Elements Every Online Small Business Owner Needs in a Website Hosting Service
Finding a website hosting service for your small online business website can be challenging. When you’re faced with a variety of options and don’t have the time to sort through them one-by-one, it’s all the more intimidating to know that selecting the right website hosting service will ultimately determine whether your online business ends up being successful or not.
Fortunately, there are a few elements every small online business owner will need from a website hosting service. Learning them makes selecting an ideal website hosting service a little easier to manage.
Continue reading to learn more about what every online small business owner needs from their website hosting service.
As every new online business owner knows, a steady cash flow isn’t always available right away. Above all else, you’ll need a website hosting service that is affordable, with a subscription pricing structure that’s low and easy to understand.
As a small online business owner, you’ll want to look for a service that offers one or more of the following with your monthly subscription costs, so you can keep costs associated with your website hosting down—without sacrificing the features you’ll have access to.
Unlimited and free email accounts
Sometimes website hosting services will charge extra fees for additional email accounts or email services with your hosted website domain. So, if you want to send email from an account associated with your website’s domain, you may be charged extra each month. And if you add additional email accounts for new users as your business grows, you may be charged extra for that too. Be sure to look for website hosting services that don’t charge extra for email accounts associated with your domain.
Free domain name and registration
Some hosting services may require you to pay an additional fee for registering your domain after purchasing. Selecting a website hosting service that includes a domain name for free, and registers it for you without any additional costs, is a great way to keep your overall costs down. Also, keep an eye out for services that allow you to create an unlimited number of subdomains without any additional fees.
Variety of Hosting Options
Not all small online businesses are the same, and some may want to explore different available hosting options at some point in the future. The particular hosting option an online business will choose will depend on its budget, the skillset of its staff, technology access, and any other business requirements they may have. Look for a website hosting service that offers a variety of options, such as cloud-based hosting, shared hosting, colocation hosting, dedicated hosting, WordPress Hosting, and VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting. Why? Because you never know when your business needs will change in the future, and you want a service that you can stay with throughout the lifetime of your online business whenever possible.
Unlimited Disk Space and Bandwidth
As traffic to your website grows, so does its need to have a high bandwidth. If you expect your small business website’s traffic to take off in the next few months (or want it to eventually), then you don’t want to have to worry about hidden fees or limits associated with disk space and bandwidth. You want to select a service that allows you to host and store as much content and as many content files as you need on your website without its speed and accessibility being affected. This is especially important if you need to include SQL databases on your website, and if you’re going to publish a lot of content to grow traffic to your website.
Prevent losing website files for your small business website with a hosting service that offers automatic backup. You never want to be in a situation where you lose critical customer information or valuable content you’ve spent a long time creating. And be sure to select a hosting service that has network attached storage as well, so everything is backed up when larger and unexpected outages occur. The bottom line is this: you want to make sure your files are never lost, accidentally deleted, or damaged.
User-Friendly Website Builder and Control Panel
As a small online business owner, chances are that even if you have staff who can code a website from scratch, they won’t have the time to do so. Choosing a website hosting service that has an easy-to-use website builder interface and control panel will save a lot of valuable time. Look for services that offer drag-and-drop features and user-friendly templates in their website builders. You’ll want to be sure to have access to responsive designs that are optimized for mobile devices as you build your website. And be sure all your content files, account information, and integrations are easy to access in the control panel.
E-Commerce Capabilities and Online Store Builders
If you sell products online, you’ll definitely want access to a website hosting service that has robust e-commerce capabilities and features. Your customers will need to be able to access shopping carts and process credit card payments. And you’ll need features that allow you to track your inventory and better manage your shipping options and services. Remember to look for hosting services that allow you to have SSL certificates too (https vs http), so that all sensitive information is encrypted when it’s traveling from web browsers to web servers.
Access to SEO Apps and Marketing Tools
Any website hosting service that offers easy ways to use tools like Google AdWords and Bing Ads, will get you started off on the right foot in the realm of online marketing for your business website. You’ll also want to ensure your website hosting service allows you to easily index your site for various search engines’ directories, and that the website itself is optimized to be found in search engines. Hosting providers that offer any additional search engine optimization (SEO) services will ensure your website is found through various online avenues, and will make online marketing and generating traffic to your website much easier.
Reliable and Fast Servers
Seek out website hosting providers that have multiple and large data centers with fast servers that have ample security and technical support. You don’t want your small online website or webstore to experience constant outages and downtime, as that will only frustrate your visitors and customers. And look for a hosting service that is known for having fast page load times too. Website visitors are known to abandon a website after only a few seconds if it doesn’t load quickly enough.
24/7 Customer Service Support
Perhaps the most important thing you can do when selecting a website hosting service for your small online business is to ensure you have access to a customer service representative at all times. If there is something you need to update on your website that isn’t working properly or you’re experiencing slow loading times for your pages, you’ll want to be able to contact someone who can help you at any time of the day. Your business’s reputation and revenue depend on it.
Keep this list nearby as you’re searching for the best website hosting service for your small online business, and you’ll be sure to select the “right one” that has everything you’ll need today and tomorrow.