So, you’re ready to start a website! A website will greatly increase your internet presence and marketing potential.
Choosing the perfect host for your website, though, can be a difficult task.
Don’t just jump for the first provider that flashes the best prices; do a little studying, and find a provider that will meet your needs.
Here are 3 must-have qualities that you should look for in your website hosting provider in order to have the best site possible.
1. FTP Access
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) may seem like a feature you won’t need at first, but as you progress in your website design, FTP will allow you to expand. FTP gives you more control over your page compared to the basic web form that most web hosts provide.
FTP access also allows you to add more advanced functionalities to your site. For example, if you want to use Google Analytics to monitor your site, you’ll need to upload a few components and add functions that are only available through FTP. If you want visitors to download a document from the site, you’ll have more control over the process via FTP.
Even if you don’t think you’ll need FTP now, make sure your provider at least gives you the option. You will probably be able to add on the feature later, which is much easier than changing to a brand new host.
2. Email Capability
Your web hosting provider needs to be able to supply you with an email address that matches your domain name, especially if it is an e-commerce or business site. It is much more professional to have an email address like “firstname.lastname@example.org,” rather than a generic and spam-looking “email@example.com” or “firstname.lastname@example.org.” Don’t get me wrong, those are wonderful mail services for personal use, but you will be much more creditable and safe with a business email.
Other than the email address itself, the provider should also have no limit on the number of emails you can send with each account. While some businesses or websites send less than 50 emails per day, others need the full capability to send limitless emails to clients and customers. Make sure your provider will not limit your email usage.
3. Uptime and Backups
Many web hosts boast a 99% uptime guarantee. That sounds great, but it means that your site will be down for 87.6 hours during the year. For most site owners, that is not and should not be acceptable—especially if some of those hours fall during a busy season or sale. Aim for at least a 99.9% or even a 99.99% uptime guarantee for the most website availability.
You should also insist on at least once-daily backups of your site. With a constantly changing Internet, it is vital to have current and updated backups and records of your site. In addition to the backups, the web hosting provider should also be able to restore your site, should it crash for various reasons. Ensure that this service is included in your package—it is sometimes a hidden fee that companies like to throw in.
With a myriad of web hosting providers on the market vying for the opportunity to host your website, it’s alright for you to be picky. Don’t just jump for the first provider that flashes the best price—do a little studying, and find a provider that will meet your needs. If you make sure they have at least these 3 services, you probably find a reliable service for your site.
About the Author
Jake Magleby has written extensively about effective marketing, sales, and financing strategies to help small business owners succeed in the fast-paced and ever-changing business world. He also has an interest in education and development. For more information on web hosting, check out Midphase.