It’s a new year, which means many small businesses are entering the season of software renewals. Covering everything from your business emails to your website, hosting contracts are no exception and usually renew on an annual basis (even if advertised as a monthly price).
If your website hosting contract is set to expire shortly, you may have noticed significant price increases upon renewal, prompting you to look elsewhere. But what should you be looking for beyond comparing bog-standard features such as the number of domain names, email addresses, or the number of monthly visitors?
Let’s take you through the must-have features for your chosen business website hosting provider.
1. Why Choose a Hosting Provider that Offers SSL Encryption
In 2021 and beyond, SSL security is an absolute necessity for your business. Choosing an unsecured hosting provider will likely land your company is serious trouble with regulatory bodies in the case of a data breach. For those unaware, an SSL certificate will encrypt your website and customer data, and make sure no outside hacker can steal it.
As you can imagine, if you run an online business such as an e-commerce store, this is an absolute necessity. It will protect you from hackers trying to steal sensitive information such as bank card details, customer email addresses, and other potentially sensitive information (e.g., medical records).
2. Hosting Providers with Reduced Customer Support Response Time
When something goes wrong with your hosting, your beautifully-designed business website could go down, you can lose the ability to send and receive emails, and in the case of e-commerce stores, you can lose your ability to make sales.
When Amazon when down for 40 minutes a few years ago, they lost $5 million in sales. Your business might not suffer lost revenue on that scale, but it could be every bit as painful if you don’t manage to find a quick solution to your hosting issues.
While most hosting providers will guarantee 99.99% uptime, when something does go wrong, you need help on hand to put things right quickly. Many businesses have become frustrated by larger hosting providers who often choose to outsource their customer support to online live chat centres in Asian or Eastern European countries.
With a local hosting provider, you can reach somebody over the phone, quickly explain the situation, and have them working on a resolution within minutes. Even for proactive queries and general support, it’s advantageous to have your hosting provider based in the same country with staff available online and over the phone.
3. Does your Hosting Provider provide Regular Website Backups?
Taking regular backups of your website is vital. If your website suffers from an onslaught of spam comments or an automatic WordPress update goes awry, you need to have an older version on hand to restore back to before the damage was inflicted.
Thankfully most reputable hosting providers take daily backups but how can you be so sure your website is backed up properly? If not you could have to redo all the changes you’ve made over the past month. You may have to re-upload all of the new company blog content, redo all of your latest products and imagery added to your online store, or start the website redesign you carried out last week all over again.
Ideally, you need to have at least daily (or nightly) backups from your hosting provider. That way, you can ensure that should the worst happen, you can simply restore your website back to the way it was just 24 hours prior. What may seem like a simple feature can save an enormous amount of hassle and headaches for your business.
4. Hosting Providers can offer Caching for Improved Website Loading Speeds
Site speed is one of the signals used by Google’s algorithms to rank websites. If your page loading speeds are slow, other faster websites competing for similar keywords will outrank you in search results.
One of the best features you can secure from a hosting provider is caching. This refers to the process of storing your website files in advance on the hosting server to facilitate faster loading speeds for website visitors.
This process is often expedited with the help of something known as a Content Delivery Network (CDN). A hosting provider will store up-to-date versions of your website on servers worldwide and deliver the content via the closest server to your website visitor’s location. Thus, it reduces loading times caused by retrieving website data from a server located halfway across the world.
The larger your website is, the more important using caching becomes since your webpage file sizes will begin to slow download speeds. With caching in place, you can maintain lightning-fast page speeds while you continue to add new content and media to your business website.
Choose McGinn and Dolphin for Affordable and Premium Website Hosting Services
Here at McGinn and Dolphin, we offer cost-effective website hosting for businesses based across Hampshire and the South Coast. From just £240 per annum, that is just £20 per month, we can provide your website with website hosting that includes SSL encryption and appropriate bandwidth management.
Better yet, we are on hand whenever you need us should you encounter any hosting-related problems or have any queries. No more raising customer support tickets or waiting in a queue for live chat agents, just pick up the phone and speak to a human being within seconds.
Our solution also provides options for subdomains, the ability to host email addresses not to mention nightly backups, and caching for superior loading speeds.
If you would like to learn more about how our hosting solution can help your business website, don’t hesitate to book in a discovery call with us to discuss your requirements.