A universal truth for any entrepreneur is that a business is built around an idea that will generate long-term revenue. No one pours hours of brain power, capital, and energy into launching a business that will never grow. We start a business to make money. Simple.
This is true for the brick and mortar businesses and for e-commerce businesses. You made a choice to design your business in the e-commerce market to utilize the endless possibilities afforded from the World Wide Web. A business without boundaries, open to the world for business. But before your business can be an E-commerce powerhouse you have to start small and build while allowing for scalability.
How do you do this? By choosing a website hosting provider that offers a plethora of quality hosting services and products that will grow and expand your business. If you’re not sure what that looks like, no worries, we’ve got you covered. We’re about to break down exactly what for you, your business, your brand and the Web Host Provider you choose to host your website.
3 Keys of Choosing a Web Host that will Scale and allow for expansion of your Business
When it comes to creating your website and business consider yourself an architect, builder, and interior decorator. The four keys below will follow the analogy of constructing a building from start to finish. All steps are key to success and longevity of your business. Before starting you created the blueprint for your business and had a game plan in place. Now let’s get into the construction and long-term expansion.
1. Laying the Foundation: Choose a Host With a Range of Quality Services
The web host you choose lays the foundation for your website and business. This is a crucial step in the process and must be taken with great thought. If you want to scale your business you must choose a host with a myriad of quality products that will grow with you. The resources need to be robust and up to industry standards.
You want a hosting provider that goes beyond their Shared Hosting capabilities. At the onset of your hosting choice, you will want to begin with Shared hosting. Especially if you are on a budget and want to start somewhere small to grow larger.
What is Shared Hosting?
In a shared hosting environment, multiple website owners share one server. This includes sharing the physical server and the software components within the server. The advantage of shared hosting services is that there is an affordable price with pooled resources. This is because the cost to operate the server is shared between you and the other website owners.
Shared Hosting is a great place to start, and while many hosting companies offer affordable Shared Hosting Packages if your business needs to scale there are other Hosting types you need to consider when choosing your initial host.
You’re a rookie now, and your business is in its genesis but one day you will want to have tens of thousands of visitors daily to your website that converts—we’re talking huge revenue potential. To scale to this size you will need to consider VPS Hosting or even eventually upgrading to your very own Dedicated Server.
Logistically it can be an absolute nightmare having to migrate from one host to another as your website grows. This is why choosing a capable host with a robust set of features in their arsenal is the foundation you need.
A little more on VPS and Dedicated Servers
- VPS Hosting: Is a virtual private server and is a virtualized server. A VPS hosting environment mimics a dedicated server within a shared environment giving you the best of both worlds. It is technically both a dedicated and shared server. VPS hosting gives you the affordability of shared hosting while at the same time giving you more power and control like a dedicated server.
- Dedicated Hosting: In a dedicated hosting environment, you have the entire server, meaning no other website owner shares the server with you. This result is a faster performance for your website, as you have complete access to the physical server and its software components.
To help you identify what you need to know before making the choice of a Host that will offer you all the scalability resources you need, you want to ask these questions and ensure that the Web Host Provider can answer them.
- What tools and resources are available to you for building your initial website?
- Do they have VPS or Dedicated servers? Do they have great reviews?
- What are the bandwidth, storage/RAM, and (for VPS/dedicated) CPU allowances?
- How much is the price influenced by those allotments? (resources vs. cost)
- What are the marketing features—free domain, Google AdWords credits, SEO tools?
- Do they have excellent Technical Support around the clock?
2. The Frame, façade and the Walls: Take full Advantage of their Resources
Now you’ve laid the foundation for your business and you’ve chosen the best web host to suit your business and its scalability potential. Time to build the frame and lay those bricks, and put up the walls to build up your website.
There are two things you need to consider at this point and your web host provider should be fully utilized here:
- The Website Builder
- An industry-backed CMS or blogging platform like WordPress, Magento or Joomla
One of the issues facing website owners is the actual building of a website due to the fact that many do not have the technical expertise or know how to do it. Your area of expertise lays with the business side of things, creating or curating your products, and marketing not on .CSS, HTML or PHP. It’s perfectly normal to not be a web building genius but that inexperience does not have to shine through in your website’s design. This is where your web host comes in. They will have the tools in place to ensure your website is just as professional as you are while speaking to your brand.
Features needed for top-notch Site Building:
- Industry-specific templates (they can also be purchased elsewhere like yoursitecom or yourwebsite.com)
- Software-specific tools (integrated WordPress caching, Joomla optimization, etc.)
- Daily and/or automatic website backups including easy restore functionality.
- Mobile-friendly options
- SEO and marketing tools
- SSL Certificates
3. Furnishing: Delve into the Knowledge Base & Technical Support
Now that you’ve successfully built your website and your doors are open to welcome in traffic, and converting customers let’s talk about the technical side. Like with any building or in this case a business, things can go wrong and problems can arise.
Websites can crash, go offline, you can have issues with plugins, etc. What is great is that your host is there to help bail you out of trouble. Having an on-call technical support is crucial for your website’s success. You want to foster a relationship with them and be sure that your web host has 24/7 Support available to you.
So, before you sign up with a host, search and read their company’s blog. Search within their FAQ or Knowledge Base articles and support forums. When a face pops up in the right-hand corner of the homepage asking how they can help and be of service—talk to them. Would they be someone you’d turn to at 5 o’clock on a Friday when you realize half your product pages are missing or your website is experiencing downtime? Do you think they could walk you through a WordPress version update?
There are also a lot like your interior decorators helping you to furnish your website with the plugins, tools, and apps you need to be effective for your customers. When you need help with SEO they will be able to shed light on the tools to drive traffic to your website. Keep up to date with industry advice and news about new software that can help you through their Knowledgebase and blog. This helps to prepare for the longevity of your website and having a healthy relationship with your web host.