Choosing a web host is the first vital step you’ll take toward having your own website. Your web host will provide space on the Internet for your site so that the whole world can view it. But, choosing a web host is not as easy as it may seem.
There are a few mistakes to avoid while choosing your host. I’d like to share these with you below, and explain why it’s important to avoid these mistakes at all costs – especially if you wish to start an online business.
Here are the four common mistakes to avoid when choosing a web host:
1. Free Web Space
Remember seeing all those ads that mention “free web space”? Please avoid participating in these services. In most cases, the reason it’s free is because the company will place advertisements for other websites all over your web page. This defeats the entire purpose of having “your own” web business.
Why should you have to give your potential customers away? Shouldn’t you be able to keep the visitors that you have paid to receive through your own ad campaigns?
With “free web space” sites, you’ll give away more business than it would cost you to get your own domain and hosting service. It’s not worth it.
2. Limited hosting
Avoid hosting packages that will not allow you to add order forms, statistics, or multiple email accounts to your website. These are necessary tools for any webmaster who desires to open an online business.
It’s best to choose a hosting service that offers many options such as:
- Multiple POP Email Accounts
- Dedicated Hosting (get it if your site attracts sizable traffic)
- Secure Servers
- Web Usage Statistics
- Web Space Allocation (you can get how much web space you’ll need)
- URL Redirection
These are just a few “necessary” services to look for when choosing a web host for your new website.
3. Low Cost Hosting
Watch out for very low cost hosting packages (i.e. $2.50 per month). They usually require something in return, which can take away profits from your online business.
I must admit that it does sound appealing to sign up for free or very low cost hosting, but count the costs before signing up…
Every time an advertisement banner is placed on your website, it’s designed to get your visitor to click out of your website and go some place else. Most free or low cost web hosting services place these banners at the very top of your web page – giving the visitor an opportunity to click out of your site before getting to the first words of your presentation.
One complaint that comes to mind about a free hosting service was that the company’s server became overcrowded and the customer could not get their website to come up 50% of the time. When this happens, your business is closed – and you have no control over this situation. Read the article The Perils of Shared Web Hosting
4. Inadequate Support
The ability to reach the technical support folks at your web host and the speed with which they address issues on your website are critical.
When your website goes down, you need to be able to let your web host know about the problem as soon as possible. There are a lot of things that can bring a website down, from overcrowding of server resources due to shared hosting to plugin conflict when upgrading plugins to hacker or brute force attacks (read the article Common Problems of Doing Business on the Internet). You don’t want a situation where you wait for 12 hours before support can respond to your request for assistance — that means your business is shut down for that 12 hours!
One final point about hosting before closing. If you get your own domain name, and your own hosting, your visitors will have more confidence in your site, and will be more willing to buy your products or services.
Search for a web host that offers fabulous service, affordable rates, and everything you’ll need for your online business. You’ll be glad you did!