The internet has become everyone’s tool for survival, from large corporations to out of the garage home businesses. While most large companies rely on hiring a web designer and web host, many small to mediocre businesses have to rely on their own expertise and knowledge to get their service on the net.
Web hosting can be a scary procedure to the small businesses that don’t have the knowledge or the tools to host their web site efficiently. In all actuality hiring a web host would be the best way to go for any business no matter how small or big. Expense is the key factor that makes most businesses shy away from hiring a web host, and tends to opt for the freebies listed.
Small businesses often take it upon themselves to manage their own web site. More often than not they end up experiencing frustration and a slow moving web site. What many small businesses don’t realize is that the prices of web hosting have gone down considerably. Prices are so low actually that it would be hard for most businesses not to be able to afford web hosting. Since the prices have fallen, businesses are now able to create more stylish and sophisticated web sites. Web hosting has dropped to as low as under $10.00 a month and continues to fall.
What a Small business must watch for in a web hosting company
A web hosting company usually provides the server and the computer on which your web site is located. So in return you need to be looking for a web hosting company that can handle all of your needs for your companies continued growth.
Shared servers are common among small businesses. A shared server is exactly as it sounds; your website is sharing server space with other companies. This tends to be the cheapest web hosting service hence its popularity among small businesses. Shared servers are usually well under $10.00 a month.
Dedicated servers however, are a tad more expensive, and the saying you get what you pay for holds true to its word here. It costs a little more money for a dedicated server, but by far is the better solution if you need full control of the server. As with any type of technology or service, the more control you have, the more knowledge you will need. Dedicated servers are often a little too much of a learning curve for a novice business owner. The main advantage to dedicated servers is speed, the more traffic your site gets, the slower your site will be. If you’re sharing a server with too many other websites, your site might run slower than if you had a dedicated server. Dedicated servers are also more secure for the very same reason; you are not sharing your space.
Comparing Small Business Hosting Packages
Since there are thousands of web hosting providers out there, it can be hard to find the right web host to fit your needs. Comparison shopping is the way to go. There are many web hosts that offer packages that range fror small to large businesses, but your main concern should always be reliability.
Comparing different packages could take a bit of time, but with a little knowledge on what to look for and compare to, the time will be minimal and will pay off in the long run. Below are a few suggestions on comparing small business hosting providers.
Four tips for comparison shopping
- Experience – How long a web host company has been in business says a lot right off the bat. There are many fly by night companies out there, the longer the web host has been in business, the greater chance of them having the experience to carry your business to success. When choosing a small business hosting company, reliability and experience is a must. Stick to web hosts that have been in business for at least 5 years or more.
- Windows & Linux Platforms – These are the two main platforms used by web hosting companies. Make sure to pick a web host that uses the same platform to which you are familiar.
- Reliability & Uptime – Reliability is the backbone of any web site. If the web site is not up and running, you will lose potential business. Choose a web host that can prove to be reliable. The only real way to know for sure if they are reliable is to actually use their service. Many times you can access a forum, chat or ask for references from other current and past customers to get a idea of the reliability and any issues that have occurred. What better way to know but to ask?
- Cost & Affordability – When comparing cost, you will need to know exactly what your service needs will be. Do you need email? Multiple emails? Do you need a domain name registered? These are a few of the things that should be included with any web host package. Room for growth is the next important factor. Just because you do not need dedicated hosting right now because you are happy with shared hosting, doesn’t mean you might not want it at a later date. Make sure that there is room for your company web site to grow within your web host. Can your web host handle your growth?
At this point, a functioning web site is of most importance. Small business web hosting companies like Ballistic Domains can handle small to large businesses with affordability and ease.