If you are looking at starting your own online business then you are going to need to know a little about hosting a website and the different options that are available to you.
This the first in a series of posts we will be releasing to help you better understand what you need to run a successful online business.
You’re undoubtedly well aware that if your website is hosted on someone else’s server, there will be at least a few aspects of the administration that will be in the control of the web host and not in yours.
But some hosts assume they’ll have control of a great deal more than you’d think, in some cases more than you’d ever want to relinquish to them.
So you need to be absolutely clear about which things a web host claims the right to do with your site, and which things they can’t or won’t do, before you commit to anyone.
What Access Do You Have
For example, is there going to be a control panel (CPANEL) where you can perform common maintenance chores on the site, and do such things as adding or changing permissions, passwords, site back-ups or email addresses?
Imagine having to go through the host tech support every time you want to add an email account for a new employee or change a password! You need to be able to do these things yourself.
An example, when you have a number of employees and you have email addresses associated with your business site. What happens when you have a new employee join that needs an email account setup or one that leaves how long do you have to wait before you can give them access or even cancel access to emails for your business.
Make Sure You Can Design Your Own Site
Another thing to consider is the design of your actual website. If you’ve got a small business and are starting on a free website host, or perhaps a simple paid one, you may be content if they only allow you to design your web pages on their own custom page builder.
But what if you expand later on, and their page builder just doesn’t have the flexibility you need?
Will you have FTP access so you can upload your own web pages if you want to? Virtually any site that does serious business requires this.
How Much Usage Do You Have
Does the web host place restrictions on your daily or monthly bandwidth, i.e. the actual traffic you receive?
This may not be a matter of control so much as a practical question, since very few website hosts offer unlimited bandwidth. But if the host is also going to restrict the actual types of files you can place on your site (e.g. HTML and JPEG but nothing else) or the size of files you can upload, that could be a big problem for you and your online business.
Image a potential customer arriving at your website to see a message stating that you have exceeded your bandwidth or site is temporarily unavailable that would place some real doubts about you business in the minds of any potential customer.
What Level Of Tech Support Do You Have
A final consideration, which you might not immediately associate with control, involves tech support. If a web host promises 24-hour, 7-day support, and you urgently need help with the site at 1:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, but no one answers until Monday morning, there is a serious problem that could adversely affect you without you being able to do a thing about it.
Or if your host turns out to be a “Reseller,” i.e. someone who doesn’t actually own the server but has leased it to you from the actual owner, you could end up in a situation where they have to take any tech support request to the original owner. This might cause delays that could be disastrous for your business.
You need to have it spelled out completely before making a commitment to any web host: just how much control of your own site are you going to have?
And what factors are there that will be out of your control, which could have consequences for your site?
Check into these questions, and especially look the contract over to see what redress you might have if your lack of control costs you business. Don’t sign up with any host before knowing exactly where you stand.
For anyone wanting to have full control of their website hosting then we highly recommend using Hostgator, they offer some very affordable plans and the tech support is 24/7.
Or for more business orientated people you can use our hosting service which is on a very powerful dedicated server with Hostgator where we will manage all aspects of your hosting for you, leaving you to run your day-to-day business without any of the hassles or headaches associated with website hosts.
This option is only available to clients who use our web design packages. Follow this to learn more about our services.