What to Look for When Selecting a Website Hosting Company

Your website is one of the most important and valuable assets that your business owns, so it’s important to make sure it’s hosted in a secure manner that will reduce hacking attempts and ensure it’s always up and available.

Having your website go offline frequently can be devastating and result in lost revenue. Many business owners assume all website hosting is created equally, but that is not the case. Here are some things to look for and consider when selecting a hosting company.

Look into a dedicated server.

“Opt for a dedicated server if your budget allows for it. This way you don’t run the risk of bad neighbors causing the server to go down and impact your uptime. While shared hosting is cheap cost-wise, you run the risk of having your website go offline. For $200 a month you can have your own server.” — Jim Epton of Dom Huga Ltd

Consider a VPS.

“Look into getting set up on a VPS (virtual private server) if you can’t afford a dedicated server. This is a good option and you can get a solid VPS setup for about $60, compared to $200 for a dedicated server. This is a much better option than shared hosting.” — Tom Munroe, CEO of RugStudio

Look for servers housed within the United States.

“Find out where the servers are located. It is always a good option to select a location in the U.S. opposed to a location with less than reliable power grids. A lot of the largest server farms are located in Texas, because of the climate and land available to construct these operations.” — Matt Herron, CEO of AnswerFirst

Fast customer response time.

“Customer support is probably one of the most overlooked thing, as many just focus on the price. If something happens and your website goes down you want to make sure you can pick up the phone and get a tech on the other line. Not live chat. Not email support. A human being that will help you fix it.” — Christopher Dziak, CEO of Pure Nootropics

Know what you are signing up for.

“Make sure you know what you are getting. Read the fine print, ask around, do your research. Price check and do a cost analysis. make sure they have a high rated customer service center and are easy to contact, be sure you know what you want before you sign up” — Shawn Freeman, Founder and CEO of TWT Group

Scalability offered.

“Reliability and scalability. We use Amazon AWS now as we moved our entire infrastructure to the cloud after using numerous other hosting companies. The reliability has been unmatched compared to any other host.” — Shawn Schulze of HomeArea.com

Infrastructure in place.

“Reputation and infrastructure, including quality of the servers and environment, as well as customer service and a user-friendly control panel to manage everything. They should also be keeping nightly backups.“ — Sean Christman, Founder of Slamdot

Read reviews.

“If you want your website to be safe, fast, and 99%+ uptime I would research all of the reviews online you can find. I consider safe, fast, and 99%+ uptime to all be as important as the other, so I would not consider a company who didn’t have all three.” — Ben Walker, Founder of Transcription Outsourcing, LLC

Unlimited email accounts.

“Make sure that you are receiving unlimited email accounts with unlimited storage. There are some low cost hosting offers that make their money by also charging per email account and for storage. In the end the business pays far more than they would for their own dedicated server or VPN.” — Andrew Tran, Founder of Therapy

Easy addition of a CDN.

“Look into using a CDN (content delivery network) in addition to a fast hosting provider. This is one way to really improve the performance of your website and serve it to visitors faster than you would be able to without using a CDN. This is a must-do if you are not hosting on a dedicated server.” — Ari Evans of AAA Handbags

Research what happens in the event of failure.

“Evaluate reliability and the action plan for when something fails because something will fail. What contingency can they provide? Are any of their systems redundant in case of failure? What is the time for replacement of failed systems?” — Matthew Kolb of All High Schools

Their level of customer service.

“Customer service. Are they going to answer the phone and have a live person answer the questions you have in the middle of the night? This happens, and make sure they can provide the level of service that you may require.” — Marc Webb, Founder of Real PDL Help

Both speed and security.

“Speed and security. If someone is trying to access your website, it needs to be fast. If anyone has to wait to for more than a few seconds for your site to load, there is a good chance they are going elsewhere. You’ll also want to protect yourself from hackers and other criminals.” — Joseph W. Belluck of Belluck & Fox, LLP