Oh, how fun it is to open up a new store! It feels like an adventure. But, for your business to be able to take off you need to choose a great host, otherwise it will stay grounded. This is because slow servers drive customers away before they can make a purchase.
Luckily, it’s easy to find out whether a host is trustworthy or not. Check their plans and make sure that they provide high-quality security, multiple customer support options, and first-class performance.
Keep reading to learn more about choosing a reliable host for your new business venture!
Hosting providers and their key role
Your website is stored in a web host and its performance when accessed depends on its servers.
There are free hosts available, and when you are planning your new business venture, it may seem that using them is a sound budgeting decision but in reality they come with many limitations and drawbacks, some of them can even be very risky.
A proper web host will:
- Make your website secure.
- Perform well and in a stable manner.
- Offer customer support.
- Help you rise up the ranks of different search engines.
- Provide benefits (free automatic backups, SSL certificate, easy site migration, etc.)
- Be compatible with your favourite ecommerce platform.
5 tips for picking a web host
No two hosts are the same so here’s a brief summary of the features you should analyze while keeping your store’s needs in mind. Your best option will depend on many factors and how you prioritize them.
1- Where is the server located? and what is its speed?
You can access the internet from practically anywhere in the world, but the speed at which the website loads will depend on how far you are from its server. The closer you are to its location, the faster it will be, and vice versa.
Your business will experience a higher engagement and conversion rate if it features fast loading speeds, this is because 47% of visitors expect a website to load in less than 2 seconds and 78% of online shoppers won’t return to a website with performance issues.
If you want your ecommerce to have a fighting chance, you need a server located where your audience resides. For example, here is a map with SiteGround’s data centers which offer high availability, low latency, and reliability. Google is their main data center partner and is especially famous for maintaining one of the fastest and most powerful networks.
Their CDN network has 194 servers worldwide, this means that site content has better loading speed by using the nearest location to each of your site visitors.
2- What security measures are in place?
You need a web host that will protect the information submitted to your store by encrypting it, so third parties won’t be able to access it and steal it. You need your customers to trust that they can input their credit card information. If they had a bad experience, there’s a 44% chance that they will tell their friends about it.
Using a SSL certificate is one of the most famous and reliable ways of delegating the task of encrypting information. They are renowned worldwide by ecommerce owners and their customers.
It’s fairly common that a host will have plans that offer a free SSL certificate but the premium plans allow you to choose a more complex certificate with different security features from an assortment of options.
3- What is their support team like?
If an issue comes up or you have questions, you’re gonna have to contact support, just like in any business. Web hosts also offer this service to website owners, but the quality may vary.
A good support team can help you with all kinds of issues, from billing to portal configuration to the control panel. They should also give reliable answers in a timely manner. One of the best things is when they also offer multiple contact channels.
4- Do they have a money back guarantee?
The best hosts genuinely want their customers to be happy with the service and offer money-back guarantees if you are not satisfied with the results.
It happens, you made a decision and chose a host but after trying their services you are not happy with your choice and would like to take your business elsewhere. The money-back guarantee will help you start again.
Personally, I think it’s a great touch when the provider offers a prorated refund for unused services after trial periods, those hosts are the most honest and they definitely go above and beyond and have great confidence in their services.
5- Can I pick the domain for my website?
Much has been said about choosing a domain name, and after thinking long and hard and having come up with the perfect name, use a domain checker tool to see if its available, if some modifications may be needed, or if you need to come up with an alternative. Investigate Top-Level Domain options and pricing, and check if it’s possible to buy it through your host, this will make the maintenance process easier later.
To sum up
It’s impossible to start an online store without getting web hosting and using a good web host is a necessity if you want to start a profitable business online. There are many options that you can trust, and the best one for you will depend on your needs and budget. The five aspects mentioned above are key factors to keep in mind before making a choice. Help your business grow and succeed by picking one that’s fast, secure and reliable.