It’s certainly a good thing to learn from your mistakes, but in business it’s much better to learn from the mistakes of others. Far too often, you hear about businesses that have made some kind of poor decision with their web hosting, and end up suffering the numerous and expensive consequences. When you’re first setting up your web host and solution provider, you need to do everything you can to ensure you’re getting a reliable and cost-effective deal. Here, we’ll look at some of the most common mistakes business owners make when setting up their first servers.
Expecting a Cheap or Free Web Host Solution
Nothing that’s worth having comes free in this world, except a few free WordPress themes! This rule certainly applies to your hosting service, and if someone comes to you offering a hosting deal that’s exceedingly cheap or even free, then you’re almost certain to run into various problems. The host may end up placing third-party ads on your site without your knowledge, you’re likely to have a poor loading speed, and there’s a good chance that the provider will give an extremely poor standard of technical support, or none at all! A free or cheap hosting provider can also have a detrimental impact on your SERP rankings. Google’s crawlers certainly won’t give your site equal importance when you’re running on a poor-quality server. I understand that your capital and other resources may be stretched, but this is one area where you really have to spend money to make money.
Thinking That Shared and Dedicated Hosting are the Same
When presented with the choice between shared and dedicated hosting, a lot of business owners will rush through the decision, believing that the two options are more or less the same. This is wrong. Choose a shared server on the lower end of the spectrum in terms of monthly cost, and you’ll be opening yourself up to all kinds of risks. This is mainly due to the fact that you’ll be sharing the retail space with thousands of other sites. If one of these happens to use maximum resources, or even worse, encounters a virus or some malicious coding, you’re going to feel the sting of it, even though you had nothing to do with the root of the issue! Furthermore, you’re almost guaranteeing that your loading times will be restricted, and occasionally the web host may have to shut the server down during your business hours. These issues, when they come up again and again, can cause your business to hemorrhage money. To avoid this, I strongly recommend going for a dedicated server, or finding a cheaper middle ground like a VPS Server for your hosting solution.
Skimming the Terms and Conditions
It’s 2017 now, and everyone’s more used than ever to scrolling swiftly to the bottom of a window of text and blindly clicking “I agree”. This may not be a big deal when it comes to the latest iTunes update, but when you’re setting up your first web host, skimming through the T’s and C’s can be a recipe for disaster. A lot of hosting firms will only really highlight the points of the agreement they want you to read, not what you should read to make sure you avoid any future issues. Make sure you go through refund policy, the terms of service agreement, the cancellation policy, and similar things. If you need any clarification on what certain terms or sections mean, be sure to contact your provider and ask them. It’s your duty to verify the service description, the deliverables and any related conditions before you put a single penny down.
Failing to be Clear on Bandwidth and Disk Space
When checking out different hosting services, you’ll find that you have a lot of options in terms of the disk space and bandwidth. If you’re not a techy type, then all the different choices and prices can be a little confusing. However, if you want to make sure your hosting service really works for you, it’s essential to spend some time educating yourself on how these things will affect your hosting experience. For most start-ups, a subscription giving you 50MB of disk space and around 10GB of bandwidth will be more than enough. If you shoot much lower, you’ll encounter all kinds of problems like having to work within transfer limits and recurring downtime.
Forgetting the Basics
I know, entering into a subscription for a hosting service isn’t quite as simple as finding a desk fan on Amazon. However, there are still certain universal protocols which you need to follow every time you’re buying something online. You need to have reliable and regularly accessible contact information, so you can get in touch with the vendor if you encounter any issues. You should make a point to seek out customer testimonials and similar third-party reviews too. It’s also important to look for things like a money back guarantee, and to find out about the level of technical support the provider will offer you.
Ignoring the SEO Implications
Earlier, I touched on how the hosting service you choose can impact where your site appears on its SERPs. A lot of would-be successes choose their hosting service thinking that as long as it has a pretty good uptime guarantee, they’ll have nothing else to worry about. Again, believing this is a massive mistake! Hosting problems such as database connection errors, slow site speeds, and shared hosting with dubious spam sites can all bring down a site’s credibility, both in the eyes of Google’s crawlers and human users. If you have runtime errors that get dragged out, an exceeded bandwidth limit, and internal server errors, you can even end up knocking your site off of Google’s index! You may have the greatest SEO team to ever be assembled at a start-up. However, if you don’t choose a high-quality host, your digital marketing is invariably going to suffer. Don’t let the promise of big savings chase away your prospective leads!
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