Starting an online business can be exciting, scary and adventurous all at the same time. You are truly embarking on a journey that will have its ups and downs. Many people have given up their traditional jobs in favor of working from home and creating an online income. Many, however, have been sorely disappointed in their web hosting choices and have had to interrupt their business venture in order to find a better solution. By following these guidelines, you won't make the same mistake as your predecessors.
• Reliability: Choose a company that promises at least 99% uptime. This will ensure that your visitors and potential clients get access to your website without receiving annoying error messages.
• Technical Support: it's important to know that you will get the help you need, when you need it. Do they provide support 24/7 365 days a year? Do they have live online chat help? Do they have tutorials or guides online for easy access? If not, you may want to look elsewhere for your hosting solution.
• FTP access: Even if you are not technically inclined, you don't want to have to depend on the tech support team to make changes to your website. Having this control means you can modify and upload pages to your site anytime you need to.
• Price: Stay away from free hosting companies; they will put their own ads on your site, and this results in a very unprofessional look. Alternatively, don't feel that you have to choose the most expensive package either. Usually, you can find a great web hosting solution that fits your needs around the mid-price point. You can always upgrade later when your business grows and you have some income coming in.
• Data Transfer/Bandwidth: This relates to number of bytes that are transferred when visitors browse your site. As your business grows, the amount of bandwidth that you need will increase; make sure you know what the company is offering, and if they charge a fee for going over the limit.
• Secure Shopping Cart: You will need a shopping cart if you are going to sell your products and services online and accept customer's credit card information. Customers will want to know that their information is encrypted and secure.
The quality and look of your website says a lot about your business and your reputation. Choose the right hosting company and your online venture will get off to a great start.