When you’re launching a start-up, there are a few things that are very important to get right the first time. Or, at least at the second time of trying. For a high-tech start-up, one of those items you can’t afford to make a mistake with, is web hosting.
So, let’s dive right into why quality web hosting matters and which features are most important.
Ease of Setup
Setting up involves opening an account, making the initial payment, adding a master domain name, setting up an email and then possibly adding a WordPress, Magento or other content management system (CMS) to the domain.
If you’re going to be hard-coding the website line by line, or outsourcing the design, then access to FTP services is important to remotely connect to the root folder for your installation too.
Live Chat Responsiveness
Live chat is a useful feature on most web hosts that lets you talk to their sales staff directly. While they’re also busy answering emails and raised support tickets, they tend to keep up well with live chat requests.
It’s important to distinguish between automatic responses in the age of chat bots versus a human at the other end. The only way to know for sure is to ask a more detailed question or one with multiple parts (number them) and see how they get responded to.
The usefulness of live chat is also important. If you’re unable to get sensible responses to modestly difficult web hosting related questions, then it’s time to ask why that is.
Is Price That Important?
Price only matters if you’re bootstrapping every single expense. With a start-up, trying to get the very cheapest shared web hosting isn’t the right approach. Instead, look for the right level of service at a fair price. After all, the hosting company has to be profitable enough to stay in business – the free hosting and the cheapest ones tend to abruptly go out of business which you don’t want.
Service Levels including Uptime
When you’re looking for the best web hosting, consider what service level you can expect. If you’re not sure where to start looking, you can find a round-up of the best web hosting in 2019 by visiting topwebhostsuk.com who have tested out several shared hosting packages to get a clear sense of which one offered the best service levels including uptime. They’ve ranked them based on uptime, speed and support which will give you a well-rounded overview on the hosting company. As you’ll see from their data, it’s not always the most well-known hosting brand that offers the best service level. Also, the requirements that a start-up may have whether for their website or a SaaS that they launch down the road may differ from other customers too.
Consider the host’s uptime record too. Even a small amount of downtime in one stretch can see a website go offline for half a day or longer. This is significant when providing a product or service that’s expected to be live 24/7 as is the case with many start-ups.
Some hosting companies offer WordPress specific hosting plans. These might be for accounts that are optimised to run quickly under this CMS. There’s likely going to be a quick install feature to make it easier to get up and live with WordPress faster. The days of manually installing WP are over. A staging area to test configurations before going live is useful for a start-up too.
Purchasing the right type of web hosting is important. Find the appropriate balance between price, value and features to get the best outcome for your company.