Having a well-designed, easy-to-use website is vital to ensuring your customers have a good experience with your company. Having a good service to host that website is equally important, though. With the right web hosting service, your site can offer fast loading speeds, reliable and safe connections and many more benefits that will only add to the overall user experience — and your bottom line.
When selecting a web hosting service, however, you’ll need to be mindful of the various features and options. Below, the members of Young Entrepreneur Council list the top 11 criteria they believe entrepreneurs should consider when researching the best web hosts for their businesses.
11 Criteria to Consider When Selecting a Web Hosting Service
- Issue monitoring and reporting.
- Refund and free trial policies.
- Security features and options.
- Managed hosting.
- Documentation and guides.
- Page load time.
- Server reliability and uptime.
- Upfront pricing.
1. Issue Monitoring and Reporting
If you are reaching your server limit, experiencing technical errors, seeing speed and loading problems, having security concerns or noticing any variety of problems that may arise with your website, make sure your web host is monitoring these things as well as keeping you updated with anything new that may come up. — Jacob Tanur, Click Play Films
2. Refund and Free Trial Policies
When choosing a web hosting service for your business, consider any available refund and free trial policies. In the unfortunate case that you aren’t satisfied with your web host, you want to make sure it’s easy to get your money back and find a better solution. Always choose a web host that lets you try the product before committing. — Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
3. Security Features and Options
Choosing a hosting company is a big deal! One piece of advice I’d like to offer is this: Look at their security features and options. Despite your best efforts, your information could become compromised due to cybercriminals. You always want to work with a hosting company that has a plan in place in the event of a data breach. — John Turner, SeedProd LLC
4. Managed Hosting
The most important thing to consider is purchasing a managed service. Don’t get caught up in the lower prices of unmanaged servers. You will need help keeping your website working, and a managed service provides a dedicated team to assist you. A managed service also provides backups for you. From experience, a reliable backup may save your business in the future. — Brian Greenberg, Insurist
5. Documentation and Guides
Troubleshooting problems on your own is a common occurrence. So, you want to choose a hosting provider that has clear documentation with simple guides. Although you can reach out to customer support for help, fixing minor issues yourself is often faster. This is where the provider’s written communication matters. Check their documentation to make sure you’re choosing the right business. — Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
6. Page Load Time
I believe that page load time is a very important criterion to look at when selecting a web hosting service. Slow websites can be frustrating and may be the top reason for your visitors to leave your site and never return again. You don’t want to upset your visitors with a poor page load time. So, go for only those web hosting services that offer page load times of three seconds or less. — Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite
7. Server Reliability and Uptime
No business wants to miss out on sales because their hosting provider went down. You always want to look at server reliability and uptime. This is even more essential for companies that have flash sales or tend to attract large numbers of site users quickly; you want to make sure your host can handle those levels of traffic reliably. — Salvador Ordorica, The Spanish Group LLC
Go for quality and something in line with your business needs. You must receive the type of service that you need exactly when you need it. You also need a reliable hosting service. Your web host must provide fast, reliable service that will meet your business’s growing needs. — Candice Georgiadis, Digital Day
9. Upfront Pricing
I think it's important to choose a hosting provider that's upfront with their pricing from the beginning. There are many new entrepreneurs who go for packages that look cheap and reliable. However, they fail to realize that the following year they'll have to pay up to 10 times more. It's better to go for a hosting service with prices that stay the same since you'll know what to expect. — Blair Williams, MemberPress
Consider whether or not your server is upgradeable. Many new business owners mistakenly buy servers that don’t scale up. As a result, business leaders and developers need to make a massive shift to a new host in the middle of a growth period, which isn’t ideal. I suggest thinking about where you realistically expect your business to be in five years when choosing a hosting service. — Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
You may have all the good benefits, but there will come a time when all you need is their support. If they fail you in this category, you know you’re going to have problems in the long run. They’ll just disappear and bill you monthly for services you don’t even use for issues that can’t be fixed. — Daisy Jing, Banish