Things are changing. As more people have stayed home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, their buying behaviors have evolved as well, with online purchases in the U.S. growing by over 50 percent in 2020 as compared to this time last year. Many small businesses have been scrambling to adapt to this trend by creating or enhancing an online presence to meet their customers in this new virtual reality.
Even as many storefronts begin to reopen, eCommerce is projected to continue to grow, making it more important than ever to have a reliable website that represents your company and means you are always open for business. If you’re ready to build a new website, a critical factor in this equation is a web hosting provider, which provides you with space on an online server network to safely and securely house your site and make it accessible to your customers on the internet.
Leading website builder options will often include free hosting and additional benefits as part of an affordable package. To get the most for your website investment, here are some features you should look for when considering a web host.
1. Domain Registration
When you’re creating a new website, having a descriptive domain name for your site address is an important factor in helping your customers find and remember your business. Ideally, your domain should reflect your company and brand names. A good web host will assist you in registering your domain name and provide guidance on a name selection that’s the right fit for your business.
2. Plenty of Data Storage
You always need to ensure that your website operates efficiently. Finding a web host with a scalable data storage plan will allow you to select the right amount of storage capacity for your needs. This will ensure that your website always has enough bandwidth to keep pace with increasing numbers of web visitors as your brand continues to expand, without investing in more capacity than you need.
3. Reliable Data Backup
If a system crash or hard drive failure occurs, it is important to have your website data backed up and recoverable so your site will be back up and running as soon as possible for online visitors and customers. Protecting your data from unexpected challenges is a smart investment in your website and brand and offers you peace of mind knowing that you will never lose access to valuable website and business data.
4. Great Uptime Ratios
With an increase in business website visits of over 40 percent during the coronavirus crisis, having a reliable website that customers can access anytime day or night is critical. While perfection isn’t always possible, look for a web host that offers greater than 99 percent uptime. This will help to ensure that your customers always have access to your products and services.
5. Safe, Secure Access
Website security is always important but this subject has been greatly magnified during the coronavirus crisis with cyberattacks increasing 500 percent worldwide. You want a host that not only has safeguards in place to protect your website data but also offers resources like Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates that protect your online customers’ personal information when they are shopping on your eCommerce site.
6. High-Performance FTP Accounts
A file transfer protocol (FTP) account allows you to quickly and easily upload and manage files on your website. As your business continues to evolve and grow, your website should as well. Using an FTP account makes it possible to continually update your website and content to give customers the best possible online experience. Having access to multiple FTP accounts will also help you be more productive by giving your employees transfer access to your website.
7. Multiple Email Boxes
Email boxes are a nice value add offered by some web hosts and are important for keeping your employees in contact with your customers and each other. A business email account gives your company instant credibility and an added layer of professionalism with an email address that matches your brand. Your employees will be able to access their email accounts from laptops, desktops and mobile devices.
8. Expert Technical Support
To ensure that your web hosting experience always goes smoothly and seamlessly, look for a provider offering expert technical support that is reliable and highly accessible. If and when any challenges arise, it is always good to know that you are working with proven professionals who understand your specific business and web hosting needs. It’s a smart investment in your website – and your peace of mind.
When you choose a website package with Web.com, you will not only have access to a great website builder, you’ll receive free web hosting – and that’s just the beginning. You’ll also get a free domain name and hosting benefits that will provide your website with 99.9 percent uptime so your customers will have 24/7 access to your business anytime, anywhere.
You can also select an affordable option with unlimited disk space and storage, unlimited data transfers, unlimited FTP accounts and up to 1000 multi-user email boxes.
Best of all, you will receive dedicated web hosting and online marketing support from Web.com experts who have helped over 3 million small businesses get – and stay – up and running online.
There’s never been a more important time to make the most of your online marketing investments. Choosing a web hosting provider you can trust is a good start. Trust the professionals at Web.com to make web hosting and your online marketing experience easy and affordable so you can continue to build strong connections with your customers. We’re always here for you – just let us know how we can help.