Contract Hosting for Small Businesses

There are a few critical factors business owners must consider before they commit to any contracts for web hosting.  The most important are:

Reliability and speed of access – Look for web hosting that guarantees at least 99.5% mean uptime.  Having a website is useless if your customers cannot see it because your web host is down, so the higher the percentage, the less likely you are to lose business.  Make sure your web host will offer you a prorated discount or a refund if the mean uptime falls below 99.5%.  Don’t forget, while having your website up and running is import, so is the speed your customers experience; if your website loads slowly because your host server is slow or can’t handle the traffic, then you will discourage potential customers.

Bandwidth – Bandwidth is the amount of bytes transferred between your website and your visitors’ computers when they visit.  There is no such thing as “unlimited bandwidth”!  Your host must pay for this, so do not let anyone make you believe otherwise.  Be careful, and read the fine print about additional costs or “overages” of bandwidth use beyond your contract as this can get VERY expensive.  Also, consider the amount of growth you expect to experience in the future, and plan accordingly.

Technical Support – Even cheap web hosting should offer some kind of technical support, but more expensive domain hosting should offer competent support 24/7.  You should test any claims about tech support by emailing the tech support offered by your potential web host during the night, on weekends, and on holidays to see if this is really true.  A poor or non-existing technical support team can make you lose business.

Price – Most web hosts offer a discount for customers who pay quarterly, bi-annually, or yearly instead of month-to-month.  Don’t forget the general rule of thumb however; you get what you pay for!

March 18, 2011 | Author: | Posted in Web Hosting


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