The complexity of maintaining an online presence should not require you to become an internet guru. Use the tips below to protect your business so that you are less reliant on your web hosting company and reduce complications from moving your site from one web hosting company to another.
If you don’t yet have a domain name that you own but you’re setting up a website through your web hosting company, make sure you have the option to purchase your domain name before you set up your website. Most web hosting companies provide you with the possibility of purchasing the domain name you create on their sites from them or using a name you have registered as your own.
Make sure that you copy pages you create on your web hosting company’s site so that a decision to leave a web hosting company does not mean you’ll have to regenerate the content on your website. While the transferability of all material on your site might be difficult or impossible, you will have the content that you generated for use on a site created with any web hosting company.
Make sure that you keep a presence in other ways on the internet such as social media or a separately hosted blog so that customers can reach you in the event your website is not working properly. You will have to make sure that you can staff these alternative ways of reaching you in a way that can properly and professionally perform similar functions to those on your website including the ease with which customers can place orders.
If you provide a phone number as an alternative method for customers to reach you through other marketing on social media or through blogs or offline methods such as business cards or direct mail, make sure that you clearly indicate when customers can use the phone number to place an order and whether the phones are staffed by people or whether you’ve got an answering service. Always include times when customers can speak with a live representative if you take orders over the phone.
Don’t rely on email accounts through your web hosting company as your only means of receiving customer complaints about your website’s performance. Telephone numbers and other social media such as a Twitter account can help you find out quickly whether your site isn’t working by providing customers with access to a means of communicating with you.
Periodically research how your web hosting company ranks in performance and research reviews by other customers to stay abreast of problems occurring with your web hosting company that might not have affected you yet but are likely to affect you at a future time.
In the event you see an uptick in customer complaints begin researching how other customers are handling the transfer of their site content to other web hosting companies or other courses of action they’re taking to deal with the problems.
Your web hosting experience is likely not going to be perfect. Use the suggestions above to preserve a level of independence from the problems associated with a particular web hosting company.