Building a website for a Christian home business is one of the most important things you will ever do. That website will be the focal point of everything you do on the Internet – allowing you to put your energies into drawing visitors, attracting new leads, and developing long term relationships with potential clients or customers. So, as you can imagine, I tend to think the choice of a good web host sits atop the list of decisions you will make as something extremely important.
What You Should Look For
I do not like to get in the habit of offering specific suggestions, especially for something like a webhost. But, I do have a few criteria that every good Christian business owner should keep in mind as they set up their new site. Here are a few of my personal most important ones:
o Reliability – A good web host should promise at least 99% up time and if you can find one that actually honors their promises, go for 100%. Look for companies with financial incentive to keep their uptimes and a good, long history of it.
o Services Offered – If you do not know what services you'll need, ask someone. Too often, it's easy to see the fancy numbers and technical details and assume that's everything you need. Check to make sure you are getting things like CPanel, MySQL, PHP, Pearl, and even Fantastico if you'd like to save some time in the set up of your sites.
o Cost – Cost is huge. I have seen people spending as much as $ 100 more than me for the exact same service. Why? Do your research and find out what is a fair price for your site. If you're operating on a VPS, you should be able to get everything you need for less than $ 70 a month. If you only need a single, hosted site, we're talking $ 10 a month. It does not need to cost an arm and a leg.
o References – Do your research, see what the reviews say and try to get references from people you know. There are a lot of Christian home business owners out there who can help you figure out which services actually provide everything you need.
o Support and Service – Look for a company with not only 24/7 support, but quick turnaround times. Some companies promise replies within 12 hours and take 11 hours and 55 minutes to reply. Others promise promises within 12 hours and get back to you within 2 hours. Find the people who are quick on the draw.
As you can see, I ask a lot of my web host. You should too. There are too many companies out there happy to take your money and offer subpar service. You can not afford subpar service though. You need that 100% uptime, lots of good resources, and a whole lot of customer service for whenever issues might arise. If you do not get those things, you're going to have a very hard time keeping up with the constant flow of small tasks that are required of a Christian home business site owner.