Operating a college website presents its own unique set of challenges. You have frequent faculty and staff changes, not to mention a new student body every term. All class information must be presented for each new term, which means you have database and scripting challenges as well. And, of course, your college website must act as a marketing tool for all prospective students.
Whether you’re a state-funded community college, private church-backed college, or private for-profit accredited college, you need a trustworthy web host to act as your partner in your pursuit of a smoothly-running website.
What exactly should you look for in your web hosting partner? Below we have collected a few of the most important things to look for when choosing a web host.
As mentioned, your college website is one of the most important marketing tools for your institution. Therefore, you need a web host who is able to help you improve your online marketing efforts through free marketing services, such as credits to get started on PPC search engine marketing, extra paid professional online marketing services, and the ability to see the statistics you need to make better marketing decisions.
Undoubtedly, your college website will contain a lot of database material. Your class descriptions and availability change every term. Faculty bios and teaching schedules update frequently as well.
You need a web host who will be able to support the number of databases you use to store and deliver all that information. Look for a host with unlimited MySQL databases so you know you have a way to store, display, and archive your online data.
Easy Control Panel
You’ll want a web host who provides easy access and control of your website functions. Be sure your host gives you a good choice of at least one major brand of control panel software like cPanel or Parallel’s Plesk. These brands provide not only easy control, but you can configure them with drag and drop ease to put the controls you use most at your fingertips.
Communication is key within a college campus. Faculty, staff, and student email accounts are necessary to keep those communication wheels running smoothly. If you choose a web host with unlimited email accounts, you can be sure you’ll have the ability to manage your accounts. If you have your own email server, you might want to look for a web host that offers Windows Exchange to help manage all those accounts with Microsoft technology.
Your college, like any business, tends to grow. You may find your student base continually expands each term. Your monthly traffic increases exponentially each month. Of course, you need a web host that can grow with you. Find a host that offers the choice to upgrade to a VPS hosting package, or even a dedicated server plan so you can get the computing power you need.