You want to get online with a website that will look good and work right. You want a website that you can change when you learn more about how you want to present your business. This is what you know. What you don’t know about finding website hosting and getting online… is everything else.
These days, getting online can be a problem of TMI: too much information. You have the business plan, you are motivated, you have the startup capital you need, and you even have a network and vendors or sources ready to go. Then you sit down in front of your laptop or computer monitor and start looking at web hosting services. Soon you feel very overwhelmed.
Seems like everybody claims to have what you want. And the terminology is unfamiliar (what’s uptime? Who’s UNIX?) And you’re starting to think you can’t afford to get online since you’ll first need to hire an interpreter to even figure out what you need.
When you have a medical concern or you need help with your taxes-any time you have a problem that is too complex to solve on your own, you go to an expert. You obtain the services of someone who speaks the language and who can provide the benefit of many years in the industry. It’s an effective way to save time, stress and even money most of the time. To find someone you can trust, you either get a referral or use a checklist to determine what you must have and absolutely don’t want with this professional service. Or you do both (referrals + checklist).
Same with web site hosting, web design, a domain name, security, a shopping cart, copywriting services, etc.: You can ask around for hosting providers people recommend and/or you can create a checklist to help you select a provider you can trust. Or, to be thorough, you can pull together a list of recommended providers then use your checklist to figure out which will be best.
While getting referrals depends on you and your connections, a checklist is a can apply generally. Use the following list to get you started with or without referrals. Add to it or only use those elements that matter most to you.
Besides the dozen things you will want if you’re serious about running a business online, you will know you have a solid, broad base of services if you can also get:
While some hosting providers do all of the above, some provide exemplary services in some areas but not in others. Wherever you go, you want the end product to support your business objectives, so this should remain in your line of sight as you review your options. So don’t hesitate to contact many different candidates and ask your questions. Look for providers who are patient and who have sales reps who know their business-it’s a sign of a quality company when the sales reps are articulate, knowledgeable, courteous and genuinely interested in helping you with your objectives (as opposed to only being interested in making the sale!)
Getting a website can be confusing, but if you go about it methodically, using the above checklist or a modified version of your own, things should go well. You will find an expert web site hosting provider you can trust and can get back to doing what you do best: running your business.