Impact of web hosting on online business
Now a days, e-commerce has moved online – and not just for big guys like Amazon, but for millions of smaller companies selling their wares and capabilities. At the same time, these business owners have also seen an increase in the options available for how they host and manage their mission critical sites and in the number of hosting providers in the marketplace.
Without the benefit of in-house technical expertise, overwhelmed by the options available and frazzled by time constraints, many small business owners struggle to find the right hosting provider. Choosing a provider is often viewed as a necessary evil rather than a strategic partnering decision and as a result their business could likely suffer for it.
Businesses need a hosting partner they can trust. Three factors top owners’ concerns when choosing a hosting provider:
- In Web’s survey, 88 percent of respondents considered security one of the most important criteria when selecting a hosting provider. Unlike large corporations, most small businesses lack the advanced tech support and funds to recover from a security breach. Owners want a provider that has built in security at the network, platform and application level. Ask about the provider’s security expertise and proactive monitoring. A good hosting provider is constantly blocking malicious activity, offering security solutions and helping with compliance needs.
- Almost half of respondents have experienced technical issues with their hosting company in the past 12 months. From the survey, the average number of technical issues is 4.5 – an unacceptable figure when even one technical issue could be detrimental for a business that is web-dependent. Not surprising, reliability is considered one of the most important criteria when selecting a provider according to 89 percent of respondents. Web-dependent businesses deserve 100 percent power and network uptime. While every provider may promote great service and high availability, ask them what they do when it doesn’t happen. With a hosting partner, owners should expect service level agreements that guarantee everything from response times and hardware replacement to compensation for downtime.
- When choosing a hosting provider, it is important to dig deep on the expertise of support personnel. Not every company offers 24x7x365 service and a tiered support model can cause delays in finding and addressing any hosting issues. Insure that the hosting provider offers access to experts around the clock and on the first contact – consulting on the product that is best for each business, helping if the site or application is slow and proactively flagging any issues. Having certified experts on-site and near the servers means if there is an issue, it will be fixed quickly. No middleman. No finger pointing.