If you’re planning on having a website for your small business created, make sure that you have the best web hosting service possible. You also want to make sure that the hosting service you choose is going to be affordable.
There are thousands of different hosting companies out there to choose from, which can make it difficult to figure out which one is best. If you see a hosting provider that you’re considering, make sure to find the answers to the 10 questions found on this page to ensure you’re getting what you need.
Why Finding the Best Web Host Is Important for Your Business
- What uptime guarantee do you offer?
- What types of hosting are available?
- Is it free to upgrade to a new hosting package?
- What type of security do you have in place to protect websites?
- Do you offer a free SSL certificate?
- Do you allow add-on domains?
- What type of backup policy do you offer?
- How responsive is your technical support?
- How fast is your internal network?
- Do you offer a satisfaction guarantee?
One of the first things to be aware of with web hosting is that not all companies are the same. There are a lot of low-quality hosting providers out there that are little more than scams. In addition, even if a hosting company does offer good services, that doesn’t mean they’ll be good for your specific site.
For example, some hosting companies specialize in offering dedicated server hosting. While this is an important service, most small businesses only need shared hosting or maybe a virtual private server (VPS), so this company would not be a good fit.
What to Ask To Help You Find the Best Hosting for Your Small Business
Once you have a good idea of the type of hosting you need for your website, make sure you ask the following 10 questions. In most cases, you’ll be able to find the answers to these questions right on the website of the hosting company.
In some situations, you may have to reach out to the hosting provider’s sales team to get an answer. Once you have answers to these questions, you can decide which company offers the best web hosting services for you.
1. What Uptime Guarantee Do You Offer
When it comes to web hosting, there’s nothing more important than uptime and reliability. If a hosting company isn’t able to keep your website online and available to visitors, they aren’t doing their job. Most good web hosting providers offer an uptime guarantee of 99.9%, though some go as far as 99.99%. If a hosting company you’re considering doesn’t offer a guarantee, make sure to find out what their historical uptime rate has been to see if they may still be worth considering.
2. What Types of Hosting Are Available?
There are several different types of web hosting available. Knowing which one you need today, and what you may need to upgrade to in the future, is important. The following are the most common types of hosting that companies should offer:
- Shared hosting
- Virtual private servers (VPS)
- Cloud hosting
- Dedicated servers
3. Is it Free to Upgrade to a New Hosting Package?
Most small businesses are going to start out needing a simple shared hosting package. If the site becomes more advanced or you start generating a lot of traffic, you may need to upgrade to a VPS or even a dedicated server. If your site reaches that point, you want to be sure that the hosting company can upgrade you to a new type of hosting easily and without any downtime.
4. What Type of Security Do You Have in Place to Protect Websites?
Cyber security is extremely important, and for many companies, that starts with protecting the website. Your hosting provider should offer a variety of different things to help keep your site protected. Some of the most common security features offered by good hosting companies include:
- distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) mitigation
- Virus and malware scanning
- Email scanning
5. Do You Offer a Free SSL Certificate?
Secure sockets layer (SSL) is an important type of security that helps to ensure not only that your site is protected, but also that users who visit your site are kept safe. In addition to being important for security, having an SSL certificate in place is also important for SEO, which is essential if you want to get traffic to your site.
6. Do You Allow Add-on Domains?
If you ever plan on having more than one website, you’ll want to make sure that your hosting company allows multiple add-on domains. There are many reasons why having multiple domains is important for small businesses, and whether you’re doing that from the start or only want to consider it in the future, you want your hosting company to support it.
7. What Type of Backup Policy Do You Offer?
You always want to keep the files for your website safe and protected. While problems with websites are rare, a good backup policy helps to ensure you never lose any valuable information. Asking about what type of backup policy they have, and how often it runs, helps to ensure your site is always protected.
8. How Responsive Is Your Technical Support?
If something goes wrong with your website, you want to make sure that it’s fixed as soon as possible. Whether the problem was caused by you or your hosting company, contacting technical support team is going to be the first step in getting it fixed. With this in mind, you want to make sure that your hosting provider offers support 24/7/365. In addition, you should be able to expect that they’ll reply to your request within minutes when your site is offline.
9. How Fast Is Your Internal Network?
Having your site load quickly for visitors is very important. While there are many factors that impact a site’s load speed, the internal network of the hosting company is one of the most important. This means learning about the type of connectivity that runs from your site’s hosting server through the various internal devices until it reaches the external Internet. In most cases, you want at least 1Gbps speed on the internal network to ensure that it isn’t causing any type of latency.
10. Do You Offer a Satisfaction Guarantee?
At the end of the day, there’s no way to be 100% sure that you are happy with a hosting company until you try it out yourself. If you choose a company and end up disappointed with them, you should be able to back out and try a different provider without paying a thing. Learn about what type of satisfaction guarantee they offer so you aren’t putting your money at risk. Most good hosting companies offer a 30-day money-back guarantee for most types of hosting services.
What Should You Do Next?
Now that you know what types of questions you should be asking to find the right hosting company, you need to start looking at the various options available. At Digital.com, we’re evaluating all the top hosting providers constantly to see which ones offer the best possible services for our readers.
Consider reading our list of the best web hosting providers to see if any of them can meet your needs. If you find one you like, sign up and give them a try to see just how effective they can be for your small business.