Web hosting for agency needs: How to pick a hosting solution for your SMB clients

Choosing the right web hosting solution can give your agency an edge over the competition, enabling you to do your job faster and more effectively while giving your clients speedy, well-performing websites that help them meet their business goals.

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In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about selecting the right hosting provider as a web hosting agency.

Why does choosing the right web hosting for agencies matter?

Picking the right web hosting solution is an important decision for any business, but it's especially crucial for website hosting agencies.

If you resell white-label websites, web design, and hosting solutions, your clients rely on you to provide a solution that makes their lives easier rather than causing them more headaches. Web hosting in digital marketing can influence the other services you may offer as well, like SEO performance.

Similarly, if you offer managed website services, selecting the best web hosting for agencies will make it much easier for you to deliver services effectively and at scale, without compromising your clients’ website security. Here’s why choosing the right digital agency hosting partner matters:

It saves time and resources

By partnering with a reliable and efficient hosting provider, you can avoid the headaches of server downtime, slow website load times, and other technical problems that can arise from low-quality hosting. This means less time spent troubleshooting and more time focusing on what really matters: growing your business and providing top-notch services to your clients.

Additionally, a quality web hosting partner can offer cost-effective plans tailored to your specific needs, ensuring you're not overspending on unnecessary features or resources.

It gives you access to support and maintenance

The best web hosting for agencies will give you, your team, and your clients access to experts who can provide knowledgeable and responsive support. This means you can resolve issues and troubleshoot quickly before small hosting-related issues snowball into more significant problems.

Opting for a reputable reseller hosting partner wither 24/7 support can help you deliver exceptional, fast customer service to your clients, ensuring they remain satisfied long-term paying customers.

It maximizes website performance and security

Today’s audiences are more distracted than ever, making website performance and speed non-negotiable for your small and medium-sized business (SMB) clients. Similarly, cybersecurity risks abound, and one of the most common hosting mistakes to avoid is choosing a low-priced provider with minimal security features. The best solutions will include features like SSL certificates, automatic daily backups, malware scanning, and robust, customizable firewalls.

Your reputation as a web hosting agency can be negatively impacted by failing to deliver on speed, performance, and security, and choosing a top-notch hosting provider can ensure you exceed expectations.

Key considerations when choosing a web hosting solution

It can be easy to get bogged down in marketing copy that promises the world. When it comes to picking a solution that will make you the best web hosting agency in your niche, there are four key factors to prioritize: reliability, speed, security, and scalability.

Prioritize reliability

The cornerstone of any good web hosting for agencies is reliability. When a website experiences downtime, it can lead to lost revenue, a damaged reputation, and frustrated clients. To avoid these pitfalls, look for a hosting provider with a strong track record of uptime and stability.

A reliable web host should offer at least 99.9 percent uptime, ensuring that your clients' websites remain accessible and fully functional for visitors. Solutions using trusted, reliable infrastructure, like Google Cloud web hosting or AWS hosting, are a good choice.

Additionally, inquire about their backup and disaster recovery strategies to ensure that valuable data can be restored in the event of server failure or other unforeseen issues.

Speed matters

If you’ve made it this far in this blog, congratulations: you probably have a longer attention span than most of today’s internet users. Given the easily distractible nature of most website visitors, speed is non-negotiable.

A slow-loading website can deter potential customers, negatively impact search engine rankings, and ultimately hurt your clients' businesses. When evaluating solution providers for your web hosting agency, consider their server and data center distribution, since closer proximity to website visitors can lead to faster loading times. It’s also a good idea to look for digital agency hosting that offers caching and content delivery network (CDN) integration since these features can meaningfully boost website performance.

Look for world-class security

Cybersecurity threats are always evolving beyond yesterday’s security measures, so it’s important to choose web hosting for agencies that offers robust security measures and provides regular security updates.

The most critical features to look for are SSL certificates, automatic daily backups, malware scanning, and firewalls. These can go a long way in protecting your client’s sites from costly, reputation-damaging, and stressful cyberattacks.

Seek scalability

As your web hosting agency grows and your clients' needs evolve, your hosting solution should effortlessly adapt to these changes.

For your clients, scalability means being able to increase the use of essential resources like storage, bandwidth, and memory on-demand, without having to migrate their sites to a new server. Your provider should also offer pay-as-you-use pricing so that your SMB clients are only charged for the resources they use.

Ideally, the best web hosting for agencies will also enable your business to scale effortlessly, by giving you tools to make the management of a growing list of client websites easy.

What to ask your web hosting provider

Now that you know what to look for when choosing the perfect partner for your web hosting agency, arm yourself with this list of questions to determine if a hosting solution meets your standards. The more transparent and responsive they are, the likelier they are to be a reliable digital agency hosting partner.

The technical stuff

What type of server infrastructure do you use?

Server infrastructure refers to the “stuff” that enables a hosting provider to deliver their services: the physical servers, data centers, other hardware, software, network, and virtualization technologies that make up the foundation of a server environment.

Web hosting agencies should look for providers with robust, reliable, frequently updated, and scalable server infrastructure. This may include options like shared, VPS, dedicated, or cloud hosting, depending on the needs of your agency and clients.

How do you handle server maintenance and updates?

Servers require regular maintenance just like any other hardware or technology. Keeping the infrastructure in top shape is essential for optimal performance and security, both of which are important for digital agency hosting.

However, maintenance can also be disruptive if it leads to downtime or other interruptions, so you should make a point of understanding the frequency of maintenance, how it’s performed, and whether you should anticipate any downtime as a result. A good provider of web hosting for agencies will have a proactive approach to server maintenance and ensure minimal disruption to clients' websites.

Do you provide website migration services?

If you’re just getting started in the hosting space, part of your challenge will be to convince prospects to switch over to your web hosting agency. No SMB wants to deal with the headache of a messy migration, so if you can offer smooth, disruption-free migration to your solution, it’s a major selling point.

Inquire with your prospective hosting provider about their website migration services. Make sure to find whether they offer a smooth, secure process that includes the transfer of databases, files, email accounts, and any other data associated with your clients’ websites, with minimal transition downtime.

Security screening

How do you protect against hacking attempts or malware?

Your reputation as the best web hosting agency in town hinges on your ability to provide a highly reliable, well-performing, and secure web hosting environment to clients. Look for a provider that has strong security measures in place, such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and malware scanning.

When inquiring about malware detection, find out how the company approaches regular security updates and patches. If these are frequent, it’s a good indication the hosting provider maintains up-to-date measures against hacking attempts, malware, and other cyberattacks.

How often are backups taken and how are they stored?

Backups are like insurance for websites, and the best digital agency hosting providers will provide regular—ideally daily—backups. In addition to the frequency of backups, ask about how backup data is stored. Hosting providers should have protocols for storing backups in secure off-site or distributed locations. Another good question to ask is if there is a cost associated with restoring a website from a backup.

Is SSL included in your hosting plans?

SSL is an essential encryption technology for protecting the sensitive data that your clients’ sites might collect, particularly login credentials and payment or credit card information. Web hosting agencies should look for providers that offer SSL certificates as part of their hosting plans, preferably at no extra cost.

Make sure to ask if SSL certificates are automatically updated upon expiry, since they are valid for one year at a time.

Gauging customer support

What are your customer support hours and channels?

When something goes awry with one of the websites you manage, the last thing you’ll want is to have to wait several days to hear back from your hosting solution provider. That’s why it’s so important to inquire about the availability of customer support, including hours of operation and channels used for communication, like phone, email, and live chat.

A good provider will offer 24/7 support through multiple channels, ensuring that any issues can be quickly addressed and resolved.

What is your average response time for support requests?

This question helps you get a better idea of just how robust your prospective hosting partner’s customer support is. A reliable provider will have a proven track record of responding quickly, ideally within an hour or less.

This will give you the peace of mind that if you run into issues of any kind, support staff are able to swiftly resolve problems rather than just putting you through long, fruitless conversations.

Do you provide any additional support services, such as website optimization or security audits?

Services like website optimization and security auditing are useful for continuously improving website performance, enhancing security, and providing valuable actionable insights into potential vulnerabilities.

A provider that goes beyond basic hosting services can help you excel as a web hosting agency by enabling you to support your clients in making their websites as secure and well-performing as possible.

Website Pro: The best WordPress hosting for agencies

Vendasta’s Website Pro is a lot more than just a hosting solution: it’s an all-in-one platform for agencies offering website services, from designing to hosting and managing.  For agencies looking to provide top-notch hosting services, Website Pro is a no-brainer. Here's why:

  • Unparalleled speed and reliability: Website Pro ensures that your clients' websites load quickly and run smoothly, thanks to the high-performance Google infrastructure behind it. This translates to a better user experience, improved search engine rankings, and ultimately, more revenue for your clients.
  • On-demand support: Wherever you are in the world, Website Pro’s team of expert support staff is on call to help you with any issues you encounter. Whether you prefer live chat, phone, or email support, you can access the assistance you require 24/7.
  • The benefits of Google Cloud Platform: Since Website Pro utilizes the Google Cloud Platform, all of your websites will be hosted on a robust and scalable infrastructure that offers unparalleled performance and security. You can have the peace of mind that the most up-to-date security technologies and protocols are protecting all of your clients’ websites.
  • Manage everything in the Admin Dashboard: The easy-to-use, agency-friendly Admin Dashboard allows you to handle website management for a long list of client sites intuitively in just a few clicks. This centralized page enables you to perform routine maintenance tasks and keep an eye on every website’s performance, so nothing falls through the cracks.

Frequently asked questions

How much should I charge clients for web hosting services?

Pricing for web hosting services varies based on factors like storage, bandwidth, and features. Research competitors' rates, factor in your costs, and add a profit margin to determine a fair price, and consider offering tiered plans to accommodate clients with different needs and budgets.

Is it a good idea to host your own website?

Hosting your own website requires technical knowledge, resources, and maintenance. For most people, it's more efficient and cost-effective to use a professional web hosting agency, ensuring better performance, reliability, and security without the hassle of managing servers yourself.

About the Author

Lawrence Dy is the SEO Strategy Manager at Vendasta. His career spans from starting as a Jr. Copywriter in the automotive industry to becoming a Senior Editorial Content Manager in various digital marketing niches. Outside of work, Lawrence moonlights as a music producer/beatmaker and spends time with friends and family.

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