January 29th, 2009

Choosing a web hosting company wisely

by Stuart Tyndall

In today’s technologically advanced world, every business needs a website.  Just think how many times a day you hear someone say, “What’s your web address?” or “I’ll have to check out that website,” or “I’ll just buy it online.” The number can be staggering when you stop and count.

Having a website just makes good sense.  Consider it your very own spot on the Internet that has the capability of reaching customers worldwide. It is the place where important company and product information can be accessed by millions of current and potential consumers. In a nutshell, a website can be an advertising machine for your business.

But have you ever stopped to think about where your website “lives” or where you would even go to get started? The skills of the company you select to build and/or host your website can have a profound impact on its success.

Below are a few pointers on what to look for in a web hosting company and how to go about getting your business on the Internet.


The web host you select must be reliable. It is essential to the online success of your business. Any length of time your website is “down” translates into lost customers and revenue. If your web host cannot guarantee 99% up time (or close to it), it is time to look for a new web host.


Select a web hosting company that offers 24/7 support.  After all, the Internet is the technological city that never sleeps. Customers are always shopping. You want your web host’s support staff to keep your company’s “lights on” day and night.


The bottom line is your website must be secure. If customers do not trust your website, they will simply shop somewhere else. Ask about the security your web host offers and make sure it fits your needs.


E-mail is an absolute necessity. It is the primary way your online customers establish communication with your company. Make sure your web host can provide you with dependable e-mail services. The reliability and support that is so crucial to your website should also apply to your e-mail.


Websites take up space on servers owned by your web hosting company. Simply put, storage is how much disk space you are allowed to use on the server. Make sure you find out how much storage space will be allotted for your website. You should also confirm that you would have the ability to increase your storage as your online business grows.


In layman’s terms, bandwidth is the amount of traffic or information passed from your website. Most web hosting companies measure this on a monthly basis and charge accordingly for any overages. Bandwidth is typically not a concern for starter online businesses, but it can become an issue as your business thrives. Bandwidth is like storage in this regard – make sure your web host allows you to increase your bandwidth allotment as your company’s website increases in size and popularity.

Other Considerations:

Above all, make sure you do your research. Know what your website requires to function properly and select a web host that knows how to support the programming language(s) used in building your site.

Remember, web hosting is not a “one size fits all” type of business. You should select a company that offers multiple solutions to meet your hosting needs. Look for several different package options and web applications. By having choices, you will ultimately be able to push your website to its full potential.

Lastly, find a web hosting company that offers personal service. Your questions and concerns should be addressed and resolved in a timely manner. Nothing is worse than having to wait on hold to talk with technical support and being treated like “just a number.”

It's more than a message in a bottle.

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