As a business owner you deal with clients and suppliers all the time, so when it comes to choosing a web host you want all your ducks in a row. You need to know all of your options, so you can decide what type of hosting package is best for your business and you need to make the right choice straight off the bat.
The type of hosting package you select can have a huge difference on the quality of your online presence, so here are three questions you must ask any potential hosting company.
Do they have servers located in Australia?
If your business is located in Sydney and all of your customers are either in Sydney or around Australia, then you want a web host who has servers located in Australia. This is because many web hosts actually have their servers located in the US, which means that your website will load fast over there, but much slower in Australia.
Be wary here, because even if the web host is an Australian business, unless you specifically ask them, they won’t tell you that they use servers in the US, not in Australia. The location of the servers will make a huge difference to the loading speed of your website, with a subsequent knock-on effect to your traffic, sales, and conversions.
Consumers want faster loading websites, so if your website isn’t up to speed, one of the contributing factors can be the location and the type of the server that hosts your website. So go for Australian servers every time and you are setting yourself up for success, not failure—iiNet provides fast web hosting in Sydney, which might be the ideal solution for your business.
What type of customer support do they offer?
Many web hosts only offer email support, which is fine if you are tech-savvy or you have staff onboard who can fix any problems you might have with your website. The problem is that when your website crashes or your customers can’t download your discount coupons, you want the problem fixed today.
You don’t want to have to wait 24 hours for a response to your email from customer support. Time is money and 24 hour turnaround, or even longer in some cases, is just not acceptable. So one of the most important questions you need to ask is, do they offer telephone support and is it 24/7?
Do they own their own infrastructure?
Web hosting is a very lucrative business and lots of people are jumping on the bandwagon. Anyone can set themselves up as a web hosting company by simply reselling hosting space from larger suppliers. There is nothing wrong with this business model, and you can sometimes find some really cheap packages available.
The problem is that if there is an issue with the servers, then resellers usually don’t have direct access to the servers, so they can’t fix the problem. They have to wait until their supplier fixes the problem, which means you have to wait as well.
So, sourcing a web hosting company that has direct access to its own servers located in Australia, and who offer 24/7 phone support is the only sensible option for a growing business.
While these are aimed at Australians, the same ideas can be extrapolated worldwide. Is the server located near where your clients are, what is the customer support, or do they own the infrastructure themselves? Having an idea of the answer to these questions will help you make an informed choice about your web host and ensure that you know any of the trade offs you are making.