Having a simple, effective and up to date website has never been easier than it is now. Today you can find a wide array of web hosting providers who offer multitude of options when it comes to hosting tools and package benefits that can really help to make a meaningful difference in ensuring the smooth launch and successful running of your website. Although each web hosting provider offers different packages with various different elements, each site’s product offerings can generally be compared in four main categories.
RAM, CPU and storage space are all key elements of having a responsive and quick site and your website’s load and running speeds are directly connected to these three elements. Google data has shown huge drop off rates in site visitors to websites that take longer than 3 seconds to load so it is imperative that your site loads quickly in order to stay competitive. Should you require a smaller site with fewer design elements and less traffic, then you wouldn’t require the same kind of infrastructure for your site. Almost all web hosting companies today are able to offer a selection of proportionally sized plans for your site.
If your site is collecting sensitive personal information, many hosting providers offer an SSL certificate to businesses – mostly included in their more premium plans – to add an extra layer of security to ensure the safety of data stored on your site.
Up-time refers to the amount of time that your website is functioning online for. Most sites have an average up time of 99.59% which in real terms means that per day, each site is down for 5.9 minutes. Some sites provide much better up times than others, and therefore a key selling point and service offered by hosting platforms is effective customer service. Because your website needs to be reliably accessible, having good customer service provided by your hosting site will mean that if you experience technical issues, they will be able to quickly and effectively resolve these and will have a minimal effect on your business.
In order to differentiate themselves from competitors, most of the best hosting sites will offer free domain names as part of their package as well as a feature where you are able to house multiple websites under these domain names through a single hosting plan. This feature is however generally not available in any entry level plans (with the exception of HostPapa who can facilitate two websites in their entry level plan). Another selling point for providers is to offer professional email addresses to companies as well as providing additional design support such as templates, stock libraries, logo design tools and even web building services. Providers such as Bluehost – which was chosen as the overall best web hosting service of 2020 in MarTech’s Breakthrough Awards – include a Weebly web design service in their hosting packages that provide businesses with an all-inclusive package when purchasing their hosting plan.
Most providers offer special plans designed specifically for ecommerce sites and include various built-in sales, inventory management, coupons and in store POS. Some companies do, however, have hidden transaction fees built into certain plans on their site. Weebly for example (a service offered by Bluehost) has a hidden 3% transaction fee on every purchase made through its site on the entry level plan. This kind of cost can dramatically increase your website fees and ultimately your profitability. Although many sites do offer money back guarantees after a trial period, some sites make it almost impossible to easily migrate all of your data across to another web hosting provider should you choose to change.
All the extra features and upsells provided by many of the web hosting providers can help the success of your site and can prove to be excellent investments. You should, however, very carefully consider which hosting provider offers the best support, most suitable plan for your site and has an inclusive offering with no hidden costs.