Best Web Hosting Providers for Business Websites
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Your business web hosting plan needs to offer specific features to help you gain a competitive edge. After all, to be competitive, your business website should do more than simply provide visitors with information. If your business will do any direct selling, marketing, or offer free downloads to visitors, here are some specific features that you’ll want to have included in your business website hosting package:
* Mailing list management programs (list server) – A mailing list program maintains a subscriber database for a mailing list that distributes messages to those listed in the database. It is a feature that offers the creation and management of automated mailing lists, and as part of your business web hosting plan, it can be a valuable marketing and revenue producing element in your online activity.
* Statistical data on visitors – Make sure that your business website hosting plan provides you with the information you need on your visitors. This goes far beyond a simple counter. You want reports that come in a variety of formats (charts, graphs, listings) to help you understand your website activity.
* Autoresponders – An email utility that automatically replies to an email message with a “form letter” response. Also called mailbots, emailbots, or email-on-demand, autoresponders can capture the contact information of inquiring visitors. This information is then automatically entered into your prospect database. Having this feature available through your business web hosting plan allows you to easily distribute newsletters, survey customers, make company announcements, or deliver training materials.
* Security – To accept payment online, you’ll need to have a protocol that encrypts data transfers in your business web hosting package. You’ll want to ask potential business website hosting providers about the availability of SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Security. It will protect data transfers and confirm identities, saving you and your visitors from the destruction of hackers.
* Anonymous FTP – Most business website hosting plans offer File Transfer Protocol (FTP), which is the ability to download files from your server. If you want your visitors to have access to free downloads without a password or other identification, you want Anonymous FTP. This will create fewer steps for your visitors, maximizing the “user friendly” capabilities of your site.
Your business web hosting plan is one of the major ingredients of your business plan. Make a list of your business needs. Don’t take for granted that your business web hosting company can offer the features you need to conduct your planned activities, and ensure you choose the right business website hosting package for your needs.