As an entrepreneur, you are used to answering the sharks’ hard questions: How many have you sold? What are your anticipated sales? Where is your website?
Why Does Reliable Hosting Matter?
- You know what they say about first impressions. Prospects will likely see your website before they talk to you. Make that first impression a positive one.
- Your website will be a touchstone for your prospects, telling them more about your services whenever they want the information, day or night. Make every visit a smooth one.
- Your website will be a resource for your customers, whether they just need your phone number or updated pricing or a product description for a referral to a friend. Make those return visits quick and easy.
If you wake up in the middle of the night, it should be because your creative juices are flowing, not because your website is down (again).
What are the Keys to Reliable Hosting?
To impress the sharks, you have to be 100% professional, 100% committed, and 100% ready to deliver. Laying a strong foundation under your website is an easy first step but one that is all too often skipped by frazzled business owners. Here are the steps to follow:
- Pick a reliable hosting business partner, not just a vendor. Your hosting provider should care about you as an individual and be able to talk to you in your language.
- Pick a hosting company that is on the leading edge of hosting technology. Be assured that their servers can handle your website’s requirements.
- Choose a high availability hosting plan, and ask the company to explain how it works. The explanation should be quick and easy. Ignore the service level agreement (SLA); you need reliable hosting not refunds. A refund will not even begin to make up for the lost business if your website goes down and stays down.
- Select a hosting plan that can grow with you. As your business grows and you see traffic spikes around email campaigns or special sales, your website must be able to handle the load.
- Select a hosting company that answers the phone. You should be able to easily reach anyone, from sales to first tier tech support to upper management. You do not hide from your customers. Why would you deal with a business that hides from you?
- Choose a hosting company that readily answers the question, “Why you?” The good ones will have compelling stories about how they will partner with you to assure that your website fully supports your business.
What About the Costs?
Do not get hung up on the cost. The difference in monthly fees between the least expensive, least reliable hosting plans and something more solid is just the cost of a couple of cappuccinos. The cost of starting cheap and migrating to better hosting later will eclipse any savings you might realize by starting out at a discount hosting company.
Back to the Shark Tank
How committed are you? Is this your only job or are you wishy-washy, hedging your bets, dividing your loyalties? Click to read Hen’s Teeth Network’s article, 6 Signs of Reliable Hosting Plans. It gives you a specific shopping list. It also has links to several more resources, including a free ebook which demystifies website hosting.