How to select the best web host for your business website

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There are so many different companies, offering so many different web hosting packages, that for a small business, the whole question of web hosting can be a minefield. The problem is that most business owners don’t realise that there are major differences between web hosting companies, which can have serious consequences for your business.

Whilst iiNet, is one of the best web hosting companies around, your selection depends on what you actually need from a hosting company.

So here are three questions to ask yourself, before you decide which web hosting company is the best one for your business website.

Do you want your website hosted on a server in Australia?

If your business is based in Australia with most of your customers based here, then you really want a hosting company who also has their servers located in Australia. This is because your website loads faster in the country where your host server is located.

So if your customers are mainly in the US, then you want a hosting company with servers in the US. On the other hand, if your customers are in Australia, you need a server located here, so your website loads faster for your Australian customers.

How much traffic do you expect in the next 12 months?

Your business might be small now, but if all goes well your business will grow and your website will consistently receive more traffic every month. So you want to put some serious thought into how much traffic you hope to have on your website in the next one to five years, and select your hosting company accordingly.

Most hosting packages will have limits on data storage and bandwidth, so you want a host who can offer you unlimited options. As your business grows, you need your hosting provider to accommodate these changes, not penalise you because you are using too much bandwidth and slowing all the other websites down – who are also hosted on your server.

Do you need 24/7 phone customer support?

If the web hosting company you chose is located overseas, then even if they offer 24/7 phone support, this means that you might have to pay for an overseas call every time you contact them. So if they do offer phone support, make sure that they have a local number for you to call, even if your call is diverted to an overseas location.

Many hosting companies however, do not offer phone support or if they do, it is only within office hours. Having to contact your hosting company in an emergency, because your website has crashed is not very helpful if you have to contact them via email and wait at least 24 hours or more for them to respond to you.

Restricting access to customer support to office hours is another problem that doesn’t help you when your customers can’t access your website at 8pm because it has crashed. So consider the type of customer support you will require and make sure that you ask about the hosting service about this, before you sign on the dotted line.

If you select a web hosting company who can offer you an Australian based server, unlimited storage and bandwidth and 24/7 phone support for the cost of a local call, then they might be the right web host for your business.

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