Congratulations! You’re starting your own business and you’re well on your way. You’ve got a great idea and can’t wait to tell the world about it. But first, you need a website. One component of your website is your domain name, which needs to match your business as closely as possible. The other component is your hosting. You need to find a hosting company to enable your site to actually function.
If you’ve chosen to go down the cloud hosting route for your site, as opposed to a dedicated server or shared hosting, you’ll find there are many different hosts to choose from, all offering slightly different propositions for your business. It’s important to make the right choice. Your business’ success may depend on your website, you don’t want to be tied to a hosting company that doesn’t reach your standards.
To begin with, it’s important to know what your goals are for your business’ website. What is most important for you? Do you need a fast site that’s a breeze for your customers to navigate? (Remember, faster sites may rank higher on Google.) Will you be handling large amounts of personal customer data? If so, you need to consider protection from cyber-attacks. Work out your primary goals and the rest will follow.
10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Cloud Hosting Company
1 – Price
It’s an obvious consideration but a necessary one. When you’re investigating cloud hosts, you’ll see a whole range of price points. Prices can vary wildly between cloud hosting providers. Then, prices will vary between the different package options, usually linked to the speed or storage capacity of your hosting.
It may be tempting at the start of your business to go for the cheapest option, but if the other specifications aren’t what you need, it’s a false economy.
2 – Uptime
The reliability of your hosting is measured in uptime. If your site is down regularly and unavailable for your customers, it will negatively affect your business. The closer your host’s uptime level is to 100%, the more reliable it is. A generally accepted level of uptime is around 99.95%.
3 – Security
If you’re storing your data, and most importantly, your customers’ personal data on a cloud server, you need to know they’re taking every available step to protect your site from hackers and other cybercriminals. Make sure they have a watertight process of encryption protecting your files.
4 – Power
When you’re choosing a cloud hosting package, you’ll be presented with all kinds of options regarding power. This is also known as ‘compute’ and relates to the processing capacity of your site, how quickly it can perform tasks. Of course, the more power your site requires from your cloud host, the more expensive it will be, so keep that in mind when choosing power options.
5 – Storage
Running a website can require a large amount of storage capacity, especially if it’s for a business with numerous products and services. When you’re choosing a host, you’ll see many different storage options, usually measured in GBs. Like compute power, the more you get, the more you pay.
6 – Location
Some cloud hosts will allow you to choose the location the data centers that will store your site’s data and serve it to your customers. This can affect the speed and price of your hosting, so keep this in mind. If you and your customers are in the US, a US-based datacenter will serve those pages quickly but could cost more.
7 – Upgrades
As your business grows, your web hosting needs may grow too. Make sure your cloud host makes it easy to add more power, storage, and other features to your site if you need to. Also, make sure that your host can cope with any unexpected surges of visitor numbers to your site. When you launch that product that flies off your virtual shelves, you need hosting that can keep up.
8 – Data Ownership
Some cloud hosts may ask you, as part of your contract, to sign ownership of your data over to them for the duration that it is on their servers. This is rarely malicious, although they are creating a legal loophole to avoid liability if there is an outage and they lose your data. However, they might want to sell your data to marketing companies or other data miners. Make sure you check the terms of your contract with your host, and if there’s something you don’t like, look elsewhere for hosting.
9 – Customer support
Not everyone is a technical genius. You’re a business owner, great at coming up with new product ideas, but you may not know one end of a dashboard from another!
If you think you’ll need it, make sure your cloud host has 24/7 customer support from actual human beings. Make sure they can help you through any difficulties you may have.
10 – Reviews
Finally, before you commit your business’ website to a cloud host, check reviews of their cloud hosting packages online. At Web Hosting Sun, we regularly review web hosting companies. There are also sites where old and existing customers can leave reviews. Find out what problems others have had in the past, you may avoid future pitfalls.
As you can see, there are many things you have to keep in mind when choosing a web host. You may find, especially with the big names in the marketplace, there aren’t many differences between them. However, make sure you’re clear on your goals, what’s most important about your business and its site, and you won’t go far wrong. Good luck