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10 Things You Should Know When Choosing A Web Hosting Service For Your Website

10 Things You Should Know When Choosing A Web Hosting Service For Your Website

We live in the age of the web. Sooner or later you will find yourself in a situation where you’ll need to consider building your online presence. That’s when you’ll need to consider a web hosting service.

There are companies out there trying to lure you by promising features like unlimited resources, 24/7 technical support, virtually 100% uptime, etc. But beyond all the technical mumbo jumbo, there is still an informed decision you need to make.

So, here are 10 things you should look into before considering a particular service.

1. Pricing

There are numerous service providers that provide similar services for different prices.

Of course there always are many different factors determining these variances in services, but you should still consider looking into a number of different choices before choosing one.

If you’re hosting a simple webpage and don’t expect a lot of concurrent traffic or bandwidth; it is always wisest to go with the cheapest of the available services. If you’re looking to host a more complicated website, consider other features too.

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2. Tech support

Another important feature you need to be looking for is the tech support that the provider gives. This is a biggie for most. Imagine if your website goes down at peak traffic hour and you have no idea why or how to address the issue quickly.

Of course one could always refer to manuals for support but nothing feels as reassuring as having a real human being you can talk to and ask for help. Most services guarantee this. So you need to make sure you’re not being scammed out of it.

There are several factors you need to look into. For instance, are they available 24/7? Is the call toll free?

3. Hardware

For most of us, this part may not make much of a difference since we are looking to host small webpages with small to medium range traffic and predictable bandwidth. However as the complexity of your web project increases and you’re going to need to do a lot more than a simple page display, you’ll need to start considering the hardware.

The CPUs, the GPUs, the RAMs, and the type of Storage (Solid State Drive vs SATA) are just a few considerations. How much computation does your web application require? And how much traffic do you expect? These are the things you need to consider beforehand.

4. Email features

This is another feature you need to consider. What email features does the provider guarantee? Regardless of what you may have heard/read about social media having replaced the purpose of web email, trust me, email is still going to a big part of your web presence.

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You need to make sure that the email service you get with your hosting comes with important features like spam control, time travel feature etc. For example, many providers offer unlimited email forwarding and auto response service. It’s always a wise decision to ask the provider beforehand.

5. Control panel

The control panel is the user interface that you use to control/administer your website. It is yet another feature that your web hosting provider offers and you need to make sure you’re getting the best control panels.

If the control panel is too difficult and you need to call the hosting company every time you need to make a small change that could be a huge inconvenience for you.

So, make sure your service provider uses cPanel, Plesk or a similar services. At least make sure the control panel isn’t something you can’t figure out.

6. Shared vs private

This is another thing you need to consider. What kind of hosting are you looking for? If you’re looking to host a simple display webpage, then you’re probably going to be OK with a shared hosting service. They are cheaper and for the most part easier to operate and deal with.

Basically a shared hosting service is like sharing a server with a number of other website owners, kind of like sharing a personal computer. But if you’re looking to host a more professional or a more complicated website, private hosting is what you need.

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They may be a little hard to work with and they are more expensive but it’s the price you pay for more professional hosting.

7. Scalability

This is another important thing you need to consider when you have your business in mind. If you’re hosting a growing business, you can expect your web presence to grow with it. And a growing web presence requires an upgrade of your service. This includes everything from your hardware to the tech support.

Anyway some services like the Amazon Web Services provide automatic scalability, meaning your system is automatically updated if your current system cannot handle the incoming traffic/bandwidth. Anyway you need to be sure what kind of scalability service your provider offers.

8. Backup

This is a very important feature. Imagine what would happen if all your web articles, posts and other data were to be deleted as a consequence of some accident. Most service providers try to make their facilities highly reliable, but nobody plans for accidents.

For example, you could accidentally delete content yourself. In either case, most good web hosting service providers offer a solid backup feature. You need to make sure yours does too. Ask your prospective provider about their disaster recovery plan. One hosting provider, A Small Orange, for example, creates free automatic backups daily.

9. Parking service

This is sort of a bonus but it’s a great feature to have. Find out if your provider can park some of your other domain names. For most of us this might not seem like much of a big deal but it could mean a lot if you’re running a business.

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Most business tend to buy a lot of domain names, usually the misspellings, the alternative names etc. of their current name. With parking services you can have all these under one control panel. This is a huge plus in terms of brand management. And it is also a great way to ensure that you never lose any traffic.

10. Exit strategy

This is a big one. You may be satisfied with your current provider but in time you could have a change of mind. You may want to host your website someplace else and in this scenario you need to be able to do that with the minimal discomfort. You should be better off choosing hosting providers like Arvixe which offer free website transfer when moving from another host.

Make sure you read the initial agreements including the fine print properly and make sure your web hosting service provider offers a viable exit strategy. Trust me, this is more important than you think it is.

Imagine what could happen to your business if your website were to go down for days just because your current provider wants to make it difficult for you to leave. You’re not having that!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via static.pexels.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on October 16, 2019

11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

Automations are key to improving efficiency. Set the system up right from the beginning and you’ll reduce the amount of no-shows and cancellations.

Whatever your business is, with automations, meeting scheduler apps do more than just streamline appointment setting. They prime your workflow for maximum results.

Meeting scheduler apps are awesome if you use them right. Use them wrong and you can look like an arrogant elitist.

In this article, I will share with you 11 great meeting scheduler apps you can start using today to boost your productivity.

1. ScheduleOnce

    ScheduleOnce is an industry leader and robust solution. Whether you work alone or have a large team, ScheduleOnce can support you.

    ScheduleOnce allows you to create multiple users and multiple calendars. I use one calendar for booking podcast guests with automations set up to prep my guests for our interview. I use another calendar for strategy sessions and coaching calls.

    ScheduleOnce also has embeddable widgets so you can keep the scheduler inside your own website.

    Starting at $7 a month and a 14 day free trial, ScheduleOnce can fit a variety of needs in business.

    Available on Web

    2. Calendly

      Calendly stands out for its clean, easy to use interface. If you like clean design, Calendly might be your choice. It too has robust automations and integrations for individuals and teams alike.

      You can try Calendly free for 14 days. Their basic plan is free while their most robust plan is only $12 a month.

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      Available on Web | Google Chrome Extension

      3. Assistant.to

        For those who use gmail, Assistant.to is a super simple solution.

        From inside an email, you click on the Assistant.to icon and pick times your free. Assistant.to embeds the times directly into the email so the recipient can quickly pick a time that works for them.

        While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of apps like Calendly or ScheduleOnce, Assistant.to is completely free.

        Available on Web

        4. Acuityscheduling

          Acuity is a robust meeting scheduler very similar to ScheduleOnce. It integrates with CRMs, Email Marketing platforms, Analytics tools and accounting software.

          It comes with a 14 day free trial. They have a free solo account but if you want the benefit of the integrations, you’ll start as low as $15 a month and can cost up to $50 a month.

          Available on Web | iOS | Android

          5. Pick

            Built for simplicity, Pick is direct and easy to use. You can create your own url extension like pick.co/yournamehere and it integrates with Google calendar and Office 365.

            At $3 a month, this is a great tool for quick scheduling.

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            Available on Web

            6. X.ai

              For those who are early adopters of AI, this may be the solution for you. X.ai created two AI assistants they call Amy and Andrew Ingram. After setting up your account you simply CC them on your emails with the person you’re wanting to schedule and the AI assistants will email your guests from there until your appointment is set.

              This type of scheduler feels more personal because of the dialogue. There are stories on their site of people thinking Amy and Andrew are real people. X.ai integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook.

              Starting at $29 a month for an Individual account and $39 a month per user for a Team account, Amy and Andrew are ready to schedule meetings for you. Want to try it out first? They do have a free trial.

              Available on Web

              7. YouCanBook.me

                is another competitive solution for scheduling meetings online. You can manage the calendars of your entire team, configure booking forms, and integrate with your calendar.

                They have a free account branded with their company name or you can have some control over your branding and appearance at $10 a month for all their features. Either way, this company is worth a look.

                Available on Web

                8. Doodle

                  Doodle is unique in the space of meeting schedulers because it helps groups of people find a time to meet that works for everyone.

                  It integrates with your calendar and allows you to send a poll to all invited. Once people vote on the poll you can see which time works best for everyone.

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                  You can also run polls for food preferences if you’re scheduling a lunch meeting or a section of town if people are coming from all over.

                  While there is a free account, you’ll unlock it’s potential starting at $39 per year.

                  Available on Web | iOS | Android

                  9. WhenAvailable

                    WhenAvailable is another scheduler that works for groups of people. You can use it to schedule a pickup game of basketball, decide on your next book club or book your family reunion.

                    Their free account allows up to 20 guests, unlimited events and one contact group. For $15 a year you unlock all the goodies including reminders and chat messages.

                    Available on Web

                    10. Rally

                      Like Doodle and WhenAvailable, Rallly is helpful for scheduling meetings and events with multiple people involved. You create a poll and everyone votes. It’s quick and easy.

                      Unlike Doodle, it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s entirely free.

                      Available on Web

                      11. NeedtoMeet

                        Finishing strong, NeedtoMeet is our last app that allows you to schedule meetings or events for multiple people. It has mobile apps, custom urls, easy polling, notifications and commenting.

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                        NeedtoMeet also allows 1:1 Meetings for things like performance reviews for your whole team. You send out the your calendar slots to your team and they can only pick 1 slot, minimizing the amount of emails and scheduling you have to coordinate.

                        While they have a free account, you can unlock all features for only $19 a year.

                        Available on Web

                        Bonus: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Using Meeting Schedulers

                        In the excitement of streamlining your scheduling process, it can be easy to forget the feelings of those you’re inviting to meet. I know. I’ve done this.

                        To say “Hey, schedule time on my calendar” feels colder than “Hey, here’s my calendar. To avoid all the back and forth, pick a time that works best for you.”

                        Always make sure to frame your invite with your scheduler app with the benefit to them and why we’re doing it this way rather than the old fashioned, personal way.

                        A little finesse goes a long way. Without it, you risk seeming transactional and cold.

                        Some meeting scheduler widgets you can embed in your site can take a couple seconds to load. If you go this route, make sure there’s text just above the widget that lets your guest know the calendar will appear below and to wait for it to load.

                        If you use an online meeting tool like Zoom, it’s also important to explicitly let them know the meeting will take place on Zoom and include the Zoom link in the email reminder. Many make the mistake of not clarifying where the meeting will actually take place which can create last minute chaos at the time of the meeting.

                        Should you require special settings, like ethernet, external mics or lighting, let your guests know that on your thank you page and reminder emails so they are prepared for the meeting and you end up with the best meeting possible.

                        With clear communication in your automation, your meeting scheduler tools can almost perform like a virtual assistant for a fraction of the cost, or free, depending on the app you choose.

                        The Bottom Line

                        Meeting scheduler apps are diverse in features and unique in design. Before committing to one and realizing it’s not a fit, I recommend exploring which 3 might best fit you and then doing a trial with each of them at the same time so that you can see how they feel as you use them side by side.

                        Scheduling meetings the old fashioned way can be tedious. Conversely, finding a scheduling app that works seamlessly in the background is heavenly.

                        Like cell phones, meeting scheduler apps are moving from a nice-to-have luxury to must-have necessity in the lives of productive people. As you explore your options, stay true to your brand and the tools that have worked well for you to this point and simply find a meeting scheduler app that plays well with what you have created.

                        Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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