When you’re gearing up to launch your website—whether it’s “just” a new website or you’re starting a business from scratch—you have a heavy plate. You want to trim the fat and take shortcuts wherever possible. However, what seems like multi-tasking and streamlining can actually lead to massive oversights. It’s relatively simple to register a domain and scoop up free web hosting while you’re at it, but is that the best option for you and your business? Just because something seems fast and easy doesn’t mean it is in the long haul.
Web hosting is the biggest oversight new website owners make. You might think you’re “only” writing a personal blog, so do you really need a comprehensive review of the web host? Yes. You need to choose a host that can manage traffic and scalability if your blog blows up like Perez Hilton’s. It’s much easier to do the research and pinpoint a quality web host from the start instead of switching down the road.
Here are some common oversights made before and during the launch of a website. Give these task items the attention they deserve, and you’ll be rewarded in the future:
- Scalability and flexibility: Your web host should offer both scalability and flexibility by the bucketful. You’ll never know for certain when you’ll need more features/services, less of them or when you might want to add on additional features or choose a shared hosting plan with fewer clients. It should be simple to switch and flex to ensure you can stick with your web host for the long haul.
- Content type: What kind of content will you be hosting? If it’s multimedia, that’s going to take a lot more work than a text-only site. For extremely heavy content, be wary of free options—or at least read the fine print closely. Both multimedia and heavy usage can cause crashes and a lot of down time. This is especially risky if you have a shared hosting plan with a lot of other clients.
- Security: It doesn’t matter how great a service looks on paper if there’s no security. The FORTRUST company claims that every major corporation in the world has been breached at least once. You may not be a major corporation, but that doesn’t mean you’re not a target for hacks. Security is a non-negotiable item.
- Services: The quality and timeliness of customer service can also be a deal breaker. You deserve a host that’s available 24/7, holidays, weekends and with a live person always at the ready. If you need urgent services at 3am, you don’t want to wait hours or days. Your website could be losing customers, sales and reputation points with every second it’s down.
- Check the monetization methods with free hosting: Not all web hosting is truly free. Many are making money via monetization approaches, such as data collecting or advertising on your website. If that’s fine with you, it’s a great way to save a little cash. Just make sure you know exactly how they’re getting paid so you don’t become an accidental marketing toy for them.
Your web host can and should be on your side as a cheerleader. They’re a support network and a source of expertise, which can be a godsend for those brand new to managing websites. Spend a little time, call for consultations and don’t let price alone dictate your decision—even if that price is free.