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Domains & Where to Host Your Site

Oct 6, 2012

Finding the right solution for your company

Most businesses have a website and those that don’t are quickly hiring a developer to put one together. With more and more people using the internet as a way to search for and connect with businesses – a companies online presence is essential for conducting business. Choosing the right domain and hosting platform is imperative to ensure that there are no interruptions in service, no downtime, and a crisp user friendly experience. Your website is the face of your company and the consumer experience must be smooth or they will associate website problems as representative of company problems. In order to avoid this make sure you choose a reliable solution for your website needs.

There are many things to consider when choosing a service to host your website. Here are some things to look for:

1. Customer Service: Whether it is you, someone on your staff, or an outsourced IT company someone will have to work with the hosting company. Access to customer service, the level of support they provide, and customer service reviews are important to analyze prior to making a determination. Poor customer service or difficulty in accessing support will cost you more money. Your time is valuable and the money you pay to employees or service providers is better spent productively then on hours negotiating the waters of poor customer service.

2. Price: Review the cost of hosting your website. There are often hidden fees associated with hosting. For example an advertised rate may only apply to a base package. If you have an e-commerce component to your website additional certifications need to be paid for and the prices go up drastically. When pricing out a service contact them directly to describe the purpose of your website and how it needs to function in order to determine the true hosting cost.

3. Domain: It is easier if you can purchase the domain from the same company that is hosting your website. That way you don’t need to worry about transferring the domain over prior to making the site live. It is also one less bill and login to worry about.

4. Email: Look for a solution that has an email component attached. This will save you time by providing an “all in one” solution.

5. Ease of Use: Look for providers that make changing or updating your website as painless as possible. As your company changes your website needs to change with it. The more difficult it is for someone to adjust the website – the more money you have to pay.

6. Downtime: Review customer complaints for downtime. As an example in September Go Daddy had wide spread outages with its registered domain name services (DNS). This caused websites to go down for thousands, if not millions, of customers. Since they manage 52 million domain names it is impossible to calculate the exact number of sites that went down or the revenue companies lost because their site was not live. If a consumer is searching for an electrician online and your company site is down they will most likely go immediately to your competitor. Making sure your domain and hosting is with a reliable company is essential.

7. Cloud Options: For many companies having a cloud server is the way to go. If you have employees that need to quickly access documents, presentations, and company information from remote locations cloud service is a fantastic solution. Companies like Google allow you to host your website, provide email solutions and you can upload company documents for employees to access. Their online document storage also lets you assign permissions to employees so that the sales associate does not have access to the financial statements you and your bookkeeper are working on.

The key is to look for ways to streamline and be more efficient. Finding an “all in one” solution helps to accomplish this. By having your domain registered, website hosted, and email service with one provider you (or your IT service provider) will have easy access to everything in one place – reducing the cost of managing your site. It is important to check for customer complaints and a company’s service reputation prior to making any moves. The last thing you want to do is move your site and email over to have it go down due to outage problems. Remember your website is the face of your company to millions of online users. Spend time to portray the company image you want customers to see and ensure that your image is maintained by working with a reliable DNS and hosting service.

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