How To Find The Right Small Business Web Hosting Provider For Your Needs
With 30,000 websites being hacked every day, a lot of it comes down to the quality of a web host. For small businesses, a hack could devastate profits and infrastructure, sending clients packing. If you don’t take your small business web hosting needs seriously, you could encounter a lot of hurdles, or even restrict your growth.
IBM now estimates the average cost of a data breach at over $3 million dollars. This number entails lawsuits, lost business, and damage to your company’s reputation. If you’re a small business, your reputation is too important to take risks with.
To ensure your clients can trust in your company’s ability to protect their interests, take your small business web hosting decision seriously.
Here are five traits to look for in a great web hosting company.
1. Make Sure It’s Fast
As devices become faster and attention spans shorten, it’s important you serve clients the data they’re looking for when they ask for it. You only have a few seconds for your site to respond before users begin to question its quality. If they stare at a blank screen or a progress bar for three seconds without any change, you might lose their business.
One of the best ways to ensure you get the speed you need is to have a host located where your customers are. Even if you’re an overseas company, you should host your site in the country where most of your customers are. Getting data from Malaysia or Guam all the way to Detroit takes an extra second or two.
Those extra seconds should make a difference when making small business web hosting decisions.
2. Make Sure They Have Space for You
Sites get hacked so frequently that search engines and browsers will sometimes take the hint and blacklist entire servers and domains. With my small business web hosting options, you’ll get a cheap chunk of space where you’re crowded next to other sites, like a Megabus for your data.
Give your clients a first-class option by opting to get your own server.
If your server company doesn’t care enough about the clients it takes, they will plop your site wherever it fits in their system. You could be placed on the same server as a spam site. If that site gets blacklisted, the whole server could be considered blacklisted.
The same thing goes for viruses. If a virus is unleashed on another small business that’s on the same server as you, it could spread like wildfire. You could get infected by proximity and have your important customer data corrupted.
While you might not need “unlimited” hosting space, you will need enough to grow. See what their options are for having a dedicated server for your small business.
3. Bandwidth is Important
In just a few years, over 80% of internet traffic will be video. If you’re not already creating a lot of video content, you’ll soon be hosting plenty of it. That means you’ll need plenty of bandwidth.
Your small business web hosting server will need to feed your customers enough data fast enough to handle high-quality video.
The same goes if you have any kind of format for users to add data. If you’re running a blog with contributors or a site for people to list their own items for sale, you have a need for multiple users to send and receive data.
Make sure you inquire about bandwidth, considering the kind of growth you anticipate your site having over the coming years. Check out what MutiPrimo web hosting has to offer for an idea of what kinds of bandwidth is available.
4. You Need Reliability and Uptime
The last thing you need is for your clients to try to visit your site and get an error. Servers go down for maintenance regularly, but a good hosting company will ensure they redirect visitors to a mirror or duplicate server while they run tests.
When visitors try to access your site and end up with an error, they might not come back. If this is the first time they’ve looked at your site, you could be flushing your advertising and marketing efforts down the drain. Without a reliable web host, you’ll guarantee visitors a bad experience they may tell their friends about.
Read user reviews of your web host before you decide to do business with them. Like any review, you should take them with a grain of salt, but if you hear about persistent issues with downtime, take that feedback seriously and consider working with another company.
5. They Have to Take Security Seriously
As stated above, data breaches can destroy profit margins and damage reputations irreparably. If your web hosting company doesn’t take security seriously, they could be putting you, your users, and your employees at risk.
If your server gets infected, web hosts could shut down access to your site and wipe the whole thing to save the rest of their clients. If they aren’t properly prepared for the kinds of ransomware attacks that have become common, they could be setting you up for a major headache.
Make sure your hosting company makes plenty of backups. If they’re running a daily backup of your data, a wiped server following a virus will only cost you a day. If they’re not, a lost server could cost you hundreds of thousands, if not millions in lost work.
Be sure they use an authentication method to ensure only your top-level employees have access. They should use two-factor authentication so that if someone breaks into an employee account in the middle of the night, they’ll get an email alerting them.
Small Business Web Hosting is Serious Business
A professional and secure web host makes the difference between life and death of a company in the digital era. A web host that goes down frequently or uses insecure methods of verification could be leaving you and your company vulnerable to an attack.
Rather than getting hit with ransomware, your hosting company can filter out nefarious content before it gets to your employees or your clients.
If you want more tips on avoiding profit-sucking downtime from affecting your company, check out our guide.