What Kind of Things to Look For in a Business Web Hosting ServiceProvider

When it comes to setting up a business website, it is important for you to find a good business web hosting provider first. There are many factors to consider when looking for a provider. It is important not to choose the first company that comes your way, but to make sure that your provider is able to cater to the needs of your business best. In order to do this, you have take into account several factors that come into play. Some of these are the following: disk space, bandwidth, affordability, reliability, money back guarantee, and technical support availability.

First off, you need to check whether the business web hosting provider allows you to upgrade into a bigger bandwidth and disk space in the future. Some providers offer small hosting packages, which may be well suited to many start-up businesses; however this may not suffice once your company begins to experience growth and consequently starts to build up on traffic. There is a need for a bigger bandwidth when your website accumulates traffic, or when you begin to add more images and content into your site. Thus, you might want to go for a hosting provider that offers more flexible plans for your business.

Secondly, you also need to check on the reliability of the business web hosting company. There are many hosting companies found online, all offering different services at different rates; however you need to find a company that you can truly rely on. Does the company employ hosting professionals who can help you with your needs? Have they been in the business for a considerable time already? Do they have sufficient back up servers which can cater to emergency needs? By asking questions like these you can find the hosting provider that gives you the kind of services you really need.

Affordability is often a crucial factor but there are also instances when you get the kind of service that you pay for. Thus, before you settle for any affordable business web hosting provider, you also need to look into the kind of services that they offer. Does their cheapest plan cover your needs? Or would you rather get a more expensive plan that will give your business the kinds of solutions it needs? Many start-up businesses begin with a cheaper plan, only to choose a more expensive one as their business needs begin to grow. However if you have a smaller budget in the meantime, choosing affordable services will help you get started.

Whether you have a web-based business or you plan on improving the presence of your existing business online, it is important for you to have a functional website. You cannot do this however if you are unable to choose a reputable business web hosting company. A web hosting company can give you right online hosting solutions. By looking into the factors listed above it will be easier for you to find a web hosting company that will provide your business with what it needs, in terms of building online presence and targeting more customers.

Top Tips For Small Business Web Site Design

Many companies spend thousands of pounds paying designers to develop their web site. These budgets are often beyond the reach of small businesses. This article provides tips for small business web site design to get fantastic results from simple and inexpensive design implementation.

Your website is like a shop window into your business. To entice potential customers to browse around, it has to have a structured look about it. To encourage them to stay and return, you have to present them with quality content. Purchases follow when the user trusts you and you have a compelling offer that solves their problem. All of this can be aided considerably with easy web design.

Your well organised web site tells the user that you are a professional and take care of your business. It's likely to install far more confidence than something that looks like it was put together in five minutes. If you take care of your web site, you will be perceived as being more likely to take care of your customers.

Good design starts with how your site looks. People don't read sites in the same way that they read books. Instead of taking time, they are looking to quickly skim through a site, pick up the required information, and move on. Thus it's essential that you present your content in an easy to digest manner.

For your site to have a good visual impact you should ensure,

  • A high contrast between your text colour and your background. The greatest contrast you can achieve is black and white and, as black text on a white background is what most people are familiar with, this is also easiest on the users eyes.

  • Font used is easy to read. This essentially comprises of two parts - the size of the font and the style. Don't make your font so small that it's difficult to read. For the same reason flamboyant styles should be avoided. The number of different styles used should be kept to a minimum.

  • Use simple backgrounds. A plain background will allow the user to focus on what is on your site. Using busy or patterned backgrounds simply provides something to distract the visitor.

  • Avoid clashing colours. Colours that are too different such as purple and yellow, or the use of lots of bold colours are generally hard on the eye. Visitors are likely to click away to a more visually pleasing site.

  • Images and videos display correctly on the site. A page showing numerous empty boxes just looks tatty and clearly isn't showing your offering to its best potential.

  • Pop up windows should be kept to a minimum, if used at all. Having something, totally unrequested, suddenly appear on the screen, is likely to annoy your visitor and therefore do more harm than good.

Good web site design isn't only about visual impact, but also about the feel of your site, i.e. how easy it is to find things and navigate around the site. This experience can be aided by providing,

  • A consistent layout. For example, if a search box is in the top right hand corner of one page, it should be in the same position on all other pages.

  • A logical menu structure. The main subject categories of the site should have their own menu heading. Related subjects should be found under the appropriate main heading.

  • Good internal links. These will help the user to move quickly and easily to the information they are interested in.

  • A sitemap. Here a user can get an immediate feel for what the site is all about and where things can be found. As the site grows in size, the presence of a sitemap becomes more important.

The final element of good web site design is your content, after all this is what your visitors are actually interested in. When presenting your content you should ensure it is,

  • Quality content. It needs to be interesting, informative and relevant to the subject of your site in order to capture the interest of your visitor.

  • Regularly updated. This will encourage your visitor to keep returning to your site.

  • Presented in an easy to read format. Readers are looking for bite size chunks of information so, as well as complying with the points discussed above, you should ensure that your paragraphs are kept short. Where possible, bullet points should be used. This allows the users to quickly skim through, picking out the salient points.

  • Use images correctly. Images should be used as they break up the space on the page and add to the visual experience. However, they need to be high quality and loaded with an image editing package which can reduce the file to a minimum size. Large files will simply take too long to load so you will risk losing the reader.

  • Avoid music. Unless you have a music site, background music should be avoided. A sudden blast of music which then proceeds to loop is often unwanted and annoying. As such it detracts from the users' experience.

Finally, you should make sure your site conforms to the standards set out at www.w3.org and that it is compatible across the main web browsers. When you put all of the above into practice you should end up with a small business web site design which promotes your business to its best advantage giving you a fantastic business asset.

5 Costly Small Business Web Hosting Mistakes

As every small business startup or owner you are seriously thinking about cutting the costs. And one of the first things to look at when doing business online is web hosting.

You want to get top quality, but don't want to pay much. It makes sense given the fierce competition in web hosting space. However, there are numerous cases where people just lose money when they choose a bad host. So how do you make sure your small business hosting needs are satisfied? Well pay close attention to these 5 mistakes many startups makes when choosing a host. This may save you money in the long run:

1. Not Emailing Technical Support - Tech support is #1 priority when choosing a web host. You would assume that companies who do business make sure their support is top notch. Boy would you be surprised. Many times they don't respond or are lacking basic understanding. What will you do when you have a technical issue and need a quick fix? Always email the host and look at the response time. Good hosts reply within hours, sometimes minutes. Test their phone, live chat support, see what they know. Ask many questions, you need to test their expertise.

2. Not Checking How Long They've Been in Business - When you invest money in web hosting even for small business, you expect a good quality. But choosing a new company to work with is risky. They may be too small, run from a warehouse or garage. Or they may be heading for bankruptcy. If a web host can last longer than 3 or 5 years in the environment, they're pretty save to do business with. Check their domain age to make sure they are long enough in this business.

3. No Analyzing the Features - You have to plan this step ahead. What will be your requirements. What's your business plan and strategy. If you are thinking of making one presentation website for your clients, but doing business mostly offline, then you don't need much really. On the other hand what if you plan to make 10 websites a week with WordPress blogs. You later notice that your small business web host only allows 1 MySQL database per account. Ouch, you're busted. So plan ahead and carefully examine the features of a web host.

4. Falling for Review Sites - There are so many review sites around that it's hard to count. If you type in web hosting review into search engine, you'll get millions of results. No it's a good idea to look at some review sites, but you have to be careful. Most of these sites (99% to be correct) are there just to make money. So they'll promote anyone who pays them most. Do not blindly believe reviews you read from these sites. Check their Whois data, if they're hosting with a different host than their #1 recommended, then why should you even listen to them?

5. Jumping on "Unlimited" Bandwagon - Now more and more companies offer unlimited bandwidth and space. It means you can store unlimited number of files and also receive unlimited monthly traffic. However not always unlimited is really unlimited. Read their policies carefully. Some small business web hosting companies say unlimited, but actually put a limit on number of files you can store. In this case, it may be better going with the one that offers specific server space, than unlimited. If you're pumping 100,000's of small files to the server, then unlimited is usually not for you. Check with you host.

In Conclusion

I have shared just a few small business web hosting tips. But you may want to pay close attention to these. You don't want to invest hundreds of dollars into a web host to later find out that they're lacking small feature, which you desperately need.

And when you do get small business hosting, make sure you take full advantage of them. Use coupons and grab the chosen host for a year or two. If you've done proper research, you'll choose the right host. Most of them offer money back, so you're safe in the beginning anyway. But buying long-term hosting will always cost you less, sometimes 30%-50% less.