Not too long ago, the idea of selling courses online was very intimidating. You would have had to license a Learning Management System, master authoring tools, find eCommerce solutions, figure out end user support, and also find a great web hosting provider. Thankfully, times have changed. There are many user friendly platforms in which you can offer your online courses with ease. Once you have your online courses and platform and you’re all set up and ready to go, you will need to choose a web host to host your website with. There are various types of web hosting, such as:
The most affordable and simple way to start a website.
For more advanced websites. VPS hosting also offers better performance for more demanding sites and better security, especially if you have a large number of visitors on your site.
The recommended route for websites with lots of visitors or custom requirements not available in a shared hosting.
You want to ensure that the visitors to your website have no trouble using your courses and getting around your website. A good host should mean little to no downtime for your website.
There are many things to consider when you are comparing web hosting companies to choose a web host. When you are offering online courses, the web host is very important for your business and the visitors to your site. Below are some of the top tips to help you narrow down your web host choices and find the right company for you and your site's needs.
1. Site Speed And Reliability
Like stated earlier, you will want to ensure that the visitors to your website have no problem accessing your site and online courses. A good web host should provide you with fast speeds and have guaranteed uptime. When searching for a web host, find a provider that can guarantee a minimum uptime of at least 99%. This is the lower side of the spectrum. If your host fails to meet this uptime, they should offer you some sort of credit or refund. Having this guarantee will ensure that the host works hard to keep their servers running constantly with little or no downtime for their customers.
2. Data Transfer
Data transfer is the amount of bytes that are transferred from your site to the visitors while they are browsing. This is sometimes also referred to as the site's traffic or bandwidth speeds. Never believe a web host that says they offer unlimited bandwidth. The host is who pays for the bandwidth and if you use too much on your website they will make you pay the difference. When looking at web host packages, be sure to look at how much data transfer they actually will allow before having to pay extra. While many sites that offer online courses will need a good amount of bandwidth to use, be wary of hosts that promise huge amounts of data transfer in their packages. While you may not hit the limit of data transfer, you could end up hitting other limits such as resource limits.
3. Disk Space
Just like with bandwidth, you should also not be swayed by web hosts that offer unlimited disk space. Many new sites that don't host lots of videos or music will not need more than 20 MB of space. However, if your online courses do involve music or videos, you will need to make sure that your web host package offers enough disk space for them. This will be a top priority when comparing different web hosting companies.
4. Technical Support
Since your website will be up and running day and night, you should want a web host that will be able to answer your calls and give you technical support when you need it. Things can go wrong on your website at any given time. You will want to be able to get timely help in order to get your problems fixed. If you want to be sure that they have technical support as stated before you sign up, give them a test. Try emailing or calling them on the weekend or late at night and see if you get a response. This is the best way to check out how well their technical support team is. Aside from the speed of their responses, make sure that the support team is competent in their support as well. You would not want to sign up with a web host that is run by salespeople instead of people who know how to fix your problems.
5. Email And Extras
If you have your own website, you are going to want to have email addresses associated with it that include your own domain. When comparing web hosts, check to see if they have the option to have your email forwarded to your current email address or if it is placed online in the web host account only. This can be a big time saver and much more convenient. Depending on your site, you may also need a host that offers extras such as the use of autoresponders, POP3, and mail forwarding.
6. Control Panel
Different hosts may refer to the control panel by other names. However, it is basically how they allow you to manage the different aspects of your web account on your own. For most hosts, the amount of things you are able to manage on your own is minimal. This may include things like adding, deleting, and managing your emails and changing passwords. If you find that a host needs you to email them each time you need to do something as simple as change a password, you may want to look elsewhere. These simple tasks are things that webmasters will need to perform on a regular basis and you will want it to be quick and hassle-free to accomplish.
While this is always an important factor to consider when trying to choose a web host for your online courses, it should not always be a top priority. In most cases, you get what you pay for in terms of cost. However, just because you sign up for an expensive host does not mean that you will get the best hosting for your site. The first step is to figure out exactly what your site needs in order to run smoothly. Next, you can find a hosting provider and hosting package accordingly, regardless of cost.