A hosting service is a company that provides the tools and technologies clients need for a website, including security, an internet connection, and storage space. They also offer email hosting, DDoS monitoring, domain registration, SSL certificates, backups, and one-click WordPress installation.
Small businesses that purchase a viable web hosting plan will reap the benefits of an online presence without having to buy and deal with managing their servers. Here’s what to look for in the hosting options available to you.
Essential features to consider
When you’re just starting out as a small business, the notion of hosting might be a blur. It’s often the last thing on an entrepreneur’s mind, but it shouldn’t be. Your website is your face to the world, especially if you have an online business. Here are several essential features to consider when choosing the right hosting option for your needs.
The price you can expect to pay for web hosting depends on what type you choose, your required resources, and the term of the contract. The best value for money usually comes from a plan that includes free domains, unlimited email accounts, SSL certificates, and various other features.
You might consider cPanel hosting in this context. What is cPanel hosting? It’s actually among the most popular and best-known control panels. Usually, it’s paired with WHM (Web Host Manager), which has administrative control over the server and manages multiple sites.
The cPanel dashboard provides various SEO features, web files, stats, MySQL, and data tracking. The price of cPanel hosting ranges from $15.99 to $53.99. Currently, there are five different payment plans.
Other important factors include uptime, support, storage, monitoring, bandwidth, domains, and email. Here is a more detailed look into each.
Your hosting provider should guarantee reliable uptime and high page loading speeds. Do not commit to any provider that offers uptime below 99.9%.
Test their customer support before committing. Ideally, there should be more than one support channel. For example, they should have a live chat, email, and a phone number to call. You need a phone number because the live chat, which should respond in a few seconds, could be an unhelpful bot.
Think about what storage capacity you will need. Shared hosting is the cheapest option, but its capacity can be limited. The platform should be reliable enough to handle your website traffic.
Look for a hosting service with 24/7 monitoring, DDoS protection, and automated backups.
Bandwidth and domains
Your host should have enough bandwidth to handle traffic, including unexpected surges. Ask for a free domain or a discounted one with a long-term agreement.
A Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate is essential for your search engine rankings and website security. Search engines punish sites without one by pushing them down in the rankings. It’s never wise to skimp on an SSL certificate. A padlock in the browser indicates the presence of one. In 2021, Google experimented by replacing this icon with a down-arrow one.
Look for a web host with a user-friendly dashboard and control panel. Having cPanel hosting will make website management a piece of cake. Publishing and editing content, managing domains, and setting up email accounts will be easy.
Some hosting services have drag-and-drop builders with templates you can customize, as well as videos and tutorials. Ask for an automated transfer or free migration support if you have an existing website and are moving to a new platform.
Do you expect your small business to grow over time? Look for plans that offer unlimited bandwidth, storage, and email accounts. Your host should have one-click scaling so you can quickly grow your website’s reach.
The best hosting choice for your small business
When choosing a hosting service, consider the price, uptime, storage, security, and support options. Choose a platform that can expand with your business. Look for a service with adequate 24/7 support.