It cannot be emphasised too strongly how important it is to think carefully about what you want your website to do for you, before you engage a webhosting company. Too often businesses buy a domain name, set up a site and then realize none of it is working how they want it to, leading to more time and money being spent on achieving a better result.
Your internet presence is one of the most important changes you can make to how your business operates, so if unsure, employ the experts to advise and guide before investing money you may regret later.
Here are some of the features to consider for your website, and which can be provided by webhosting providers, as long as they know you need it!
Consider how many email addresses you are likely to need, the names you want on each one and what the email is going to be doing. Look at whether you require automatic messaging or replying. Ask yourself if you will be doing regular newsletters and promotional campaigns to large numbers of customers, or simply sending out a few emails a week to a modest number of recipients.
Do you run the kind of business where customers have accounts online and need to update or make payments, for instance? Perhaps you would like the option to keep in touch with your customers as individuals, via their personal membership channel and each person has an account number they can use to access certain information.
Personal trainers, for example, may want to log fitness and diet plans for individual customers online for them to pick up before a session. Giving members their own pages can do wonders for customer relationship management and provide much needed feedback for your business. Your webhosting provider can advise on what package would accommodate this.
Live chat/live streaming
Providing the opportunity for customers to talk directly to a customer service advisor, or watch via live or recorded streaming what is on offer to them is a real bonus and can make the difference between a happy purchaser and one who choose to go elsewhere. Even if your live chat or streaming is only available part of the time, you may be offering something none of your competitors have thought of yet. For example, if you run a holiday company and customers have queries about bookings, how much easier would it be for customers to get straight on to an advisor instantly via your website, rather than joining a tiresome phone queue, or perhaps they can have a guided tour of your properties by clicking on your streaming channel. Again the webhosting package you choose needs to accommodate your requirements.
Quality blogs are an increasingly popular way of attracting customers on websites and are invaluable for SEO purposes. Ask your webhosting partner how a blog can be integrated in your site at the design stage and how they can help you with both long term content and links.
Introduction to web hosting infographic :
Infographic source: http://www.100webhosting.com/introduction-to-web-hosting-infographic/