If you've invested a lot of effort in finding the right people to develop your website and the right people to market it for you, then you owe it your business to find a web hosting provider who is equally as great.
A great web hosting provider will ensure that your site is secure and functioning at all times. When you are meeting with potential providers, ask these questions to make sure they are the right fit for your business.
What You Need to Ask Before Choosing Your Web Hosting Provider
1. What’s your uptime and reliability scores for the last 365 days?
A reputable hosting provider will be transparent about their uptime and reliability scores from the last year. They will also have a 99% or higher score.
These scores are important to consider because you don’t want your website to have any downtime.
2. Do you provide an SSL certificate (HTTPS)?
If your website stores any type of confidential information, then it is essential to have a SSL certificate. The certificate establishes a secure, encrypted connection between your customer’s device and your website.
It’s convenient if you hosting company provides this, so you don’t have to go out and do it through a third-party.
3. Do you provide a Content Delivery Network (CDN)?
A CDN helps your website achieve superb load times whether your website visitor is down the street or across the globe. It also helps avoid website slowdowns and crashes during times of heavy traffic, such as TV appearances or a major national publicity, by putting copies of your website on servers around the globe.
Ask your web hosting provider if they do this so you know that your website won't be hindered by external factors.
4. Are you PCI, HIPAA, or PCI DSS compliant?
If your website is in the ecommerce category, then you will need a web hosting provider that is PCI or PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) compliant. Web hosting that complies with these standards are providing your company with the highest level of security for the confidential information entered in systems on your site.
Therefore, this question is necessary to ask your potential web hosting provider. Same thing applies for businesses that handle electronic medical records in looking for a HIPAA-compliant web hosting provider that complies with the act's regulations.
5. Does your hosting service have backups? If so, how many days of backups do you keep?
In the event of a disaster, backups are essential to save your data. The more often your web hosting company does backups means that you will have access to the latest version of your site. So when you restore your website, you won't have lost your data.
Consistent backups mean that in the event of an accident, your data is backed up on several hard drives. This is important so that you don’t lose your most recent updates that you've made to your site.
6. What’s the availability of your support team? And where are they located?
Outsourced support can be a headache if their hours of operation are limited and you aren’t even familiar with who you are speaking with. Ask your hosting provider for details about their support team. Ideally, they’d have in-house support so that you know you will be working an expert who is familiar with your account.
7. How quickly can backups be recovered?
Problems can happen to even the most prepared web hosting providers, so it's important to know what their business continuity plan is in the event of any downtime. For example, it's essential to know how quickly they can recover your backups and restore your site.