As the owner of a small business, you probably put a lot of time and effort into your company. Between running the day-to-day operations, marketing to new customers, and perhaps even making your products or providing services, it is a huge commitment. Hiring the right web hosting company can be one of the most critical things that you do to grow that business.
You already know that having an online presence is critical to compete in today’s marketplace. There are a myriad of web hosting plans out there, all offering different advantages, different pricing, and a variety of services for your money. With so many demands on your time it’s tough to analyze every detail of every plan out there, which is where the reviews from a place like webhostinggeeks.com can come in handy.
The Perils of Choosing the Wrong Web Hosting Plan
Before you choose just any web hosting plan, consider some of the potential risks and consequences of getting one that doesn’t suit your business. Some of the pitfalls you may encounter with a bad web hosting plan or company include:
- Revenue losses: When your site is down, your customers can’t find you or spend money in your ecommerce store. Not only does this lead to lost revenue during the downtime, it can also negatively affect perceptions of your business, leading people to shop with your competitors and resulting in a lost customer for life. A USA Today study revealed that on average downtime costs businesses about $ 50,000 every hour. Your own costs depend on business size and industry, but it’s easy to see why it’s important to minimize downtime.
- Poor SEO rankings: For customers to find you online, you need high search engine rankings—which commonly come from search engine optimization (SEO). Search engine algorithms determine which sites have the most relevant results for the audience, and those calculations rely on metrics like minimal downtime, fast loading speeds, and quality content to find the best sites. If you’re lacking in these areas because of your web hosting plan, it could be hurting your SEO.
- Security vulnerabilities: Good web hosting companies will have top-notch security systems in place and backup information so attacks won’t bring your entire site down. Plus they offer technical support from experts if you do get hacked.
Shared, VPS, or Dedicated Hosting?
There are three different types of hosting plans out there: shared hosting, virtual private servers (VPS), and dedicated hosting. For most small businesses the best option is to choose a shared account to begin. As the company grows you may need more dedicated resources, which a VPS or a dedicated hosting plan can provide, but as a small business just starting out, shared hosting is often the best and most affordable choice.
What to Look for in Your Web Hosting Plan
Having a website is great, but only as long as it’s up online. While there are always some small service interruptions, try to find a hosting service that offers uptime as close to 100% as you can get.
Accessing customer support 24/7 is one crucial component of choosing a web hosting plan. Since the Internet is always up, you need a company that can respond to your needs any time of the day or night and take care of problems you might encounter.
While a cheap price isn’t the most important criteria, you shouldn’t be overpaying for web hosting services. Consider your needs, the level of traffic you expect, and the need for additional features and services like e-commerce before you choose a plan.
Your online needs might start out small, but as your business grows your website should grow right along with it. Choose a hosting plan that allows you to scale up and add new features and services as needed.
Ranking the Top 5 Web Hosts
The experts at webhostinggeeks.com have put together a list of the top five web hosting companies based on available features and customer reviews. They all have a couple of things in common—including 99.9% uptime and 24/7 customer support—and then each has some of its own additional features. Here are the most highly recommended:
This is one of the best options for businesses with an array of e-commerce tools for both the novice website user and the expert alike. Their web hosting packages are centered around the needs of customers, and they offer 24/7 support from technicians that work in-house. They even safeguard your website by backing up your data automatically every 48 hours, and offer an industry-leading 90-day money back guarantee. They offer shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting options, as well as support for resellers.
The number two spot on the list goes to WebHostingHub, which also boasts a 90-day full money back guarantee on plans. They provide U.S.-based support and have options of either an east coast or west coast data center. Plus customers get access to free website application tools through Softaculous, and a free premium website builder.
Web hosting plans from Arvixe offer free website transfer and no hidden fees. While their money-back guarantee is shorter at just 60 days, shared hosting accounts can get a 20% lifetime discount with unlimited bandwidth, or you can opt for VPS or dedicated hosting with a higher level of service.
GreenGeeks offers a shorter guarantee period of just 30 days, but offers unlimited bandwidth and space, and a free site builder. They do provide “green-based server hosting technology” that promises to be environmentally friendly and starts at an affordable price.
If you need instant website setup and have a lot of data to transfer, FatCow provides you with a viable option that is reliable and easy to use. The free domain registration and 30-day money back guarantee also help put your mind at ease.
Choosing the Best
Ultimately the web hosting plan that you choose for your business will depend a lot on what you need from the service. The best web hosts will offer you the ability to customize for your needs, unlimited access to features, helpful technical support, a guarantee that you will like what you get (or your money back), plus innovative features.
Even if you’re not technically inclined, take the time to research each business web hosting option so you can make sure you get the one that is best suited for your needs.
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