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Purchasing web hosting for your business based on price

By Staff

Choices Based on Price

Cheap is very tempting. It’s very true that “you get what you pay for.” It holds truer when paying for technical support services through your web host. It can be tempting and disastrous at the same time. The Internet is saturated with companies offering cut-rate hosting, loaded with astounding features!  They have you caught up in the hype of the moment and you think that it makes sense to save a few dollars. Think again. Consider how much you would be saving, not just in terms of cost but in terms of technical support. If you run a business site, saving $5, $10 or even $15 a month is not that big a saving. These kinds of so-called savings can stop a business cold. It is wise to look beyond price when choosing your web host. You need to also consider the following 3 suggestions.

1.                 Usability

What good is saving a few dollars if your website is difficult to navigate? Usability is key to finding things on your site and finding your way around easily. If you have a difficult time, just think of how it will be for your clients. For instance, if the control panel is not easy to use, you can find yourself traveling in circles trying to enter it. You need to be able to easily manage simple functions like your email accounts, checking traffic status or editing html files right on the server. If you have difficulty performing any of these regular tasks, then usability is definitely an issue.

2.                 Service

When it comes to service, technical support should not be your only concern. You need to make sure that in addition to the technical support you need that your web host offers personal service as well. Some hosts offer personal services like answering your email for you. This is a nice benefit especially if you are trying to focus on day-to-day business tasks. Technical support is a must but personal service goes a long way as well. You won’t mind paying a little more for it and it could save you considerable amounts of time and money in the long run. Seek out providers that are continually looking for ways to improve support services to better meet your needs. You should also have access to a toll-free number to reach technical help anytime you need to.

3.                 Reliability

Let’s face it, your web business needs to be up and functional 24/7, year round. Knowing your host provider’s “uptime” is critical to keeping your business running smoothly.  There are many things that can bring down a site, such as a form not functioning. This could mean lost sales and catastrophe for your business.

Testing the Waters

Once you've got a list of service providers narrowed down, visit their websites to make sure they can actually meet your needs. Don’t choose one that doesn’t offer a money-back satisfaction guarantee for both the monthly and installation fees. Try this little test to make sure that they provide good customer service and are quick to respond to your inquiry. Start by emailing a list of questions to them, even if you can find the answers on their website. Remember that it is a test to see how fast and courteous they respond. If they don’t respond by the end of the business day, drop them from your list immediately. Chances are they will be just as slow to respond to any website issues you may have in the future. Only when you receive an e-mail response before the end of the same business day answering all of your questions should that host be considered.

WHOIS

It pays to thoroughly check out any potential host provider that will be hosting your website. Once you create a list of what seems like reliable hosting providers, do a whois search on your list to find out how long they've had their websites. If it is less than a year, move on! Also look for the type of hardware your site will be hosted on. Older technology will literally kill your business. If you web pages load too slowly for your customers, you will lose them. Pentium IIs, 400mhz or better on multiple T3 or OC3 lines will probably deliver what you need. Keep in mind that an overcrowded server will slow down delivery as well.

Web Host Control Panel

When searching for different features offered by various web hosts, look for ones that offer a control panel. Having access to a control panel will allow you to manage all aspects of your account with your web host. Most web hosting companies offersa control panel as well as free website building tools.  They offer control panel use to their customer in a variety of languages as well. Control panels are now available in Spanish, German, French or English. They use a customizable, private company branded control panel that automates your site management requirements. This powerful tool reduces your need for technical support significantly. There is no drain on your time or profits.

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