How to Choose the Right Hosting Plan

Having a website is an essential part of marketing for your business but with so many hosting options on the market, it can be difficult to determine which one is right for you. As you navigate the website plans you are interested in, consider several factors before choosing one.

Know What You Need

Before you even begin searching for a hosting company, it is important to know what functions you expect from your website. Most companies choose to keep a blog, so you will likely want something that provides WordPress or another blogging platform. You should also consider whether you plan to sell your products online, if you want to use special codes or software such as PHP or Windows applications and how much traffic you expect your site to receive.

Research Server Reliability

One of the most important factors when choosing hosting is the reliability of the company’s servers. An unreliable hosting company means an unreliable website. If your site is constantly down due to bad servers, customers won’t be able to find you and will likely begin to consider your business an unreliable one. Never purchase hosting from a company that doesn’t have at least a 99 percent uptime score and aim to find one that is 99.5 percent or higher.

Think About Your Budget

While the cost shouldn’t be your only determining factor, budget is no doubt important when running a business. As you look at website pricing, you must consider renewal pricing in addition to the cost to sign up. While most companies offer very low rates to sign up, renewal pricing can be much higher. It is also important to read the TOS before you sign up for any deal. You may find something that advertising hosting for a couple of bucks per month, but the fine print probably says you need to pay for several years at once to get that price.

Decide if You Need E-Commerce

If you want to sell your product online, you need to choose from website plans that provide e-commerce features. In addition to a reliable shopping cart software, the company should provide a safe means for transmitting credit card information. You may also want to look for a company that provides technical support. Ideally, you will use a company that offers one-click installation of any scripts or software, especially if you aren’t knowledgeable about the behind the scenes of running a website.

Find a Good Control Panel

Finally, purchase your hosting from a company that offers a user-friendly control panel such as cPanel or Plesk. The control panel is where you will upload information, install or change scripts, create e-mail addresses and subdomains, and maintain all other aspects of your site so it must be something you are comfortable using.

Some companies, such as AT&T Website Solutions, will offer several types of website plans. DIY plans will be cheaper but may not work for you if you aren’t accustomed to designing websites. In this situation, it will likely be worth it to pay a bit more per month and have the company build your website for you.

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