Undoubtedly, as compared to conventional brick and mortar businesses, web-based businesses are easier to establish and operate, however, it still requires a lot of time, effort, dedication, and investment to get them to succeed. Making a mistake in the web hosting can only make the process more complicated, slow down the growth of the business, result in lost opportunities, and make commercial success more difficult to achieve. Some of the most common web hosting mistakes that you should take care to avoid:
Choosing a Free Web Hosting Solution
If you do opt for a free web hosting solution, you can be very sure of facing one or more problems in the future, including, insertion of unsolicited third-party advertising on your site, not able to run certain scripts for video or animation, slow loading speeds or even the termination of the service without any notice. When a service is provided for free, you have to accept it as it is without any expectation of getting support if the server crashes or if you have any concerns about the performance of the website. With a free web hosting service, your options regarding customization or scaling up is fairly limited. Even the search engines may not give your website the due importance when ranking it because of its poor loading speed and other performance parameters and this can result in the loss of plenty of revenue-generating opportunities. According to the head of the web advertising of a top-flight branding firm, rather than selecting a web hosting plan that is free, it makes more sense to select paid options as per the features you want and gradually move up to the more expensive plans as the business scales up and you require more features, speed, and support.
Opting for Shared Server Plans
The really cheap web hosting plans that cost just a few dollars every month involves the sharing of server space with lots of other businesses that have taken the same route. In an ideal world, when every site is consuming minimal bandwidth, this can be a very economical proposition, however, when one or some of the sites start consuming more bandwidth unexpectedly, it is but natural that the performance of the other sites will get affected due the paucity of adequate bandwidth. Also, if the server gets affected by viruses or malicious codes, it can affect your site and bring it crashing down leaving you to face the negative impact of lost sales and a damaged reputation. When a server is being shared among multiple websites, some of their peak demand times may coincide and cause a general sluggishness in the loading speed of the web pages and negatively affect the quality of the user experience. The maintenance of the server will also not be at your convenient times but may coincide with the time your website experiences the maximum traffic and this can cause chaos with your visitors when they encounter a site that is down. With numerous negative outcomes of shared servers, unless your website is really small, it may be better to go in for a dedicated server. Startups may like to test out the website on a shared server plan but as soon as it scales up, it should migrate to a dedicated server that will ensure superior uptime and response speed.
Not Being Specific About the Extent of Technical Support Required
For an online business, among the most essential things is to ensure that the site is always available and that there are no glitches that spoil the quality of the user experience. Irrespective of how familiar you are with the technical aspects; it is important for the service provider to deliver 24×7 tech support to resolve any issues as soon as they occur. With audiences spread all over the world in different time zones, you can expect traffic round the clock and the server has to be geared up to meet the challenges. With a cheap hosting plan, you could end up being provided no support or support that is limited to only the business hours, which means that if something happens during the middle of the night, you will just have to bear with a blank screen till you can get someone to rectify the situation the next day.
Not Reading the Application Terms and Conditions of the Web Hosting Contract
When confronted with page after page of a commercial contract offered by the web hosting company at the time of engagement, most people tend not to read it thoroughly. This fatal mistake is also aided and abetted by the sales executives of the service provider who are always quick to assure clients that they are all standard clauses that are found in every contract. Because the web hosting company will generally want you to read only what they want you to read and hide some of the really important stuff elsewhere, it is truly important for you to read thoroughly the entire contract, especially clauses relating to the extent of bandwidth offered, the disk space available, the guarantee of server uptime, the extent and speed of response to hosting issues, the payment, and the cancellation policy. Make sure that you know very well the service that you have signed up for, all the deliverables, and how much you need to pay them. Never make the mistake of relying on verbal assurances as these can never be enforced at a later date.
Even though it may seem very boring, you should spend a lot of time and effort in the selection of the web hosting provider because at the end of the day, how well your business performs will depend on the services of web host to a great extent. It is important not to believe any advertising or sales talk promising you the moon and you should have faith in your own judgment after taking into consideration detailed investigation of the service provider’s credentials, their market reputation, and a thorough comparison of the various offers. Make sure that you read and verify that the service contract is actually what you are signing up for.