As a small business owner, you have to make many decisions when it comes to how to set up and run your business. You have to decide where you’ll be located, what you’ll sell, how much you’ll charge, and what type of customer you want to serve. Well, one of these decisions also involves choosing the best website hosting plan for your company’s online presence.
If you’re not sure what that would be, not to worry. There are three fairly simple steps you can take right now that can help make this decision-making process easier.
Step 1. Determine Your Website’s Hosting Needs
It’s pretty much impossible to pick the best website hosting plan for your small business if you have no idea what your hosting needs are. That would be like trying to make your spouse his or her favorite dessert when you don’t know what that dessert is. It just isn’t going to work.
According to Dummies, a company noted for “taking on complex concepts and making them easy to understand,” this involves first making a few website-related decisions. These include:
- Whether you’ll have a blog.
- Whether you’re going to use your site to sell anything.
- Whether you’ll be using server-side code.
- How much bandwidth you’ll need.
- How much storage you’ll require.
Step 2. Compare and Contrast Your Hosting Plan Options
This is often the time-consuming part because it requires that you individually list each of your hosting plan options, researching each one in greater detail so you can compare it against the others. Sometimes it helps to make a chart, listing the plan and what it provides as far as RAM, space, operating system, and various features.
However, another option is to visit sites that have already done a majority of the work for you. For instance, HostAdvice offers a list of small business web hosting plans, sharing a lot of the information listed above, as well as how much each one costs on a monthly basis. You can even select the ones that interest you most, hit the “Compare” button, and it puts them in an easy-to-understand format that can help you further narrow your choices.
Step 3. Pay Attention to Current and Past User Reviews
Finally, once you’ve narrowed down your website hosting plans to your top one or two choices, before you purchase one, see what current and past users have to say about it. See what they like, what they don’t like, and how they describe their overall experience with that particular hosting provider.
Though there are many different review sites out there, one way to find this type of information is simply to type in the plan’s name and the word “reviews” after it. Another option is to check them out on social media. For instance, Facebook offers users the opportunity to rate businesses so you can see right on their profile page what others have to say about working with them.
Keep in mind that, according to Facebook, only public star ratings are revealed using this method. In other words, if someone posts a review and chooses to share it only with his or her friends, that rating is not included in this computation.
Choosing the right website hosting plan requires that you know what you need your website to do, that you compare and contrast your options based on factors such as pricing and features, and that you pay attention to current and past user reviews so you can better determine whether that plan is one that is worth trying. Though this process can take some time, it is time well spent when the end result is a website that you can look at and proudly call your own.