So, as a small business you’ve probably invested a lot of time into your online storefront, designing a beautiful website, implementing best practices in search engine optimization (SEO), and creating quality content for your customers. These are all great tactics to ensure your small or start-up company grabs prime search result real estate and can compete, or even out-compete, those mega corporations with seemingly infinite advertising budgets.
However, even after investing in strategies to optimize your business website for page one search results, all your hard work will be for nothing if you haven’t taken the time to choose the best web hosting service available.
Choosing the wrong web hosting provider could put you out of business.
Web hosting provides the servers, or storage, for websites and supports online access through efficient and secure connections. If these servers are down or interrupted in any way, customers will not be able to access your site – which is more than an inconvenience…it can be a massive revenue drain.
Take Amazon, for instance. In 2008, the shipping giant’s site went down for 40 minutes
, an eternity in a world that demands 24/7 instant access. The company lost nearly $10,000 every five seconds
, which amounted to nearly $5 million in lost sales. That was in less than hour.
Small businesses may fare even worse, as they tend not to have the financial cushion of mega corporations such as Amazon. These companies are even worse off in the event of a security breach:
of small companies that have succumbed to cyberattack go out of business within 6 months.
Why? Picking up the pieces after hacker or malware intrusion can cost a small business nearly $700,000 and mid-sized companies well over $1 million. And security breaches are not only expensive, they can irreversibly damage a company’s reputation – something money cannot easily restore.
Reputable web hosting providers will ensure their servers are as secure as possible against cyber intrusion – it ought to be a standard offering in their web hosting package.
So, how can you make sure you choose the best web hosting provider possible?
With so much at stake, choosing the right web hosting provider can seem a bit overwhelming. But don’t panic. If you don’t know where to begin, start by considering the following to help you choose the best web hosting service for your business needs:
- What are your hosting needs? This is the first question you should answer before beginning your hunt for a web hosting provider. To answer this question, consider what kind of website you’re building (e.g. e-commerce site, brand-building site, personal website), what kind of software you’ll need to run your website, and how you expect your business to grow.
- What kind of hosting options do they offer (i.e. shared, virtual private server (VPS), dedicated, managed)? If you expect modest website traffic up to about 40,000 unique monthly visitors, then a shared account will probably be adequate. As your business grows, however, you may need to upgrade to a VPS or dedicated host. Make sure your web hosting provider can accommodate growth.
- What is their uptime rate? A reputable web hosting provider can boast a minimum 99 percent uptime rate. Any less is unacceptable. Just consider Amazon’s revenue losses after 40 minutes of downtime.
- Do they have a good reputation? Customers are always eager to share their opinions online, so conducting a Google search on a web hosting provider should be relatively easy. If you notice any complaints of poor customer service, shady business practices, or unreliable service, cross that company off the list.
- What security features do they offer? You’re already aware of the risk cyberattack poses to small businesses. That’s why a web hosting provider should include regular website backups with the ability to easily restore files and SSL certification that confirms a secure connection between their servers and public browsers has been established.
If you’re currently in the market for web hosting, or are dissatisfied with your current provider, please contact
Social Spice Media. We offer web hosting on our servers that is both reliable and secure, ensuring your online storefront is up and running around the clock.