Every homeowner’s association (HOA) needs an effective website, which, for most organizations, means finding a specialized website builder. Website builders often come with hosting options, but not all HOAs opt to use the same companies for both of these vital services. Whether HOA leaders are still looking for the right web design tools or they’re ready to find the best hoa website hosting services, they can read on to learn what’s important.
What Is Website Hosting?
Because not everyone has experience in web design, it’s worth starting at the beginning with a basic overview of what it means to host a website. In simple terms, web hosting is a service that companies provide for a recurring fee that allows users to publish websites. HOA leaders can expect the service to provide a domain name, website storage, and a server, at a minimum.
Defining HOA Website Requirements
HOA leaders should start by defining their websites’ hosting requirements so that they can make informed decisions about which services to trust. They’ll want to consider more than just cost. Issues like technical capabilities, storage space, and speed should all come into consideration, as well.
If the website will only be used to facilitate communications between members, for example, almost any server will do. On the other end of the spectrum, an HOA that wants to enable not just online payment processing and the creation of member accounts but also video tours of the HOA and other features that take up a good deal of space on a server will need to be pickier. The best bet is to work with a company that provides both website building and hosting services, ideally specifically for HOAs.
Important Features to Consider
Once HOA leaders know how they plan to use a website, it will be easier to evaluate features available through different website hosts. Some features, such as unmetered storage space, will only be worth the extra cost for HOA websites that are large enough to need many pages. Others, such as scalability and security, are important for organizations of all sizes.
Every web host should have the ability to provide secure website infrastructure. HOA leaders should negotiate security features, expectations, and guarantees before they sign on the dotted line. Be sure the web host is committed to implementing all of the latest security protocols.
Scalability is an important feature, as well. This feature refers to the web host’s ability to scale services up quickly when that’s what’s needed or back when an HOA’s needs diminish. If, for example, property owners tend to use the website most frequently at the end of the month to view statements or make payments, it will help if the host can scale up performance to accommodate them.
Look for an All-in-One Solution
The best option for most HOAs is to find a company that offers both website building and long-term hosting services. That way, it will be easy not just to complete the website but also to publish it and make changes as needed, all with the help of the same company.