Choosing a web host should be based on your needs, both short and long term. Indeed, from the beginning, you must think about the development of your activities, to avoid transferring your site after a few months. Security is another important point, to protect your data and that of your customers from hackers.
What are the factors to prioritize the first time you choose a web host? Through this article we make you discover the essentials to allow you to start your business with the best conditions.
A secure connection
Regardless of the size of your business, know that you are not immune to hackers. Even the most protected sites take all their measures to face cyber attacks.
When customers arrive on your site, they know if their data is secure. Through your HTTPS address, which shows that you are using an SSL certificate, they trust your system. By the same principle, your own data is also protected.
Good news for your SEO: search engines take into account the reliability of sites. The proof is that if you click on an unsecured site, you are warned.
Sufficient storage for data
When launched, your site contains, in general, the basic content. If you’re selling online, as you go, you’ll have to manage your customer information, order processing, other product integrations, and more. If your host gives you very little space, you’ll have a hard time growing your online business.
If you’re going to grow your business (and you certainly are), think about the storage you’re entitled to. Most hosts include this price in the offer. However, this is usually a limited space. Ask about the possibility of extension.
It is important to know if the provider offers a shared server, or a dedicated server:
- In the first option, you may experience bottlenecks if you are a large company that receives a lot of traffic.
- The second option, although more reliable for large sites, obviously has a much higher cost.
See what suits you best.
The structure and the tools available
Most of the time, web hosting providers offer plugins, software, which allow you to optimize your site and promote it.
Obviously, if you plan to sell directly online, you must choose a host that allows it.
To receive payments online, make sure that the platform supports the payment method you want to set up, and which best suits your future customers.
The evolutionary integration of new services must be possible. Expect to have to add options that you didn’t think of from the start. Find out about these possibilities in advance.
Bandwidth and fluidity
Sites that take a long time to load have low conversions. The fluidity of navigation is therefore one of the points that retain a customer on a site (apart from the products that interest him, of course). The user experience must be satisfactory.
Don’t just measure your loading time “by chance”. Indeed, by doing a test when your site does not yet have enough content, you risk deceiving yourself. Hence the importance of finding out beforehand about the bandwidth provided by your host.
The more customers you have, the busier your site will be. So, don’t make the mistake of attracting a lot of customers, without having adequate means to manage them.
Visitor feedback, whether negative or positive, will have a huge impact on the future of your business.
The cost of the domain name
In general, hosts include the cost of the domain name in a pack. Some even offer this service free of charge, at least during the first year. If the host can, at the same time, offer a pack of personalized email addresses, that’s even better.
First, think of a professional domain name, which will highlight your activities. This is particularly the case with hostinger which offers a domain name worth 8.99 euros in the majority of their offers.
It is obvious that you must think about renewing your domain name. Even if the first year is free, establish your budget by considering the real price of hosting, over the years. This will save you from unpleasant surprises later!
Technical support available
When you start, you will go through a phase of familiarization with the functioning of your site. You will therefore need permanent support. If your provider offers this support, you won’t have to look elsewhere for support.
Moreover, it is preferable to use technicians who are already familiar with the system. The ideal is to have a support service available at all hours, and every day, even on weekends. Imagine if you had to wait two or three days before fixing a bug on your site and it was critical!
Sometimes, even though the service is offered, the assistants are busy with a lot of customers. Make sure your request won’t be ignored, when you need help in running your site.
Many companies nowadays opt for services that use renewable energies. They are not wrong because, if a server works at all times, it needs available energies. Think, in fact, that when the server is down, your site will not be available on the network.
You have understood that apart from the service you render to the planet, it is your own site that interests you. This leads you to consider the backup system. Choose a host that offers automatic backup of your data.
If you are ever the victim of an attack or a virus, you must be able to restore your site without delay and down to the smallest detail. It will also allow you not to lose your customers. No one wishes this on others, but it is always advisable to take precautions.
All web hosts are created equal, but it is up to a site owner to find the one that provides the services they need. It is therefore normal that you seek the supplier who offers you everything you need to facilitate the beginnings of your online business.
The important thing is to think long-term, and not settle for start-up options. Beware of hidden costs. If there are free services, ask about their validity over time. Leave nothing to chance, and you will be able to quietly expand your fields of action.