New and less known benefits in hosting plans – don’t miss out
If we are honest, when we consider of our website, we immediately think of the visual design or the technical performance of the website The hosting is barely an afterthought: “Web host, keep my website data safe and don’t ever crash especially when I’m having a sale.”
The truth is, the best web hosting services offer more than just a place for your web pages to live and connect with the internet. Smart business owners and savvy marketers can capitalise on benefits such as 100% uptime (no blank screen due to server outage or overload – guaranteed and compensable), a free domain name, a business email address as well as newsletter and auto responder capacity. Did I mention all this could be run on carbon neutral power for the price of two coffees a month?
What to look for when choosing a web host plan
**Disclosure: Affiliate links do feature in this post however the information is applicable to considering any host Also, the recommended Web Host is the one BRM has run on for over 5 years.
Bad Juju between Your Website & Web Host
Did you know if your website contains code errors or is run on software that conflicts with its host software, your site might have issues… including security breaches? Yikes.
Banana Republic Media runs on WordPress, a highly trusted content management program that powers 28% of websites and blogs on the web. DreamHost, who are BRM’s web hosting company, support Word Press, both technically (they take care of any changes needed as a result of WordPress updates) and in ethos (they love open source software). They even offer a special Word Press hosting package …although the general hosting plan works just as well for most Banana Republic Businesses.
BONUS TIP: Look for “One click WordPress install.”
Some of the best known web hosts make it SUPER EASY to download WordPress and integrate into the hosting plan. With just “one click” on the hosting control panel, you can download WordPress and automatically connect to your domain name and hosting plan. Voila! – your WordPress site is now “online.”
[SKIP THE REST: Sign me up with DreamHost here]
100% uptime guarantee ↑
Once upon a time, like before 2010, 97% uptime was considered super reliable web hosting. Then it inched to 99% and 99.9%. Now, it is possible to get web hosting with 100% uptime guaranteed and even be compensated if it fails. It is able to promise this by utilising multiple data centers in different locations. For example, BRM’s host holds different information on the East Coast to it’s West Coast USA centres:
BRM’s plan at Dreamhost promises to compensate the cost for a day’s hosting for each hour a site is down (provided the issue is from their end, of course). Note, it is unlikely to find a hosting plan that includes scheduled maintenance in the 100% guarantee.
Tech Support and Customer Care
If any of your business comes from online sources, it is worth considering:
What it would cost you if there was some mess up and your site went down?
Imagine if you paid your bill late for instance. Would your host look after you? For instance, in 2015, I was living in Nairobi, Kenya and had an issue with my hosting renewal as my Australian card had been cancelled so the auto payment didn’t go through. To my amazement, my host, DreamHost allowed a grace period so my site didn’t go off line at all. When I contacted them, I got a prompt email response. Having some level of support in case you need it is critical when your business is on the line.
Another thing I love about my current host is they only send a kind of humourous but still informative newsletter once a month and are not pushy with other products or services at all. Here is an example of their intro to me in June:
Summer is here and things are HEATING UP around the DreamHost offices!
Our data centers remain cool, though. Don’t worry.
[I’M DONE READING: Sign me up with DreamHost now]
One Stop Shop host and domain name
Why create yet another log in name and password to remember, an additional renewal fee date and more email in your inbox to sort through? Instead, get it all in one – a name for your website (www.mybusiness.com) and its access to the net (hosting).
To make it easy for you, here is a step by step guide to getting a name for your website:
Step One: Choose a name for your web address
Website addresses (domain names) can be bought and sold, just like real estate. And just like real estate, some domain names command higher prices or are already taken. The standard for domain names is “Name.com” but there is also “Name.org” for non profit organisations to consider, “Name.edu” for educational institutes and “Name.gov” for government sites.
If your customers are local, a local domain suffix might be suitable such as “name.com.au” for Australian businesses, “name.co.ke” for Kenyan businesses, “name.co.uk” for UK businesses etc.- For instance, if I was only going to base my clients in Australia, I could have gone with www. bananarepublicmedia.com.au however as my clients are sometimes international, I chose “bananarepublicmedia.com” for versatility.
If your business name is taken, you might have to be creative with the domain name as there are endless companies with similar name – maybe you could be www.HairStylesBrisbane.com or www.Hair-Styles.com or www.HairStylesBrisbane.com.au.
Step Two: Check if your chosen domain name is available
Did you know there is actually a registry of all web addresses in the world? In fact there are many registries but all are under ICANN. You can check if a domain name is taken on the main registry or also the one in your country. Search for your domain name at the international whois site here:
Web hosts offering domain names also provide a whois directory for you to search if your amazing domain name is available and in case it has been taken, offer suggestions. For example, when I search for bananarepublicmedia.com in the DreamHost search bar, I am told Sorry bananarepublicmedia.com is unavailable but I could try bananarepublicmedia.xyz etc.
Step Three: Buy a domain name…. or buy hosting that includes a domain name
Both Domain Names and Web Hosting plans can be paid monthly, annually or even every two years. There are even free hosting plans available but I DO NOT recommend them for a business at all. There are no free domain names, .com all average around $10-14 USD. If you absolutely didn’t want to spend, you could try one of the newer domain options with .blog or .xyz or similar for as little as 99cents USD.
If you wanted to buy a domain name or hosting plan through Dreamhost, click here.
Free business email address
If you’re still getting by without a professional email address, lose Gmail or Yahoo immediately . That’s you email@example.com. Firstly, business email addresses are available for purchase at very low cost. Secondly, they can come free in a web hosting plan. Before you tell me you are already using gmail for business or Outlook, that’s fine, most web hosts provide integration to your business mail provider. (Any messages in your host mail can also be forwarded to your preferred email address as well so you won’t miss anything).
BRM emails are forwarded to my personal gmail address as that is on my phone which is with me at all times. But I also use the Webmail DreamHost provide at times as well. Here’s a screen shot of how it looks *(using dummy contact form messages to keep privacy):
Newsletter and Announcement List Capacity
Many banana republic businesses are wasting precious time on shiny object syndrome and playing the field. Don’t let that be you. Unless your business is email marketing based and sizeable, you don’t need Aweber or MailChimp. DreamHost offers Announcement lists and Discussion List capacity and has an autoresponder option. DreamHost is upgrading all customers from Webmail to AtMail in the near future.
DreamHost, BRM’s current host, is pretty much a dream web host, as in I barely need to think of them, besides the few times I have investigated their specs, they’ve exceeded my expectations. Dreamhost, the preferred web host for Banana Republic is affordable for small business for as little as $8.95 a month
- A free domain name first year
- Business email
- 100% peace of mind knowing your website is secure and built to have good juju with WordPress
- Carbon Neutral