Keeping your website online and safe for your customers is simply an essential part of running a modern business. In order to make that happen, you need to have a web host you trust.
There are many web hosts available to you. You could go with one of the giants that you see on TV all of the time, or you could choose from some lesser known but very good local hosting providers.
Either way, there are a few questions you should ask potential hosts to make sure they’re a good fit for your business.
How are security breaches handled?
In order to protect your customers if your website is breached, you have to be able to notify them as soon as possible. That gives them time to take action before damage has been done.
For you to give your customers that early notice, your website host has to be able to let you know ASAP when a security breach has happened. Ask a potential host how quickly they respond to security issues, and what their standard course of action is.
Do you offer SSL?
If customers are or will be buying your products online, an SSL certificate is an absolute must. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is an encryption technology that protects the information of people who make online purchases.
SSL’s crucial for protecting you customers, but it’s also a factor that Google considers when ranking your site. Websites with SSL/HTTPS currently have a ranking advantage, and in the future this advantage will likely increase until having a site without an SSL certificate will be problematic.
Can you adjust to a growing business?
Small websites require little resources to run. Many small businesses and startups don’t require a very robust website unless they have many products and are using e-commerce.
However, if in the future your website grows substantially, receives a lot of traffic, or becomes more complex, it will require more resources. Your host has to be able to quickly upgrade your services to be able to handle that growth.
What is your average monthly uptime?
No website will be up 100% of the time, but a website that’s down is bad for business. Many hosts publish their uptime on their website. This average uptime should be 99%, and your server will be down for a minimal amount of time. If it isn’t published, ask.
What hosting provider issues do you find important?