If you’re a work at home mom like me, you may also have struggled with finding reliable web hosting. Well, over the years (and many headaches later), I’ve come up with a checklist of essentials that your web host must have before you even consider working with them.
1. Excellent Reliability
There is nothing more frustrating than finding out your website is down, and has been for hours. Although no time is a good time to have your site down, the timing can be just terrible. That sinking feeling when you’ve purchased advertising and you know the ad is about to be sent out and you go to your website for last minute touches and … it’s down.
That is not cool. That is not acceptable. You must make sure that the web host you select not only has good reliability, but superior reliability. This is your business on the line, not some hobby site. Treat it as such and get hosting that works for you when you need it. But, you can’t just trust a website that says they are reliable. Make sure they can prove it.
2. Superior Customer Support
When you do need help, make sure that your hosting will provide it. One thing I recommend is to contact support to ask a simple question about the hosting, before buying. That will give you an idea of what the customer service is like before you make a commitment. Yes, customer service has a difficult job – making sure they do not confuse less-experienced customers, yet, at the same time, also making sure not
to talk down to the geek types. However, you should never feel like you are a “bother” or that your question is not as important as anyone else’s.. or worse, dumb. You should find a web host with superior customer support.
3. The Stats You Need
Several of the most popular hosts do not offer the web stats that every online business needs. You may not think that you need stats, but, how else are you going to know what is working – and what is not? You need stats that tell you where your visitors are coming from, how long they are staying, and which pages they are coming in and going from. Does your web host offer that? If they have a CPanel as their control panel, they do. Find a web host that uses a standard CPanel.
Why spend more if you don’t have to? When looking for a web host, price is always a factor. So, shop around and make sure that the web host you decide upon offers a great price.
5. Room to Grow
The web host you choose should offer unlimited hosting. This means, that, if you add more websites to your package down the road, the price does not increase drastically for each one. Many online businesses start with one site and grow over time. Can your host grow with you?
6. Bandwidth and Disk Space
Also, make sure that the host you choose is in the ballpark for bandwidth and disk space. Most programs offer approximately the same amount, but, especially if you plan to add a lot of audio or video, be sure to look into this, as well.
7. A History of Happy Customers
New hosting companies are popping up daily. Some are being run by a couple of teenagers in their garage. Obviously, that’s not who I want to entrust my business to. Do you? I want to know that the company I’m choosing has been around a few years, and has a history of happy customers to show for it. I don’t think that’s too much to ask, and you shouldn’t either.
Those are the key features that any web host should offer before you consider doing business with them. Choosing a web host can be more important than any other decision you make in your online business – if you choose wrong. So, take the time and find a web host that will work with you, and help you to succeed.
Nicole Dean is co-owner of Mom Webs Hosting where you’ll find the host that offers everything a work at home mom needs – reliability, unlimited hosting, and customer service that never makes you feel intimidated — all at a price you can afford.