What is the Safest and Most Affordable Way to Host Your Business’s Website?
Finding the right host for your business website might not sound like the most glamorous job on your to-do list, and you’d probably be right. But, it is undoubtedly very important: the right host will ensure that your business website stays ‘up’ 24/7, is available for your current and future customers to visit, and is safe, secure and strengthened against cyber-hackers. But, affordability and security are two factors business owners often know little about. So, here’s an outline of what you should be looking for in order to fulfil both these important cornerstones.
The most affordable way to host your business website is to understand what it is you actually need from a host. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting your money (no matter how cheap a hosting package is) if you’re not getting what you need from it, or are spending too much on features that aren’t necessary for your business right now.
Begin outlining your requirements by answering the following questions:
- What kind of website are you building? Is it a portfolio, or an e-commerce site, for instance?
- As a result, how much server space do you expect to need?
- How much traffic are you expecting? (You can estimate this based on the amount of traffic your competitors receive using this tool)
- What if you experience a sudden spike in traffic?
- Do you want your website to integrate with popular platforms such as WordPress?
- What is your maximum 12 or 24-month budget for hosting?
Once you’ve identified what your key requirements are, you can start looking for ‘affordable’ packages that fulfil these needs with various hosts. Very affordable business web hosting nowadays is anything from around £5 a month upwards, as long as the package provides adequate features such as the ability to have numerous domains, basic email services and a sever uptime rate of at least 99%.
But do accept the fact that, by in large, you get what you pay for. If you go for a ‘very affordable’ package, expect the service to be of a lower quality than something that is a little more expensive.
However, if your hosting budget is on the small side right now, there are ways to make a very cheap hosting package work for you. For example, exercise caution around upselling or cross-selling practices that host may be suggesting to you, track your host’s uptime record before signing up for a hosting package (no matter how cheap), and talk to the customer support department to check you’re happy with the quality of service you’re being offered before you sign up for a hosting package.
Judge the quality of their service based on the response time and level of detail they can offer you in response to your questions, and be sure to seek reviews from other customers too – particularly those who have a business hosting package with the company.
Good business website hosting isn’t just about affordability. Security is another major factor, especially as you may have confidential data to protect, as well as a reputation to uphold. So, what should you be looking for regarding security for your business website?
Well, as a minimum, you should sign up with a host that regularly maintains and monitors their equipment (to make sure that your site stays up and running, as well as keeping an eye out for hackers around the clock). Find out what their backup producers are and check if they offer dedicated secure SSL certificates (if you’re running an e-commerce site).
Of course, you might not fully understand all the answers you’re given to these questions, but write the responses down and compare them to responses given by other hosts.
The host who can offer the best or most detailed answers at the most affordable price is probably the host provider you should sign up with.