Everyone makes mistakes at some time or other, but there are some areas where they can prove to be more costly than others. One of those is web hosting; get it wrong and you suffer a financial penalty, but the reputation of your business can suffer too.
To help you avoid getting it wrong, here are some of the most common web-hosting pitfalls.
1. Not Reading Terms and Conditions
Because we’re busy, we seldom read all of the terms and conditions associated with any contract, but when signing up to a web host you really should. You need to understand the cost of the service, including any penalty charges should you exceed your bandwidth allowance or need more space. It’s also important to understand any cancellation clauses. If you’re in doubt, ask for clarification before signing the contract.
2. Using Free or Cheap Hosting
There are companies that will host your website for nothing, but as the old saying goes, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”. Choose a free host and you’ll probably have to have advertising on your site; you have no control over this, so it could end up being for your competitors. You also won’t get the level of service with a free or cheap host that you would when choosing web hosting in Leicester from a company such as pixelutopia.co.uk because there are likely to be limits on bandwidth and space.
3. Forgetting the Basics
Don’t be seduced into signing up for hosting with a company just on the basis of a slick, good-looking website. Make sure you follow the same rules as you would for buying anything online. Ensure that there’s an address and phone number for the company, so you know how to get in touch in the event of problems. Make sure you have all the information you need, and look for testimonials from other customers – not just on the site itself but on independent review sites too.
4. Getting Poor Support
Most web hosts will offer some sort of control panel or online portal to allow you to see what’s happening with your site and with the status of the service in general. However, this isn’t always enough. Sometimes there’s no substitute for talking to a support person. Make sure you have a phone number to call in the event of problems, and ask if you get to speak to an actual technician rather than having your enquiry filtered via a help desk.
5. Backing Yourself into a Corner
Once you have a successful website your business will, hopefully, expand. Make sure that your web host isn’t going to put the brakes on this. Ask about extra features that – although you may not need them immediately – may be crucial to your success in future. These may include things like adding extra email addresses to your account, accepting foreign currencies on a shopping cart or being able to run your own scripts on the server. Don’t risk discovering that these things aren’t possible or are more expensive when you urgently need them.