When launching a new business online, there are a few things that are very important to have to ensure that it runs smoothly. The first is a good name that people will remember. The next is a reliable payment processing platform if you’re selling anything or receiving payments of any sort. And the final is great web hosting. It’s the web hosting, more than anything, that will determine if people come back to your site or not.
When Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook, one of the most important things for him was ensuring that the website was always up. More than making a profit, he was concerned with 100% uptime. The reason was because people had been using Myspace and that site was always running slow and took ages to load. So, he wanted to ensure that the site was always up so as to never piss off the members of the website. And, as one can obviously see, it worked.
When choosing a web host, such as Anhosting and Westhost, it is important to do some research about them. There are specific components that really can make a great web host great. Because of how cheap bandwidth and server space is, anyone and their Grandma can run a web host. But, it takes a special company to be a great web host. These are some of those characteristics.
First, they don’t make extreme guarantees. A single server can only handle so much computer processing. It can’t just have unlimited people coming to the site. Therefore, watch out for companies that are promising unlimited bandwidth. These are companies that are obviously banking on you never using a lot of bandwidth.
These companies are referred to as overselllers in the web hosting world. What that means is that they sell you on the idea of unlimited bandwidth—and typically at an amazing price—and then hope that you never use it. They then sell that same bandwidth to 100 other people as well with the same idea. So, one server of 1,000GB might be sold to 1,000 different people. Each package might include 100GB of bandwidth, but they are hoping that each person only uses 1GB and therefore, they make an exorbitant profit.
The next thing to look for is their guarantee. If they are promising you 100% uptime, they’re lying. Nothing is 100%. At most, they can promise you 99.9% uptime. Pay attention to what they are giving back if they break their promise. Many companies will say “guaranteed,” but then never actually offer anything if they don’t follow through on the guarantee. In other words, they’re trying to soften your concerns with a guarantee, but don’t actually intend on following through.
Finally, pay attention to the customer service. When I am searching for web hosting, I’d rather pay $10 extra a month to know that I am going to have someone I can call 24/7. If the company just gives you an email address to contact and they take 24 hours to get back to you, how are you going to run a business? What happens if your site goes down? If it takes 24 hours to get back up, you’re going to lose customers. Therefore, find a company that has great customer service because that’s going to be key to your success.
In the end, a great web host is accountable and doesn’t make lofty promises just to get more customers. Instead, they strive to run a web host that obviously makes a profit, but also ensures that the customer’s needs are well taken care of. Different companies offer different services to different kind of companies. Your best bet is to do some research and get on the phone with the web host to see what they can do for you. Sometimes, a quick phone call can help you to determine who really is a great web host and who is just trying to make a quick buck.