There are numerous reasons why businesses need websites, however, for all those reasons; marketing is always the major one. A good website has the potential to enhance brand awareness, attract prospects, display whatever products or services are on offer and convert prospects into buying clients. Other than that, it can also draw the attention of potential investors as well as the press.
Websites act as salespeople, the only difference is that they don’t get tired – they are operational 24/7. However, for them to serve their intended purpose of marketing the business, they need a lot of tender loving and care; they need to have good design, incredible features, and tools that will make it easy for prospects to navigate through pages. They need to be responsive, so they can fit in pages of different devices. Above all, websites need constant content to help them rank on search engine pages. Luckily, marketers understand these aspects very well and often strive to integrate them into their platforms to ensure better customer experience and search engine performance.
However, there’s one area that most marketers tend to forget, or better yet, fail to concentrate on – web hosting. Choosing the right web hosting company is essential as it plays a crucial role when it comes to getting traffic and converting them into buying clients.
So, what happens when a marketer makes a wrong web hosting decision?
The main intention of businesses is making and maximizing profits. Some of the things that can happen when a marketer makes a wrong hosting choice are:
Security and malware attacks: today, cybercriminals are getting smarter with their hacks, it is becoming difficult for a business to keep track; with a bad hosting, they stand to lose. Smart marketers work with reputable hosting companies who back up their data and can retrieve them whenever the original ones get lost or tampered with. Top companies also offer full-time technical maintenance, support and security solutions.
Affects ranking: more and more businesses are moving online, so the struggle for top spots on search engines is getting tougher. With bad hosting, it becomes difficult for websites to rank, and it’s even worse when there are plenty of downtimes and slow loading times.
Loss of revenue: if the site experiences downtimes from time to time, or if it takes longer to load, then many clients will bounce off to the competitor’s site. Downtimes are bad because then, the clients won’t be able to view the types of products or services on offer, so they won’t buy.
It’s important for marketers to pick a dependable web hosting company to make sure that their company’s website is not only safe but accessible 24/7. Marketers who have no idea what features/needs to consider or who are experiencing problems with their current provider can consider these tips:
- They should understand the different web hosting options that the market offers – whether it’s VPS, Shared, Managed and Dedicated.
- They should go for a provider who offers excellent customer support
- They should select a host with an average of at least 99% uptime track record
- They should go with a provider that can scale and upgrade their traffic growth
- They should work with a web host who has a good reputation
Types of web hosting services
Hosting companies offer a range of hosting services. So, it’s important for a marketer to understand their needs, so they can make an informed decision for their businesses.
- Shared web hosting is where one can share their server resources with other websites. And while it works well, it reduces the service features due to the sharing.
- Reseller hostingallows one account to manage multiple other domain accounts, each with their own cPanel login – ideal for designers, marketers and agencies.
- Dedicated hosting gives one complete control over their server and content (though they don’t own it) in exchange for an annual fee. It offers faster performance and better results than free and shared web hosting.
- Virtual Dedicated Server also involves sharing of server resources and offers one access to the virtual servers. Users get a chance to manage and maintain servers.
Quality of customer and technical support
The internet never sleeps, so it vital for hosts to offer 24/7 high-quality customer and technical support. Marketers should go for a service provider who integrates customer service into their solutions –this could be anything from live chats, local or toll-free phone number, email, social media or other support systems 24 hours every day.
In addition to customer service, the hosting company should offer technical support. This comes in handy whenever a technical hitch occurs.
Nothing can harm an online business more than a downtime; that’s why it is crucial for marketers to work with hosts who guarantee 99.9% of uptime, or better. It’s easy to assume that a company which offers a 99.0% uptime is still okay, but it isn’t. The 99.0% uptime still provides for 100 minutes of downtime each week. A proven history of great uptime should be a top decision criteria in choosing hosting.
Good reputation should be a top priority for anyone looking for a hosting company. If a hosting company has an excellent reputation in the marketplace, then it’s likely that they offer an incredible user experience, top-notch customer service, and very little downtime. The best way to establish a company’s reputation is by looking at:
- Their history, background and achievement notes
- Their reviews on multiple rating websites
- Authentic customer testimonials
- Their information from online forums, research companies, and listing websites
- Their level of experience
- Their social media profiles (comments, discussions, forums, and good chats)
Backup and security services
With the rising levels of cybersecurity, it is crucial for hosts to offer a superior backup mechanism, otherwise, sensitive information can get lost due to attacks from software bugs and hackers or even hard disk failures. It’s essential that backups be stored off-server, in case of disaster.
Additionally, if the website will be dealing with users’ personal information, then security should be a top priority. There should be no compromise on security on the company’s and clients’ data, with security ranging from SSL certificates to DDoS protection.