Website design and hosting go hand in hand when you're building a website. Some companies offer packages for both, or you might want to cherry pick services between two or more companies and freelancers. The choices are many, and everyone has a list of features that they offer clients. To help you navigate your options, ask these 4 questions to help you sort through website design and hosting packages:
1. How Much Disk Space Is included?
When you sign up for website design and hosting packages, it's important to know the disk space that they'll allocate to your website. Don't get enticed by a cheap monthly hosting fee, because if you need more disk space, the price may go up or the hosting company may not be able to accommodate you. A 25MB is more than enough to begin with, which gives you about 500 web pages.
2. What Ecommerce Software Do I Have Access To?
If you plan to run an online store, then the answer to this question means a lot to you. Building a catalog online and making shopping carts available for customers to checkout easily are all features of any ecommerce software. Having one available to you is not enough, but it has to be one that's easy to use. If the software application is difficult to customize or use without making any changes, then you'll have to buy your own software, or choose another website design and hosting option that has the software you prefer.
3. How Fast Can You Turnaround My Website?
Some web designers hesitate to give a firm deadline for when they'll have the website ready. While it's true that it all depends on how complex the website is, and the number of pages you request, they should have enough experience to give you a good estimate. They should also be able to turn it around fast enough, especially faster than it would take you to build your own business website. Request that they put the finish date in writing, specifically in an agreement that you sign for their website design and hosting services.
4. Can I Choose Another Web Hosting Company, but Still Have You Design My Website?
The answer to this depends on where the company or freelancer makes their money. For example, a freelancer may not care who you host with, because they make their money primarily on designing your website. A company may offer a low fee for web design or even offer a free website builder tool for you to do-it-yourself, but they expect you to host with them, which is where they make their money. If other business owners or friends all refer you to a particular web hosting company, then you'll probably want to go with that one and hire a web designer separately.
Ask these questions when looking for website design and hosting packages, to make an informed decision on which service to choose.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.