If you’re setting up a website for the first time, you may want to know more about the types of Web hosts a small business should use. There are several choices that may be appropriate for your business, depending on its size and goals. For simple websites, a managed hosting plan should meet your needs. If you’re more technically inclined and you require a more elaborate setup, you can save money by maintaining your own virtual or dedicated server.
The costs of server maintenance must be factored into the monthly payment you make to the Web host. If you do everything yourself, you’ll either spend time keeping your server updated or pay a network administrator to do this job. If you choose a managed hosting plan, you’ll simply pay for server maintenance in your monthly service fee.
According to PC World, many popular Web hosts offer shared, dedicated and virtual private server (VPS) hosting plans. When deciding on the type of plan to use for your website, look at the features offered with each plan. If you need database support, SSL encryption, shopping cart support or a centralized email account, make sure a Web host offers these features. You should also make sure the company provides quality tech support if you’ve never set up a website before.
What Types of Web Hosts Are There?
Web hosts range from free, basic, ad-supported services to dedicated hosts that simply provide the hardware and physical infrastructure on which to install a server stack. There are also cloud hosting options that automatically scale up or down depending on the amount of resources you use during a particular month.
For a very basic small business website, you may also be able to use your ISP’s included hosting package, which usually includes just three Web pages and 10MB of disk space. This option would be appropriate to establish your domain name and begin building traffic, although if you need advanced features such as shopping cart support, you’ll need to find another option.
Related Resource: Secure Websites
How to Choose a Web-Hosting Service
Part of the decision of which type of hosting service your business needs is researching the different service providers. If you don’t have much experience building a website or you don’t have employees to maintain your site, a good rule of thumb is to choose the service with the best support and longest track record.
A few mature and well-established Web hosts are BlueHost, LunarPages, 1&1 and GoDaddy. Each of these providers offers similar features, such as shared, virtual and dedicated hosting, as well as database and shopping cart support. There are differences in the programming languages supported and the administrator dashboard you use to build the site. BlueHost, for example, is an officially recommended host for WordPress websites.
Depending on whether your business is setting up an e-commerce site or an informational blog, you should consider the Web host’s supported dashboard interfaces and shopping cart services. If you’re transferring an existing site to a new host, make sure the host supports the software your site currently uses.
With online commerce rapidly growing, Web-hosting providers and site-building software are becoming more numerous. When it comes to the type of webhost a small business should have, research your options and choose the most economical solution that meets your business’s needs.