To be always accessible to online visitors, your small business website should be maintained by a good, affordable web hosting company.
Web hosts are companies that provide servers to their customers so that their sites are connected to the Internet 24/7 all year. The number of servers that these companies operate range from a few units to thousands of servers in their data centres.
A large company may need a dedicated server, that’s one server that provides the site needs for this company exclusively. For small businesses, one server provides all the services for any small businesses. The number can even run to thousands of sites.
This is known as shared web hosting. For the best companies, the online performance of a large company site, hosted by a dedicated server, is little different from that of a small business website with shared web hosting. That’s high value professional service at work.
But if the service is below par, the small business owner will be stuck with a site that performs very slowly. This can be a killer when it comes to sales opportunities. Studies show that if a visitor goes to your site, and it takes 10 seconds or more for your home page to load, then that visitor will leave and you’ve lost an income opportunity.
The main factor for choosing the best web host for your site is not price – but performance. Price is relative because some of the best firms have such a large customer base, and have been in the business for so long, that they can afford to offer “cheap” rates. But “cheap” only relates to price because these companies provide top rated service performance.
In choosing the best company to maintain your small business website, what quality hosting services should you look for?
- Speed performance. How fast do your web pages load?
- Long term reputation. How long is the company rated among the best in the industry?
- Reliability and uptime. The industry-best standard is 99.9%
- Standard features such as PHP, Perl, MySQL, and other bundled software; email accounts, and domain registration
- Customer support. The level of support may vary from one representative to another within the same company, but the over-all experience should be professional and timely.
- Price. This is a key factor. Remember, you can get the best web hosting service at a very affordable pricing range.
Best and affordable are not necessarily incompatible terms for the same host company.