How to choose the right web hosting provider for your small business

Before I speak about how to choose the right website web hosting provider for your small business, some of you may be asking “What is a website hosting provider?” Each Website needs to live someplace and this someplace is on a server. The server is usually located and provided by a Web hosting provider or sometimes simply called a Web host. Whether you are looking for your 1st Web hosting provider to host your new Website or are looking for a better one at a lower cost, this article can help you make a smarter choice.

There are many, many website hosting providers out there, some are geared for individuals with blog websites, small businesses or groups or large companies. Most will ask you to sign up for a 1 year contract to lock in the monthly rate. Some will include 1 Website domain registration per year. You want to find one that is a good price, has experience, offers a minimum of 24/7 support either via phone or via online live chat, offers e-mails and enough space/bandwidth for your Website needs. Most will also try to up-sell you on services you don’t need, such as regular backup service. This can be set up for free as a WordPress plugin. See my blog post called How to back-up your WordPress Website on a regular basis for free

What makes the right Web hosting provider one for your small business?

Here are some questions that you should ask BEFORE you say YES to a contract with a web hosting provider.

  • What is the price per month/per year?
    This is a huge factor, especially if you are on a budget. This price should range between $2 – $10 per month
  • Will the intro price go up the following year or after the initial contract end date?, If yes, by how much?
    Some hosting companies offer a great Intro price if you sign up for 1 year, but there after the price can skyrocket. Be careful!
  • Do you offer 24 hour support via the phone or online chat?
    This is a real important deal breaker. You never know when you will need support, but when it happens you want to be able to get answers at that moment and not during the next time their business is open. I see many Dutch Web hosting companies with this limited support set-up.
  • What do your web hosting package prices include?
    Read the fine print, do comparisons. Sometimes a very low monthly cost may not include enough bandwidth or email accounts that you need.
  • How many e-mails am I allowed to have?
    You want to have a least 5 email accounts for your website. This gives you the option to set up a professional website with professional emails such as info@mywebsite.com or webmaster@mywebsite.com.
  • Do you offer domain name registration for all type of domains including foreign domains such as .nl?
    Some web hosting companies only register .com, .net, .org type domain names, but that doesn’t mean you can’t host with them if you have a foreign domain name. It only means that you will need to register your domain elsewhere and park it/point it to the web hosting servers. It is easier to have both domain name registration and web hosting on one spot. It make one less invoice to keep up with.
  • Do you have a set-up fee?
    You will usually find that the least expensive web hosting companies offer a 1 time set-up fee. This isn’t a deal breaker, but be aware of it when you sign up.
  • What percentage of time are your servers up?
    You want to choose a company that has a good history of service with a a low % of server down time.
  • Do you have Cpanel access?
  • Do you have FTP access?… More about FTP
  • Do you support WordPress?

I have used 3 different Web hosting providers. I can highly recommend each of these three from personal experience.

Recommend Web Hosting Providers

  • GreenGeeks.com – www.greengeeks.com I’ve used them since 2017 and have been very, very pleased with their services. In fact, 5 clients of mine use them too. They have 24/7 support, are always helpful with detailed answers. Servers are up and their customer interface and cPanel are easy to use. They accept credit cards and PayPal for payment. NOTE: .NL domains can only be parked with them, not registerd.
  • One.com – www.one.com
    (I’ve used One.com since 2012) Prices start for less than €2,00 per month. They have a 1 time setup fee, plus yearly domain name cost. They have different web hosting prices, depending on the amount of space you need. They accept credit cards, PayPal and iDeal for payment. Plus they register .nl domain names.

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