What is the best web hosting service for a small business starting up in Australia?
There are so many options and lots of these big providers pump extraordinary amounts of money into their marketing.
But are they the best fit for your business?
It is a question that I get asked frequently and not even by small businesses owners, large business owners as well.
Recently, I got a phone call from a friend of mine and he asked me whether he needs web-hosting as it’s just an expense on his balance sheet.
Keep in mind that this is not a start-up founder, this guy runs a national business which turnover millions of dollars a year. He has multiple websites for the businesses and their many different services.
So, when he asked me this question, I was really taken aback.
“Well, do you use your websites?”
“Yes, we get lots of leads through our websites”
“Well, if you cut off your hosting, your websites will disappear”
“What do you mean, hosting has nothing to do with my website. I had a developer make my website?”
This type of conversation is just way too common.
So, let’s look at you.
You are a busy entrepreneur and next on the never-ending list is to set up a website.
What is the best choice for your business?
Here we will break down what to look for in your provider and how to find the best fit.
Do I need web hosting?
Think of web hosting as the way you secure your businesses storefront in the shopping centre of the internet.
However, just like there are dodgy landlords, poor locations and bad architecture in the physical world. This translates into the online world as well.
It is very important you choose a proven and reliable web hosting provider so that you can minimise as many problems as possible for your business.
How do I find the best web hosting provider for my business?
The first thing you need to do is to search for web hosting providers in your region, like www.hbhosting.com.au and then check for their reviews.
What you absolutely need is a provider who has been rated highly for their customer service and support systems.
The quicker a provider can get your site back up and running, the less money you will lose.
The next thing you want to look at is their total downtime.
For example, HB Hosting has had almost no downtime since its servers switched on for the first time.
You can usually find this information on a provider’s website (if you can’t, it’s probably not a good sign).
Lastly, it is important to check what your provider offers per package and compare it against other providers.
On the surface level, some providers will seem very cheap and that might be tempting, however, they are cheap because you won’t really get much for your money.
I have found a web hosting provider that I like, now what?
A lot of web-hosting providers will make this more confusing than it needs to be and will fill the next steps with a lot of jargon. So, let’s break it down.
To understand more web-hosting terms check out our blog post here!
The first thing you are going to need for your storefront (website) is a name!
This is called a domain.
That is the address that you type in to go to a website or just like you type an address into maps.
This can also get a bit confusing with the different address types, but if you’re unsure with what to get, ‘.com’ or ‘.com.(your country)’ is always a safe bet.
Once you have chosen that, the last thing you need to do is to find a way to protect your website.
Your provider should offer you some form of protection before purchasing your hosting services.
How do I make my website?
You have your domain now and it’s all registered.
Now you have to actually make your website!
You need to find a website building software that you like and feel comfortable using.
You can either do this yourself or invest in a developer, who will most likely have a software which they use.
I personally prefer WordPress or Wix, but it is totally up to you.
To make your website work for you, you are going to need to focus on two key things:
- The design of your website working to flow people through to becoming a lead/purchasing
- The SEO of your website (how well you rank)
Again, you definitely can go about learning how to do this yourself.
I would suggest investing in getting someone to do this for you as it can be a major success factor for your website and you have better things to be worrying about.
Once your website is looking good and you are happy with its content, it is time to put it to work.
Start publishing keyword optimised content to boost your SEO and jump the ranks in Google.
A website is constantly changing and evolving.
Much like how you need to keep a brick and mortar store clean and modern looking, it is the same with any website.
Constant small amounts of ‘sweeping’ can save you a major headache in the future.
As a general rule, if you can find a company that looks after its customers, you will be alright.
If you are unsure about anything, being able to contact some form of support (like my mate did) to go run through your questions, is worth every dollar.
If you have any questions please feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, I look forward to hearing from you what you thought about this advice, so drop a comment below and I would always appreciate a share to your networks!