Wednesday, October 27, 2010

5 Costly Small Business Web Hosting Mistakes

by Jeffrey Styles

As every small business startup or owner you are seriously thinking about cutting the costs. And one of the first things to look at when doing business online is web hosting. 

You want to get top quality, but don't want to pay much. It makes sense given the fierce competition in web hosting space. However, there are numerous cases where people just lose money when they choose a bad host. So how do you make sure your small business hosting needs are satisfied? Well pay close attention to these 5 mistakes many startups makes when choosing a host. This may save you money in the long run:

1. Not Emailing Technical Support - Tech support is #1 priority when choosing a web host. You would assume that companies who do business make sure their support is top notch. Boy would you be surprised. Many times they don't respond or are lacking basic understanding. What will you do when you have a technical issue and need a quick fix? 

Always email the host and look at the response time. Good hosts reply within hours, sometimes minutes. Test their phone, live chat support, see what they know. Ask many questions, you need to test their expertise.

2. Not Checking How Long They've Been in Business - When you invest money in web hosting even for small business, you expect a good quality. But choosing a new company to work with is risky. They may be too small, run from a warehouse or garage. Or they may be heading for bankruptcy. If a web host can last longer than 3 or 5 years in the environment, they're pretty save to do business with. Check their domain age to make sure they are long enough in this business.

3. No Analyzing the Features - You have to plan this step ahead. What will be your requirements. What's your business plan and strategy. If you are thinking of making one presentation website for your clients, but doing business mostly offline, then you don't need much really. 

On the other hand what if you plan to make 10 websites a week with Wordpress blogs. You later notice that your small business web host only allows 1 MySQL database per account. Ouch, you're busted. So plan ahead and carefully examine the features of a web host.

4. Falling for Review Sites - There are so many review sites around that it's hard to count. If you type in web hosting review into search engine, you'll get millions of results. No it's a good idea to look at some review sites, but you have to be careful. Most of these sites (99% to be correct) are there just to make money. So they'll promote anyone who pays them most. Do not blindly believe reviews you read from these sites. Check their whois data, if they're hosting with a different host than their #1 recommended, then why should you even listen to them?

5. Jumping on "Unlimited" Bandwagon - Now more and more companies offer unlimited bandwidth and space. It means you can store unlimited number of files and also receive unlimited monthly traffic. However not always unlimited is really unlimited. Read their policies carefully. Some small business web hosting companies say unlimited, but actually put a limit on number of files you can store. In this case, it may be better going with the one that offers specific server space, than unlimited. If you're pumping 100,000's of small files to the server, then unlimited is usually not for you. Check with your host.

In Conclusion

I have shared just a few small business web hosting tips. But you may want to pay close attention to these. You don't want to invest hundreds of dollars into a web host to later find out that they're lacking small feature, which you desperately need.

And when you do get small business hosting, make sure you take full advantage of them. Use coupons and grab the chosen host for a year or two. If you've done proper research, you'll choose the right host. Most of them offer money back, so you're safe in the beginning anyway. But buying long-term hosting will always cost you less, sometimes 30%-50% less.

About the Author

More tips and guides when choosing cheap hosting company you can find at: cheaphostingcompany.org