How to Find a Reliable Web Site Hosting Provider for your Small Business
How can you tell a reliable web hosting provider from an unreliable one? If your business relies on customers finding you on the Internet or completing transactions, your web hosting provider is the key.
As with real estate, in retail stores there are three things that are important for business success: location, location, location. Online, it is web hosting, web hosting, web hosting. Where you place your domain counts. Your web site is your real estate and your web hosting provider defines the value of your real estate.
Small Business Web Site Hosting Requires...
Small business web site hosting requires the following services from its hosting provider:
Powerful linux or windows servers using reliable hardware and software. This is the key to having a reliable business web site... No matter how much fancy design and programming you put into it, no one will be able to do business with you if your web site isn't working. Think about building a house. You can build a mansion in the desert where there is no ground water and the mansion will not be worth a thing. Build your domain on a well-located web host.
24x7x365 security and server monitoring. Is this not obvious, too? Just as your new mansion needs a security system, starting with locks on the doors and windows that shut, your web hosting provider needs to supply security and monitoring to ensure your server is properly functioning every minute of every day. For a small business catering to clients all around the world this is doubly important, as you are selling to your customer while you sleep. Make sure your web site provider is not sleeping.
24x7x365 technical support. This might be less obvious, but even the best-monitored servers can go astray once in awhile. Or you might simply have made an error that needs to be corrected - fast! It is then that you need more than just any web hosting provider - that's when you need a reliable web hosting provider for your business that offers technical support around the clock, even on holidays.
"I just wanted to thank you for everything! In 1999, we decided to upgrade our web presence. After much research and consideration we choose Phastnet as our web hosting provider and for web site development services, domain name registration, and a complete eCommerce solution. Over the last 7 years we have invested over $40,000 with Phastnet in our website, resulting in tremendous success! It has been one of our best investments! The service has been reliable and fast, which is just what our small business needs!"
-Corey Ritter, Body Design, Atlanta, GA
Reliable Business Web Hosting Services Offer...
Daily backups of server, web site, and database files. This is a simple baseline security measure. Phastnet does this for your web site. Many web hosting providers do it for their customers, but you would be surprised how many do not. Even if you keep a backup of your web site (which you should!), it can take much longer to restore the web site files from a remote location instead of having your web host do it for you. There are many other files and configurations that need to be backed up too, such as e-mail, databases, spam filter settings, etc. Any reliable web site hosting provider will back everything up on a daily basis.
Knowledgeable server administrators and technical support. There is a reason this is called "The Information Highway". Your web host needs to have the information right at hand. A small business owner needs to know that he can get help immediately, not wait a few days for someone to call back or to find the information to fix an urgent problem.
The latest server-side programming languages and features, such as PHP, mySQL, ASP.NET, and drag & drop web site builder software. What is the point of a web hosting provider who cannot support your web site in the language your programmer has built it. Small business needs web hosting services to accommodate its current website as well as future modification, whether they are small and transient or complete overhauls.
"I was pleased to learn that my web hosting provider has flexibility to grow with my business. It's still a small business, but a bigger small business than it was, and I have been able twice to upgrade my web site hosting plan to accommodate increased traffic."
-David Leonhardt, Phastnet customer, TheHappyGuy.com
A Good Business Domain Hosting Provider Also Offers...
Reliable shopping cart software for e-commerce sites, such as MIVA Merchant and osCommerce. If you are selling on the Web, you probably know the value of reliable shopping cart software. Phastnet offers MIVA Merchant 5 for free with MIVA web hosting plans and supports osCommerce on its servers. Both are able to be installed with a few clicks in the control panel. Whatever your shopping cart needs, you can rely on Phastnet.
A complete e-mail solution. To have any credibility, a small business must use e-mail addresses on its own domain name. We offer as many e-mail addresses as you need, and we can support newsletters as well. Our e-mail services are as reliable as our servers. Phastnet also has the best and most reliable spam filtering solutions currently available, including RBL-based reject lists that stop thousands of spam emails before the server even processes them, which saves the server a lot of work and saves you a LOT of time too. Our second level of spam protection involves the popular SpamAssassin software, which uses a scoring system to identify whether or not an e-mail is spam and each of your e-mail accounts can be configured separately based on the user's spam tolerance level.
So how can you tell a reliable small business web site hosting provider from an unreliable small business web site hosting provider? The bottom line is that the reliable web hosting provider pays close attention to details. And it will show as your small business grows.
Thank you for choosing Phastnet, your reliable small business web site and domain name hosting provider.