It doesn’t have to take you more than an hour or two, but you could go down a rabbit hole when deciding what domain hosting service to select for your small business website. A really deep, dark, time-wasting rabbit hole.
In order to avoid this, you should do one thing while selecting a domain host for your new site: Focused research.
If you’ve never built a website before, you may not know what’s actually important. That’s what we’re going to cover now in the simplest way possible, to get you moving toward the website you need to grow your small business.
This is the # 1 most important thing. Your website needs to load as fast as possible. There will things that contribute or take away from the speed of your website after it’s built, of course, but we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about how your speed will be affected by your domain hosting service.
Why is this important? Because no one has patience to wait on a website to load. If it doesn’t load within a matter of seconds, your visitors will be gone faster thank you can blink. They’ll never learn about your products or services, and you know where that will lead.
Simply put, Google “What are the top 5 fastest domain hosts?” Or something like that. Review a couple of reputable sites and those that are named in review after review should be the ones on your list.
Only 2nd in importance to speed by a planck, pick a domain host with the least amount of down time possible.
Why, you ask? Because if a fast website is not working, it’s like having no website at all.
Have you even gone shopping online only to find your favorite e-store experiencing difficulties, under maintenance, or whatever? It doesn’t matter what the problem was because in the end, you probably just went somewhere else to buy whatever it was you were looking for.
Don’t let this happen to your customers. Ensure your website is live nearly 100% of the time. Search for “Domain hosts with the least amount of downtime.” Compare those top 5 to the list of the hosts with the best speeds and remove those that don’t offer both stellar uptime and speed from of your list.
How much space or bandwidth will your site need? Generally speaking, the vast majority of websites use less than 5 GB monthly. Knowing this, consider how much and what kind of content (pics, videos, lots of text-heavy articles, e.g.) your website will have. How many visitors per day? How many users do you anticipate will have email or visitor accounts on the site, at least to start? No matter what, as a small business owner, you probably won’t need much more than the above mentioned but do consider how quickly you plan to grow your site if at all.
Many domain hosts say the offer unlimited space but that isn’t totally true. If your website grew to the size of say, Wal-Mart’s, eventually, the “unlimited” packages appropriate for most small businesses would not be appropriate.
That’s an extreme case in but it wouldn’t hurt to know how easy a bandwidth upgrade will be in case you ever need one.
Some domain hosting services offer stellar service. You can reach someone by phone or chat 24/7. Most things small business website novices can break are also easily fixed by these wonderful domain hosting support heroes.
Then there are lesser levels of service where at times you’re only able to email your service requests. Or maybe there is no phone support. In those cases you may not be sure when you’ll get a reply back. Or maybe the host’s idea of service is to respond to every request you put in with a link that guides you to a post on how to fix it yourself.
The level of service you choose depends on your needs. Maybe you’ll never have a problem or need support, which would be the ideal.
But in case you do, you get what you pay for.
Speaking of what you’ll pay, there are many annoying and misleading advertisements out there that lead the gullible to believe they can build their own website for just one penny. Or a nickel. Or a dime.
Once you add in all your needed features which vary in price and variety from host to host, you almost always end up at around $200 for one year of service by the time you’re ready to check out. There’s usually an option to pay on a monthly basis, which when you add it up is more expensive than paying for a whole year at a time, but if your cash-flow’s a little tight at least you can get your website up and get the ball rolling.
There can be much more said about choosing your first domain host, but it really doesn’t have to been that complicated. If you’re pressed for time you can focus on these tips to make a quick choice, and one you can be content with, at that.