A WordPress blog is a great tool for a new start-up. It provides the company with a way to interact with customers and clients, and makes for a wonderful SEO tool. Figuring out that you need a blog is easy – figuring out who should do the hosting, though, is a bit more difficult. Taking the time to find the best host for WordPress can be hard to do on the schedule of a new company, but following the three tips below can help you to make an informed decision without wasting your time.
Consider Your Business
There’s not a single WordPress host out there that can be everything to everyone. Some are better for casual bloggers, while others work better before established businesses. As a start-up, your business needs to find a host that is particularly well-suited for the nature of your business. Don’t let yourself be fooled by great marketing or slick pitches – you’ve got to make sure that you keep the needs of your business in mind before anything else. This means taking the time to think about what your business will actually need from its potential WordPress host.
Start out by making a list of your start-up’s needs. You probably did something similar when you began the process of creating your blog, so figure out how your host can support all of those needs. If you need 24/7 support, for example, don’t look at web hosts that only offer hosts during business hours. Likewise, if you need to make sure that you can use specific plug-ins, make sure that your host will support you in doing so. In reality, most WordPress hosts offer the same basic services – it is the specifics that set them apart.
You do also have to consider the price of your host, even if you don’t want to admit it. Yes, there’s something to be said for looking out for the bottom line, and you certainly can’t spend more money than you have available. Before you go after the lowest-priced option, take a moment to consider what it will cost you if your blog happens to go down. Weigh that price against the price of hosting every month, and you should be able to figure out the costs of going with a minimal host. For some, it’s worthwhile – for many others, though, it’s quite simply not.
Read the Reviews
One of the great things about the internet is that it is impossible to hide information for very long. When it comes to customer interactions, you can bet that a quick search will bring up all the information that you could ever want about how poorly a company has treated one or two angry clients. If you are willing to look a little deeper, though, you can find a great deal of relevant information about a potential WordPress host. You simply need to know a little more about the information for which you are looking, and how to separate legitimate complaints from angry ranting.
As a consumer, it is incumbent upon you to make sure that you know what qualities are necessary in a good WordPress host. As we noted above, some of those qualities are certainly going to be more important to your business than others. Taking time to look at reviews that are written from a business standpoint is a great way to get an idea of how well a particular host might treat you, as well taking a look around the start-up community to listen to stories of great service and horrible mistakes.
If you are willing to dig through the consumer reviews that tend to be targeted towards casual bloggers, you should be able to find the information that you need on major business websites. Always look for reviews targeted towards your needs, not the general public.
When you look at any WordPress host, the odds are that you are going to find more negative information than positive. That’s simply because people tend to be more motivated to go online to complain than to leave praise for a company that’s doing its job. If you want to find out whether the complaints are valid, consider the source – complaints listed with agencies like the Better Business Bureau tend to be a little more valid than those left on a Yelp! page, for example. Always make sure that you look for a reliable source before you believe anything – good or ill – online.
Speak to the Hosts
Yes, speaking to an actual human being should be a part of your search for the best WordPress host. Websites are a wonderful way to communicate information, of course, but you do need to dig a little bit deeper in your search for a better business relationship. As such, you should only work with a host that has a listed phone number and business hours during which you can call. Fortunately, this applies to almost every legitimate host out there and should serve the purpose of helping you to winnow down your hosts considerably.
Part of the reason for speaking to the people behind your hosted WordPress blog is to ask pertinent questions. While the information above is relevant to anyone who is looking into finding a WordPress host, it is still important that you take the time to talk to the hosting company about your individual needs.
A brief phone call can help you to clear up any confusion about issues like billing, support, and functionality, all while giving you a chance to have the host explain exactly why their services are superior to that of the competition. With a little luck, you can come away from a phone call with all the information that you will ever need.
The other reason to make a phone call when you are looking for a WordPress host is to make sure that the hosting company is able to be reached at a time that is convenient to your business. Support is one of the things that sets a WordPress host apart from its competition, and attempting to make a brief business phone call will tell you quite a bit about how the company handles its customers.
As a rule, a company that cannot connect a call to a sales department in a reasonable amount of time is also a company that will fail to handle any maintenance requests in a timely manner. Check out how the company reacts to its potential customers before they have their money, and you will learn a great deal about their interactions when the money’s already in hand.
If you have a start-up and you need WordPress hosting, don’t despair. Take the time to consider your company’s needs, take a look at the reviews that are available online, and a make a few phone calls – doing so will make your search considerably easier. If you’re willing to follow those steps and pay attention to what you learn, you can benefit from a WordPress blog without having to worry about whether you were able to find a suitable host. All that will be left for you to do is to make sure that you take care of the blog, and to wait for your new customers to find you.
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