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Regardless of the service you’re looking for, no business today should enter into any agreement without doing their due diligence.  When it comes to finding a company to serve as your local Chicago web host, it’s no longer enough to simply consider things like bandwidth and storage. Now, there are different hosting service providers suited for all kinds of varied types of websites.  

With so many options available, it’s important to take some time to carefully evaluate your specific needs so that they can be paired with the right technology and service provider.  But, how do you even begin to decide on a host? Fortunately, there are some common, essential factors that should be taken into consideration when looking for a web host. So, before making a commitment, here are some elements that your chosen service provider should be able to deliver: 

  • Stability – Server reliability, uptime, and security should be a no-brainer when it comes to relying on your web host.  You want to work with a service provider with a strong server. Unstable network connections are bad for business.  They push your site offline, and in turn, your business is denied possible viewership and sales conversions, which ultimately leads to low search rankings.  A stable, reliable, trusted, and secure web host should have reputable uptime scores. This is the key to your website’s success. Don’t settle for a score below 99 percent.     
  • Secure Backup – Unfortunately, these days, no business is untouchable from possible cyber threats.  That’s why it’s important to work with a web host that offers regular web data backup.  Cyber-attacks can cause irreparable damage, not only to your customers, but to the very destruction of your website’s index.php file and beyond.  
  • Customer Support – Questions or issues of some kind are inevitable.  So, make sure you’re committing to a web host that is equally committed to you.  You want a service provider that is effective and speedy when it comes to providing technical support, and it is preferable to work with one that offers live support around the clock.  Priority should be placed on those with an in-house customer support department, rather than those outsourcing, as well as those who offer alternative forms of communication, like through chat and social media.    
  • Diversification – As your business and website grows, you’ll need the ability to add domains through your service provider.  So, look at each provider’s web hosting package options, and pay close attention to whether or not they allow for the running of multiple websites through a single hosting account.  By knowing your options upfront, you’ll be able to better form a long-term business strategy that allows your website to scale with all other aspects of your company and customer base.    
  • Renewal Charges – Many service providers draw customers in with attractive hosting deals upon signup, even offering discounted rates for your first payment or year.  But, before you commit, make sure you understand the renewal charges. Often, website owners are caught by surprise when registrations and maintenance costs skyrocket after the first year.  So, to avoid this sticker shock and the need to jump to another service provider, make sure you check the renewal charges of your preferred package before you sign up.  

While affordability is often at the top of a business’ priorities when it comes to choosing a Chicago web host, it’s time to reevaluate.  The fact is, if your goal is to run and continuously grown your website over the long-haul, there are a few more key considerations that should be at the top of your list.  These days, your approach toward choosing a reliable, secure service provider should be more comprehensive. Take into account all of the common, as well as your specific, factors that are needed to achieve an optimally functioning website, and you’ll find that your ideal web hosting option will reveal itself.  

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