Smart business owners understand the importance of a strong online presence. They know that this exponentially increases the likelihood that their business will succeed and that it is a relatively inexpensive and easy way to advertise. Steve Olenski, a Forbes contributor, said, “A website can rapidly increase brand awareness, help new customers find you and showcase what the business can do for them.” If you’ve done all you need to do, acquired your domain, in your business name or in something as close to it as possible. You’ve found the right domain registrar and web host. You can sit back, relax and watch the flow of traffic. But did you choose the right web host? If you think that there is no such thing as a wrong hosting choice then you need to think again. How do you know that your web host is an overall positive influence on your income?
This article provides you with 10 criteria to rate your web host.
Does your web host provide you with at least 99% uptime? Can they back this with data that you can verify? If your site goes down, even for a minute, that is one minute of potential customers being unable to view your website contents, your blog posts, buy things on your online shop or even click affiliate marketing links and that equals revenue loss. In 2013, Amazon had an outage that cost approximately $5,000,000. An outage on your website might not cost you as much but you still need to make certain that the chances of that happening are next to none.
Can your web host affect your SEO ranking? How does your choice of a web host affect your SEO ranking? Having a good web host might not be able to give you a boost in your SEO ranking, but if you are able to rank high in search results, customers will be able to find you faster. This could be adversely affected if your site happens to be down or slow when search engines are trying to visit. To avoid the negative consequences of having the wrong web hosting be sure to confirm that your host can guarantee you the best in uptime, downtime and speed.
What does your web host offer in terms of protection? Over 1 million strains of malware are created daily, some needing only an IP address to launch. Businesses are often on the receiving end of target attacks and it takes only one infection (which may not even be on your own website) for your site to be blacklisted. What does your web host offer in terms of protection from malware attacks? What security features and updates do they have to give you extra assurance that your website is comparatively safe?
Does your web hosting service provide sufficient back up services? There are several accidents that could happen to you that would require you to restore from backup, including recovering from malware and virus attacks. There are many instances where a backup could be a life-saver for your website so always ask about the backup services your web host provides. Some provide it for free and have it built into the web hosting fee while others provide it as an add-on at an extra fee. Whatever the case, do not fail to avail yourself of the best back up services available to you from your web host.
Do you know where your web-hosting service provider is located? It might be a good idea to maximize your SEO rankings by choosing a web host located in the same country as your business. Some bloggers have claimed to notice an impact on their SEO rankings when they changed the location of their servers.
Some hosting services make it very difficult to impossible to make any changes to your website. Before you sign up with any host, make sure that they can give you access to the server, let you create new email accounts and make changes to the server settings as required by you. Also, the ability to easily to port to another web host without much hassle is a desirable trait for your web host.
Right now, you may be a small business with minimal website needs, but as your business evolves, your website needs will expand as well. Ensure that your web host offers you the ability to scale up and/or down as the need dictates. It could provide you with the opportunity to cut operating costs without the fear of not having the needed resources at the right time.
What kind of support does your web host offer? Is it On-Site or Off- site? Are they available 24 hours? Is it free or is there a service fee? A good web host should have an entire team of customer service staff that is ready to give assistance at the drop of a hat. Especially during downtimes, in the instance of a malware/virus attack or even the “I accidentally deleted my entire web directory” moment. They should be ready to help you get back up and running as soon as possible.
Bandwidth controls how much data a website can transmit, and It also determines the page load speed of your website. In 2016, the average speed of internet users in the US was rated at 19.27Mbs. Your web visitors are more likely to leave if your page doesn’t finish loading in 2 to 3 seconds. Although if your website is not about transmitting heavy data, such as videos, images, and so on, you can make do with subscribing for lower bandwidths.
Before you finalize any agreements with your web host, be sure to read about what you would need to do if you need to change web hosts. How easy is it to leave your current web host? If they put in clauses that make it almost impossible for you to change services than it is a good idea to shop for another web host.
Before you make the final decision on committing to a web host, try to make sure that all these boxes are ticked to ensure your SEO rankings are at the highest they could possibly be to help increase the chances of success for your business.
Photo courtesy of Pexels user Lorenzo Cafaro