Most of us entrepreneurs who have IT teams probably don’t pay much attention to our website hosting – and as I recall from my early days, most budding entrepreneurs with no money or experience don’t know the first thing about paying for a quality host!
Here’s to hoping you learn from my mistakes again (if you saw my post on our content marketing mistakes to avoid at ALL COSTS) – and learn how to pick a website host that doesn’t SUCK!
Why Your Host Matters
Your host is the company that keeps your website live, so think of it like handing the key to your entire business to someone else. THAT should give you some idea of how important it is to not just pick the first one in the SERPs that charges $2 less than the big names.
The Cost of a Bad Host
I won’t explicitly mention the name, but our last host royally screwed up not only our website, but some of our clients’ websites, which is worse! I can’t tell you how many hours of design and content work went down the toilet when they caused these websites to crash, and then how many on top of that it took to fix it all again.
That translates to wasted budget, more money to fix everything, TONS of stress, lost leads, and time wasted on fixing problems that never should have existed in the first place.
For instance, some of the links to our client’s website would suddenly redirect visitors to some Russian website! WHAT THE HECK?!?! And some of those were purchase pages!
Then, out of the blue, they would change our client’s WordPress passwords – that’s right. No logging in for anyone until the provider charged them $300 to reset the password. $300 to fix a problem that was their fault and took them probably 30 minutes to do. Do you get paid $600/hour to mess things up? Probably not.
And they weren’t done yet. The company also did something tooootally unethical and uncalled for that I’ve never dealt with in my entire career: populated an advertisement for their awful service over the client’s blog without warning (see screenshot below).
How to Pick the Best Host
Here’s how to avoid those mistakes.
I tell our clients to think of their hosting service as a filing cabinet first and foremost – and we wouldn’t want to lock ourselves out of the filing cabinet! By having shared hosting with one login, that’s basically what we are doing.
I always look for hosting services that give clients their own direct login on their website. Under the C-Panel you should be able to view files, etc. Think GoDaddy, HostGator, or Bluehost.
Secondly, go with a cloud-based host vs. someone in your local neighborhood. Now, you won’t find a bigger advocate for buying local than right here. I still shop in retail stores and argue with my hubby when he purchases online. However, your website hosting is a different animal.
The hosting provider I’m trashing changed the name of their business or merged with another business while we were using them, which is usually not a good thing. It’s way worth it to go with a proven company who stands by their reputation.
Make sure that the company has an online call center used to dealing with non-developers who don’t know all the techie mumbo-jumbo, preferably available 24/7 if you’re a crazyperson like me who needs to get things done any hour of the day.
So, Who do I Think Is the Best Website Host?
In case you haven’t noticed their banner, I personally think Bluehost is the best web hosting service.
They’ve got everything I mentioned above, none of the stuff I mentioned above that. And on top of that, WordPress rates them as their official #1 preferred web host… that’s high praise! They offer 24/7 support, easy install, fast servers, and a ton more benefits. Check out a free Bluehost service demo to see what I mean!
Your website host is one of those things you shouldn’t have to be thinking about, so learn from my lesson and trust a good one!
Got any bad-host horror stories or recommendations? Let me know in the comments!