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In modern times, having an online presence for your business is essential, especially if you are starting up a new business and don’t have a band of loyal customers yet. A website allows people to find you, and learn more about or allows people to obtain the products and services you offer.
The truth is, a Facebook account won’t cut it if you’re serious about growing and expanding your business. You need a website. And since finding a reliable web host can be a bit daunting at first, we’ve compiled a helpful list of Dos and Don’ts to help you make a smart decision.
Choose a Memorable Domain Name
When you finally find the right web hosting service, the first thing you’ll have to do is choose a domain name. Above all, make it memorable and uncomplicated (avoid hyphens, numbers, and unconventional spelling, for example) to ensure your business can reap all the benefits of word-of-mouth advertising.
Look for Tiered Pricing and Scaling Options to Ensure Room to Grow
Your business might be a solo venture at this point, but bear in mind the possibility of future expansion. Does the web host offer a flat fee for a limited amount of features? Or will you be able to expand your website in the future (by adding additional domain names and e-mail addresses, for example) while paying only for what you need? Familiarize yourself with the payment scheme and make sure the growth of your site will be able to keep up with the growth of your business.
Choose a Flexible Design
If you’re just starting out, you probably don’t have the budget to hire a programmer to code your website. Search for web hosts that offer modular, user-friendly design features. There should be enough variety so that your website doesn’t end up looking cookie-cutter. And if you do eventually want to hire a programmer to customize your site, make sure the web host service is just as useful for professionals as it is for novices. Look for mention of a script library and raw access logs at the very least.
Avoid Free Unlimited Bandwidth Offers
It sounds great at the outset to have “free unlimited bandwidth” for your website, but usually, this is a red flag. Offers of unlimited bandwidth often come with a hidden price, such as frequent downtime and slow service. You might use a ton of bandwidth to make your website as sophisticated as possible, but it won’t do you any good if no one can access your site. In order to avoid scaring away potential customers with frustratingly slow page loads, find a web host that offers the speed you need.
Don’t Underestimate the Value of Good Customer Service
Does the web host have a dedicated customer service department? Are they easy to reach? Is their contact info displayed prominently, and is there an option to both call and e-mail? Does the web host offer help pages and resources to guide you through the process of setting up your site? Try calling the customer service phone number just to see how easy it is to reach a real person. A host like Hostgator, for example, provides flexible packages, monitoring, installation, tuning, and a 24/7 support team. Check out some reviews on Hostgator and other web hosting services here: www.ukwebhostreview.com/reviews/hostgator
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