What to Look for in Long Term Hosting

When you hire a hosting company to host your website, it is important to choose a company that will be able to provide you with all the services you will need for the long term. Changing hosts can be expensive, time-consuming and frustrating when you have to wait for your new IP address to resolve with the Domain Name Server (DNS). Because this is a tedious process, you don’t want to have to make a change unless you have to. When you are looking for long term hosting, there are a few things you need to consider before you make your final decision.

At first glance, most hosting companies fall in a generally common price range. However, that can all change when you start looking into larger hosting packages, e-commerce services, managed hosting, dedicated servers and other extras. It is important to choose a company that offers a wide variety of hosting options and pricing structures for you to choose from depending on your needs. Most hosting companies offer pricing information up front, but if you have any questions or want to know about any extra costs associated with additional services, be sure to contact the prospective host via phone or email.

Growth
In addition to pricing options, you want to make sure that your new hosting company will allow you to expand your hosting needs to grow right along with your business. Every business has goals for the future, and it’s important to think about how much traffic you’ll be getting, any additional features that you want to offer and any e-commerce or security services you might want as your company expands. Ask the hosting company about bandwidth increases, any required service contracts and the ability to upgrade your account as needed.

Customer Service
Another important aspect of quality hosting is customer service. You will need to be able to reach the billing department and tech support network quickly and easily. Calling the hosting company before you join their service is a great way to gain insight into the availability and response time of the staff, and can help you to know early on what you can expect. Some hosting companies use a system of support tickets, while others invite you to email or call your requests in, so its important to choose a hosting company that offers the mode of service you prefer most. Ask about managed services, particularly is you don’t have your own tech team and will need to have the hosting company install programs, add services and upgrade your website. Some hosting companies will offer an all-inclusive management program, while others charge by the job or by the hour. Again, this is information you should know up front.

Additional Services
Some hosting companies offer other related services in addition to traditional hosting. Domain name registration services, unlimited storage space, domain name parking, advertising discounts, search engine optimization services, web design services, free templates, POP3 email services and much more are all just some of the services that can come with even the most basic web hosting account. Read through the website and always feel free to contact the hosting company direct if you have any questions about free services, additional services or alternative solutions.

Make an Informed Choice
The hosting company you choose is extremely important to the overall success of your website. A host that has a reliable service with practically no downtime, responsive customer service staff, affordable rates and flexible hosting packages will help you maximize the potential of your website. If you are running a business online, the hosting company you choose can help you to expand your reach, increase sales and deliver solid customer service through the tools and services they provide.

Don’t just choose a host on a whim or pick something you’ve seen on TV. Do the research and find a hosting solution that has a solid reputation with other website owners that can provide you with all the services you need at a price you can afford.

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