A successful business website requires great design features, well-written copy and what the experts like to call ‘usability’. However, any successful website also needs the backing of a reliable and powerful web hosting service. There are several services available in the UK, so choosing the right option for your own business requires a little research and knowing exactly what constitutes a great web hosting package.
A web hosting service should be able to provide guarantees on minimum uptime levels, as every second your site is offline can cost your business money. Web hosts should be able to provide uptime averages across all their packages, and they should be able to provide historical data on how quickly outages have been handled in the past. A great many hosting services will claim they offer 100 percent uptime, but it’s important to ask for supporting evidence as these claims are often a manipulation of the truth.
You may be tempted by some of the free web hosting services on the market, but they often only provide free packages if you agree to display third-party ads on your site. This can affect the operation, image and usability of your website, so it’s rarely the best option for a stand-out business.
It’s also important to look at exactly what you’re getting for your money with each web hosting package you compare. The temptation will be to simply opt for the cheapest available, but that may mean you’re left with insufficient bandwidth, storage space and customer support. Decide what your minimum requirements are, and compare hosting services on that basis. Remember – the cheapest option isn’t always the most cost-effective, as you could end up paying extra charges for additional features as your business grows.
Space and bandwidth
You need to be sure that the hosting service you choose, for example www.1and1.co.uk is able to offer you enough storage space for the various files you’ll need to upload. If your site has lots of interactive features, videos and information, the likelihood is you’ll need to choose a package with a relatively high storage allowance. It’s also important to have some extra capacity – particularly if you expect your website to grow over time. When comparing bandwidths, be wary of packages offering unlimited traffic, as the small print of contracts can contain hidden charges for what is deemed as ‘excessive’ traffic.
It’s important to choose a web space provider that offers a comprehensive range of customer services, support and additional tools. If you’re new to website design, the 1&1 MyWebsite Service will help you to build your own site in relatively easy steps. It’s also a good idea to choose a service that provides around-the-clock support by telephone and email.
By taking the time to research and compare several different web hosting services, you can ensure that your website has the best possible chance of long-term success.