At first glance, you may not think that your choice of hosting provider has much to do with your internet marketing campaigns. However, the right hosting can actually support your efforts, cut costs, and help make your marketing drive easier to manage as it grows.
Let’s look at four useful tools or features you should look for in your hosting provider.
1. Adequate Server Resources
When running intensive marketing campaigns, you will naturally see the traffic to your site increase over time. Depending on the type of campaign you’re running, you might see spikes in resource usage.
Many hosts advertise low-cost hosting with ‘unlimited’ resources, but an intensive marketing campaign can really test these ‘unlimited’ promises to the limit. Hosting providers generally have fair use clauses within their ToS, and if your site is deemed to be pulling unusually high amounts of traffic, the host may decide that it’s detrimental to the other websites on the shared server.
In an extreme situation, the host could take your website offline until you upgrade your hosting plan.
To avoid this, look for a host that promises not to take any site offline when demand is high – even if that site technically exceeds its bandwidth limits. Some hosts will simply move the site to a holding server and ask you to upgrade your plan.
If you prefer to plan ahead, look for a host that offers a content delivery network (CDN). CloudFlare is just one CDN which hosts tend to offer; some have their own CDN.
2. Coupons and Freebies
Many hosts provide new customers with coupons that can be redeemed towards advertising and marketing services. Often, you’ll notice coupons for free Google Adwords PPC advertising, for example. You may also notice coupons that can be redeemed on Facebook’s ads, or the Yahoo!/Bing ad network.
To take full advantage of these coupons, you’ll need to be a new customer; you can’t normally redeem them if you’ve already got an account. Providing you meet the usage criteria, these marketing vouchers offer significant savings, and are generally well worth claiming.
Some hosts provide free directory submission and Yellow Pages listings alongside their marketing coupons. Although these aren’t as valuable, they are worth investigating, particularly if you’re starting a new marketing campaign for a brand new business.
3. eBooks and Information
Some hosts provide internet marketing advice to customers via libraries of downloadable ebooks. These generally cover a range of topics, from technical support to online marketing.
Free ebooks shouldn’t be a major factor in your purchasing decision, but their existence does show that your host has spent time curating information it thinks its customers will appreciate. The advice in these ebooks can be very useful, particularly if you’re new to internet marketing. Just ensure that the advice within the ebooks is relevant to your business and isn’t too dated.
4. Software and Scripts
There are no shortage of services and tools for online marketing. From mailing list providers to analytics packages, webmasters are spoilt for choice.
Signing up for marketing services and tools can be expensive, so look for a host that offers you some of these for free.
The majority of hosts that provide shared hosting will offer some kind of email marketing software that you can install yourself. Most will offer an easy-to-use blogging package that will help to boost your campaigns and support your social media marketing.
Within Softaculous – a script installer package – you’ll find GPix Pixel, an interesting advertising script, plus lots of additional scripts for affiliate marketing, ecommerce and internet auctions.
Ready to Begin?
Before choosing a host, don’t forget to do your research and ensure your investment will be worthwhile. Look for independent hosting reviews and ratings from unbiased users; these will help you to choose a host with confidence. Often, a hosting review will expose some of the finer details about a host that you may otherwise miss.