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How to Choose the Best Web Hosting Service for SME Websites

 

 

Here at Access Credit Management we know how important it is for small businesses to be online – it’s the most cost-effective way of reaching a potentially huge audience, so having a business website really is a must, as we’ve pointed out in the past.  A website is the best place to showcase your products or services, post contact information, let customers know where to find you and display reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers.  When it comes to hosting your website, choosing the right host for your business is essential.  With so many website hosting services to choose from, how do you know which will be best for your business?  Here are some issues you need to consider in order to make an informed decision.

  • What are your business requirements?  Do you want a common format, such as a WordPress blog?  Do you need Windows applications?  Do you need specialised software?  As well as considering your current needs, try to think about what you may need in a year or two from now so that you get a host that can grow with your business.
  • Server reliability and uptime scores – you need to make sure your website is up and running 24/7 so a reliable webhost is important for your business.  Every time your website is “down” represents time that you are potentially losing business.  While it’s too much to ask for a webhosting service to be “perfect”, the average stability to look out for is 99% uptime.  If you opt for a premium account with a web hosting service, they you can expect 99.99% uptime.  Check reviews of web hosting services when making your decision or you can use server monitoring tools and track the web hosting service yourself.
  • Server Upgrades – if you think that your business is likely to increase a lot in the next couple of years, then it’s vital to choose a web hosting service that will enable that.  This means choosing a service that offers better plans, including a range of server upgrade options.  For instance, you may need to upgrade from shared hosting to a private or dedicated server to increase your website processing capabilities, increase memory, disc storage, etc.
  • Great deals – you should be looking for a cost-efficient option that gets you the best hosting for your website at a reasonable rate.  Look out for promotional codes, coupons and discounts and then check that the web hosting services offering these incentives offer all the features you need for your website.  All of the web hosting services are trying to ensure that they get your business, so many of them will offer attractive incentives to get you to sign up – just make sure that you’re not blinded by the incentives at the expense of the features you need.
  • Refunds and Trial Periods – look for a web hosting service that offers a trial period and a money back guarantee if customers aren’t satisfied with the service.  Each web host being considered should be researched thoroughly to see if they offer trial periods and their policy studied so that you’re aware of what happens if you decide to cancel at the end of the trial period (some may charge a fee for cancellation).