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What you need to know about web hosting

It goes without saying that your website should be there when customers come looking for it.

But without reliable web hosting, not only could you miss out on valuable business, you could scare away potential customers who find your website unreliable or difficult to use.

You don’t need to be a computer engineer to get the decision right. But a little knowledge can go a long way when it comes to finding a suitable web hosting service and a good place to start is cost.

What you pay for is what you get

Expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $50 a month for hosting, but a low price doesn’t necessarily guarantee great value.

Low prices often mean that features such as phone support have been removed or it may exclude technical aspects that will help when setting up your website on the server.  It’s also important to remember that when you buy super cheap hosting your website could be hosted on a server with hundreds, or even thousands, of other websites. With so many websites on the one server website performance may be negatively impacted, resulting in a slow site.

Companies with a large eCommerce website could expect to pay at the higher end of the scale depending on the number of products available and the traffic flow as people visit your site and view its content.

Australia v foreign hosting companies

We recommend going with a local host because when things go wrong (and they will!) you want to be able to pick up the phone and call.

Being able to contact your host is critical. If it means paying a few dollars more each month to get a plan that has phone support, it will be worth every cent when things go wrong and you effectively can’t run your online business.

Another benefit of choosing an Australian web host is that it can help from a search engine optimisation (SEO) perspective as Google rewards Australian websites who are on an Australian server with a more positive ranking.

Extras to look for

While speed is an important element for your web host, you should also look for a host that offers plenty of server storage and monthly bandwidth, without excess charges.