If you’re planning on having a website for your small business created, make sure you have the best web hosting service possible. Also, ensure the hosting service you choose is going to be affordable.
There are thousands of hosting companies to choose from, which can make it difficult to figure out which one is best. If you see a hosting provider 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 the right web host matters for your business
- Questions you can ask to find the best web hosting provider
- How to get started with a web host
Why Is Finding the Best Web Host Important for Your Business?
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 that are scams. In addition, even if a hosting company offers 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 Should You Ask To Help Find the Best Hosting for Your Small Business?
Once you have a good idea of the type of hosting you need for your website, ask the following 10 questions. In most cases, you can find the information right on the website of the hosting company.
In some situations, you may have to contact the hosting provider’s sales team to get an answer. Once you have the information needed, you can decide which company offers the best web hosting services for you.
1. What uptime guarantee do you offer?
With web hosting, nothing is more important than uptime and reliability. If a hosting company can’t keep your website online and available to visitors, it’s not doing its 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, find out its historical uptime rate to see if it may still be worth considering.
2. What types of hosting are available?
There are several types of web hosting available. Knowing which one you need 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:
3. Is it free to upgrade to a new hosting package?
Most small businesses start out needing a simple shared hosting package. If the site becomes more advanced or you start generating much traffic, you may need to upgrade to a VPS or even a dedicated server. Should your site reach that point, be sure the hosting company can upgrade you to a new type of hosting easily and without downtime.
4. What type of security do you have to protect websites?
Cybersecurity is extremely important, and for many companies, that starts with protecting the website. Your hosting provider should offer a variety of things to keep your site protected. Some of the most common security features offered by reputable hosting companies include:
- Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) mitigation
- Virus and malware scanning
- Email scanning
5. Do you offer a free secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate?
SSL is an important type of security that helps ensure your site is protected and 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, make sure 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, it’s best if your hosting company supports it.
7. What type of backup policy do you offer?
It is always good to keep the files for your website safe and protected. While website problems are rare, a good backup policy helps ensure you never lose any valuable information. Asking about what type of backup policy the company has and how often it runs ensures your site is always protected.
8. How responsive is your technical support?
If something goes wrong with your website, make sure it’s fixed as soon as possible. Whether the problem was caused by you or your hosting company, contacting the technical support team is the first step in fixing it. With this in mind, make sure your hosting provider offers support 24/7/year-round. In addition, you can usually expect the company will 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 many factors 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, seek at least 30-40ms speed on the internal network to ensure it isn’t causing any latency.
10. Do you offer a satisfaction guarantee?
There’s no way to be 100% sure you are happy with a hosting company until you try it. If you choose a company and end up disappointed, you should be able to back out and try a different provider without paying a thing. Learn about what type of satisfaction guarantee it offers so you aren’t putting your money at risk. Many 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 to ask as you seek the right hosting company, 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 can meet your needs. If you find one you like, sign up and give it a try to see just how effective it can be for your small business.
Frequently Asked Questions About Finding the Best Web Hosting Services
How do you contact a web hosting company to ask questions?
Typically you can find the web hosting company’s contact information on its website, usually in a “contact us” section. The sales team can often help you.
How many web hosting companies should you look into before choosing one?
The more web hosting companies you can research — especially well-rated ones — the better informed you will be to choose a great one for your business.
How should beginners shop for web hosting?
If you are new to web hosting, it is best to study various well-liked web hosting companies and read reviews about them. Also, it is important to check for the best features a company can offer. Look for things like beginner-friendly web hosting with solid customer support, a simple interface, decent storage and security, and reliable uptime.