If you want to grow or have plans for an impressive online presence, hiring the right expertise is paramount but it can be a daunting process.

But you must find a hosting firm and app developer that’s up-to-date on digital trends, reliable and is responsive to your needs.

Don’t take the selection process for granted. You can suffer from any one of many unforeseen challenges.

Here’s a couple of examples:

1. Security

If cyber criminals invade your Web site or your host’s system, problems result. If your site is hacked, it can be reported as a security risk to the search engines.

Consequently, the search engines will insert a stern warning on your listing cautioning users not to click on your site.

Even for a skilled tech, it can take 24 hours or longer to fix the problem and persuade  the search engines to remove the stigma from your online listing.

2. Stability

If the host’s system goes down, this means your site fails, and you’re out of business. At least, that’s the impression you give users when they try to access your site.

Such events can hurt your reputation.

So you can relax and enjoy growing your company, what expertise do you need?

Exemplary hosting companies share common traits – they are up-to-date on industry security standards, have the best technology, use sound practices, have skilled personnel, are responsive in communication, and have problem-solving skills.

For specific solutions, let’s turn to the superb expertise of a highly efficient boutique firm, Solid Technology in Portland, OR.

(Disclosure: Solid Technology, which serves numerous quality companies around the country and developed two sites for my firm. They have not solicited my praise in this article.)

Based on my experiences with Solid Technology, here are 8 tips:

1. Choose a forward-thinking firm.

Some hosts don’t budget the time to plan for the future. They’re not up-to-date on hosting technology nor can they assist you with the right apps.

With the latest technology, some host employees don’t have the necessary technical expertise. You’ll want the most-advanced host, and one that will help you to evolve.

2. Identify the right platform for your site.

Basically, there are two choices of servers – Linux or Windows. The former features faster performance. Windows is better if you have a special database situation for using certain database-coding languages.

3. Choose a host with a reliable uptime.

You want a host that has a track record with near-100 percent uptime. You don’t want to lose sales leads or worry your customers.

4. Storage space is a concern.

Yes, the majority of hosts offer packages with adequate storage for most sites. If your site features a lot of products, you’ll only need just a few hundred megabytes. But you’ll need a lot more if you have a lot of videos, pictures or graphics.

5. Be mindful of bandwith – data transfer.

Bandwith is your ability to provide data to be viewed by your users. It’s critical to have enough bandwith to accommodate a ton of videos or images. Another factor might be if you have days with a strong upsurge in traffic.

6. If you sell products online, think about e-commerce and a shopping cart.

You’ll need a host that can provide tools for your needs – secure servers, database builders, shopping cart and payment accommodations. If you think you’ll be adding a database, hire a host that provides several MySQL databases.

7. Screen for terrific tech support.

Again, hassles can rear their ugly heads. The two most common –  security and reliability. Pick a host that provides quick and communicative support.

8. Obtain enough e-mail and FTP accounts.

Each of your employees will need an e-mail account. It’s not uncommon for a company to have multiple employees working on a site – from blogging to products. That’s when you’ll need to keep confidential information with FTP accounts.

So perform your due diligence in hiring the right firm and you’ll have time to obsess about other business challenges.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related articles:

6 Tips to Save Time and Money by Hiring the Right Tech Consultant — If you need to hire an information technology consultant, it can be costly in time and money, if you choose the wrong person. Use due diligence. Sophisticated tech vendors and consultants of all sizes have been known for cost over-runs.

Improve Your Customer Retention with 6 Digital Tips — Outstanding loyalty programs for stellar customer engagement play an important role to improve your prospects for lifetime customer value. That goes for e-commerce, too.

Tech Checklist to Provide the Best Customer Support — Ever wonder why big chains – from quick-service restaurants to electronic products – print invitations on sales receipts to entice customers to go the companies’ Web sites to comment online? They’re doing it for customer engagement. Businesses need insights on how they’re faring with customers.

“Diligence is the mother of good luck.”
-Benjamin Franklin


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.