Evaluate Business Web Site Hosting




Business web site hosting services....it is absolutely critical for your business that you choose the right hosting company for your web site.

business web hosting

As you know, the requirements of a business web site are quite a bit different from those of a personal web site because it is so much more critical that a business web site.


Important For Business Web Sites

The standards are higher for a business web site. It must :

  • be easily findable by entering the url or by search engine.
  • load quickly.
  • have a professional look and feel.
  • establish credibility for your business.
  • be easily updated whenever you need it to be.
  • not experience much server "downtime"
  • enable you to conduct business online if this fits your business model.

To ensure that business needs are met be sure to research and compare various business web site hosting companies.


Your Business Web Site Hosting Plan - 8 Essential Must Haves

1) Speed

For a business website speed is imperative.

Customers will become bored, annoyed and distracted if they are faced with a site "loading" icon.

And many will not wait but will move on to another site - perhaps one of your competitors. :(

To avoid this potential disaster, be sure your web site is designed to load quicklly and is optimized for the internet.

Be very sure that the business web site hosting company you choose has new, high speed servers that are not overloaded with data.

If the servers are overloaded with data, it will take more time to access, retreive and serve your data to your customers.


2) Bandwidth

Your business site will need sufficient bandwidth allocated to it by your web host to be able to handle the amount of activity at your site.

What the heck is bandwidth anyway?

I'll share a very basic description of bandwidth here to convey its meaning - however for a much more in depth explanation please visit this page on bandwidth.

Basically you need to ensure that you have enough bandwidth to accommodate all of your website visitors in a speedy fashion.

Let's think of the internet as a highway for a minute. It's often called the information highway.

Imagine a stretch of highway between the server hosting your website and the computers of those visiting your website.

Bandwidth is like the number of lanes on the highway.

How much bandwidth you need depends on the traffic (or number of visitors) to your website.

If you have only one car on the highway it can move down that highway pretty fast no matter how many lanes there are. So if you have a web site that you expect will not have a large number of visitors, you need minimal bandwidth.

But what if you anticipate lots of visitors to your website? Many visitors that visit frequently and visit many pages on your site?

Clearly it is going to matter how many lanes are in that highway when there are lots of cars travelling on it. With lots of lanes (lots of bandwidth) all the cars (visitors to your site) can be easily accommodated.

Web hosts measure how much bandwidth you use and may charge you extra if you go over the amount specified in your plan.

Most small business and personal sites will find that 1G (one gigabyte) bandwidth per month is sufficient.


3) Domain Name

Your business needs to have its own domain name.

Many hosting companies will provide a free domain name when you sign up with them to host your site. This will usually mean that as long as you host with them, they will pay the initial registration fee and the registrar fees (between $5 to $20) for your site annually as part of the plan.

Be sure that you and not the business web site hosting company are the official owner of the domain name.

If at some time you decide to switch hosts, you want to be sure you own and control your domain name.

Be sure to read the fine print of the hosting plan! Some business web site hosting companies retain ownership of domain names and just lend them out to you while you host with them.

Be sure you are the owner!

Read more about (link) how to select and register the best domain name for your business web site. Especially if you plan to conduct your business mostly online, the exact domain name can make a huge difference with how easy it is to attract traffic to your site.


4) Email Addresses

Be sure to evaluate all business web site hosting plans as to the number of included email addresses.

The number of staff and/or departments you have in your business will dictate the number of email address you need.

For example, you may want an email address with your own name as president or owner of the business. Your billing department (or person) may need its own email address.

The email addresses will have the following format - somename@yourdomainname.

For a very small business one email address may be all you need.

Most business web site hosting plans provide include between 1 to 5 free email addresses.


5) Reliability

You will put a great deal of effort into the quality of your business website.

You most definitely don't want to hear complaints from customers that your website is not findable or accessible because your server is down.

If customers type in your domain name and get an error , they may not realize it is not your fault.

People don't always realize that this is a problem with your business web site hosting company - and they may develop a perception that there is a problem with you or your business.

Be sure to research how reliable your host is when you compare business web site hosting companies. It is really important!

Most companies publish their "up time" statistics. This is a good measure of their reliability.

Good business web site hosting companies have their servers up more than 99% of the time.


6) Easy To Use Software

Be sure that the web host you choose has the software you require for your business needs.

If you are planning to sell products or services online for example you will need at a minimum a shopping cart program and a mechanism to collect payment. For a more complex or large operation, you may also require storefront software.

You may be adding a blog or forum to your business website. If so be sure the host includes or supports the applicable software for this.

Learn more about the different types of ecommerce and other business software here.


7) Excellent Technical Support

Excellent technical support is critical to a business web site!

When you compare business web site hosting companies be sure to find out these important things about their technical support:

  • number of technical support methods - by email, live chat, or by telephone? the more ways the better!
  • is technical support always free? What services are charged for?
  • is there a toll free technical support telephone number? If not each call to tech serivces will cost you long distance fees
  • availability of tech support - 24 hours a day is preferrable for business sites
  • how knowledgeable are the technical staff?
  • how long will you need to wait to get in contact with tech support?
  • is it easy to communicate with tech support staff? Do you speak the same language?

While you compare business web site hosting providers be sure to evaluate the availablity and quality of technical support.


For more information download this detailed free special report Evaluating Small Business Web Site Hosting Providers

 

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