From the outside, web hosting appears to be one of those sources that have become commoditized. Low cost and supposedly low-complexity, web hosting typify the services that formed the early wave of outsourcing.
Today, many businesses are totally dependent on the Internet for their operations, from their website through to their back-office logistics and transport management systems, so the stakes riding on a hosting decision are subsequently higher. So, it’s not necessarily the cost of the hosting service that’s in play, it’s the business revenue that hinges on getting the hosting selecting choice correct.
Not only can you find yourself paying for hosting services you don’t use, but you could cause your visitors or lead generation to corkscrew into the ground thanks to poor maintenance, lack of uptime, load balancing or traffic management.
Perils of Poor Web Hosting
An under performing web hosting service can imperil your business if it is not corrected:
- Negatively impact website search rankings
- Absorb management time and resources
- Undermine your brand’s reputation and suppress website visitor volumes
Here is how poor hosting can affect your SEO
Understanding Your Hosting Needs
Before scheduling a series of interviews with prospective host companies, first be clear about your hosting needs:
- What type of website are you building?
- Are you looking for an off-the-shelf solution?
- Do you plan on integrating Windows applications?
- Does your website require special software?
- What are your anticipated web traffic volumes and do you expect them to change over time?
Clarifying your likely needs will greatly assist both your own business and your prospective host provider; determine the level of fit with a potential solution.
Choosing A Web Hosting Service
Before you commence the search for a web hosting solution, be sure to do your homework about the following questions:
- Be clear about your anticipated hosting needs
- Research prospective host reliability scores and uptime guarantees
- Review the web host upgrading options and trigger costs
- Clarify which hosting features are included in each pricing band and how they impact on your requirements
- Confirm host pricing on both sign up and renewal (some services offer cheap up front fees but heavy renewal costs)
- Check hosting service control panel features
- Read potential host’s Terms of Service to clarify conditions applying to account suspension and server usage policy
- Investigate service features such as site backups, and environmental performance
In the hosting world, one size does not fit all. Different websites will have different requirements based on their characteristics and scale. When selecting a web hosting solution, remember to look beyond price and find the web host that reflect your needs.