear idea about their work’s insights but also the level and the quality of services they offer to their clients.
Author Bio: Janet T Clinton is a web design professional working at Clap Creative, a web design company in Los Angeles. She has written several articles related to technology, e-commerce and entrepreneurship. You can follow her on Twitter as well @janettclinton