Professional website hosting is a must if you plan to use your website to sell products or market services. Because there are so many hosting companies out there, you must use several criteria to compare hosts and pick the best one for your needs. These are the five things you must look for when searching for a Web hosting company in Minnesota.
When people visit your website and receive error messages, those errors reflect poorly on your company. That is why reliability is one of the most important considerations when choosing a Web host. The host you choose should guarantee the amount of time it is functional. Look for hosts with a guaranteed uptime of no less than 99 percent. If you are using a website for business purposes, you really should find a host that has a guaranteed uptime of at least 99.5 percent. Although you should look for a company that offers an uptime guarantee, you also have to realize that problems do occur. This is why you should also choose a website hosting company that provides a discount or refund when it falls below the guaranteed uptime.
Your website hosting company should also offer extensive technical support. For best results, choose a host that offers 24/7 support and has staff members available on weekends and holidays. Website problems do not always occur between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., so it is essential that you have technical support available when you need it. Before signing up with a Web host, test their support service to determine how quickly someone responds to a request for help.
Always check to see what bandwidth limits are offered so that you don’t get surprised with a large bill. If your site is new, you may not need a lot of bandwidth to get started. Similarly, a text-based site that does not have a lot of photos, videos, or audio files will not need as much bandwidth as a multimedia site. If you expect your site to grow quickly, it may be worth investing in a plan that has a significant amount of bandwidth included so that you do not have to switch plans at a later date.
When comparing Web hosts, always look for companies that offer PHP, MySQL, FTP, and other tools. Some companies will not allow you to install scripts without getting permission, which could delay the launch of your website or make it difficult to install new website features. You should also look for a Web host that allows you to create and edit .htaccess files, as you will need this capability to password-protect directory folders and customize your site’s error pages. Some website hosting companies also offer additional features, such as one-click WordPress installation or cPanel access.
If you have invested in your own domain name, you will likely want to set up one or more e-mail accounts with that domain name. Make sure your new host allows you to create e-mail addresses, forward mail to other e-mail addresses, and send autoresponder messages. If you use Microsoft Outlook or another e-mail management tool, you should also make sure the website hosting company you select allows you to access your e-mail messages via POP3.
Whether you are just starting a new company or you have been in business for years, your website is one of your most important marketing and sales tools. Choosing the right website hosting company is one of the most important steps in getting your site online and ready to serve customers. After comparing hosting plans, choose the Minnesota Web host that offers the features you need at a price you can afford.