What You Need to Know About Business Website Hosting
Business Website Hosting is Important!
Many small business owners are not overly concerned about their business website hosting. The overwhelming mantra seems to be the cheaper, the better. And while having your business website hosted for less than a buck a month seems like a great idea, it really isn’t! There are many factors involved in business website hosting, and we want small business owners to understand what some of the basic options are. Your own business website hosting needs may be different from the average small business. We have seen some very unique cases over the years. But if you can understand the basics about business website hosting you will be able to make better informed decisions yourself.
Making a hasty decision regarding your business website hosting can come back and haunt you. Yes, some of these rock-bottom deals sound great! But keep in mind that in business website hosting you get what you pay for. The only way lo-cost providers can actually provide any service and stay in business is by cutting service to the bone. That is not good when you have an emergency, is it? In some cases technical support is extremely basic as the respective IT support team has little or no training. If you want better trained and motivated support you just have to expect to pay more.
Different Website Hosting Options
There are many available options for business website hosting. Choosing the right one for you depends on your own requirements. Do you need a full-blown e-commerce site, or will a simple website do? Will you keep a popular blog that gets tons of visitors? Or maybe you plan to have lots of high quality images on your site, or your site has a design feature that requires more resources to load. Maybe you need a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate. And what if you just don’t have the time to deal with any of this? We understand!
In a previous blog post we already mentioned how to optimize your business website performance. Those of you who read that post will remember we talked about how business website hosting affected your website performance. Today we want to go into a bot more detail to help small business owners understand the different available options There are basically four different types of business website hosting available to small business owners. They range from cheap and fairly limited on one end to all the benefits of your owning very own web server on the other. And at the end you will have the resources to learn more about individual web hosts.
For many of our clients we use the example of leasing a car to illustrate the domain purchase and registration process. The natural extension of that thought would be to outline your different parking options next. They range from hoping you don’t have too many new scratches to the white glove valet service. We are sure you will find suitable ‘parking’ for your business website as well.
The Types of Business Website Hosting
Shared Hosting – The Public Parking Garage
This is the bare bones, lo-cost option we mentioned earlier. Shared hosting means just that. Your business website lives on the same server as hundreds and perhaps even thousands of other small business websites just like yours.Think of it as a public parking garage. You pay a small hourly fee, or monthly charge, to park your car with hundreds of other cars in the same parking garage. You don’t have your own spot, you can’t store your spare tires, and the whole place is not all that secure either.
That is exactly the reason why shared hosting is so cheap. And many small business websites don’t get that much traffic at first, and they have few, if any, additional CPU requirements. Initially many small business owners who are satisfied at that level. And some of them never really see any need to move on up. The rest of you should really think about your own small business expanding, and perhaps not being such a small business any more. How exiting! But will shared hosting still serve your needs?
Keep in mind that with shared business website hosting you and every other business on that server share the same resources. And that means that when everyone needs the same resources at the same time things get real messy really fast. Think of your public parking garage during a special event, or (gasp!) the holiday season! Where is your parking space now?
As your small business expands maybe you need more resources. You definitely will expect more website traffic. And better site speed would really help with Google. The extra image galleries alone will take up a lot of extra server space as well. Maybe it is time to move on up to the affordable freedom of a Virtual Private Server (VPS).
Virtual Private Servers (VPS) – The Reserved Parking Space
This is the next step up for business website hosting. A virtual private (VPS) server offers many of the same benefits of having your own dedicated server. You have more room, a faster processor, and you generally have more freedom to do things your way. Look at it like having your own reserved parking space. Not quite as good as having your own garage, but definitely a step up from the public parking garage.
With a virtual private server you should have no problem handling additional website traffic, uploading tons of product images and still get decent website speed, have more dedicated landing pages and sub directories. And seeing that you pay a little extra you can also expect a higher level of tech support when things go wrong. Some VPS servers even help you with website performance and security as part of their service agreements.
The Small Business Solution
A VPS server is a good middle ground for business website hosting for most small business owners. It can handle the average business website with performance to spare. Even e-commerce sites with a few hundred SKUs are no problem. By having your own installation of Linux, Apache, MySQL you have greater abilities to take advantage of software upgrades and other improvements.
Keep in mind that with your own private parking space you still have to deal with traffic, While a VPS server is a viable business website hosting solution for most small to mid-size businesses there are times when you just need to be able to do your own thing. That means you have to step up to your own dedicated server, your own parking garage.
Dedicated Server – The Private Garage
As the name implies a dedicated server is dedicated to only one client or website, you! You have absolutely zero restrictions; this is your own server. You can have as many website visitors and use as many server resources as your heart desires. This is the equivalent of having your very own parking garage, driveway and everything. No pesky neighbors or traffic to annoy you.
But keep in mind that having a dedicated server means that you, or your IT administrator have more control over keeping it running as well. Your host, the server farm that your dedicated machine lives on, will still keep your server running, But you may find that regular backups, security, performance optimization and support along those lines are available, for a price. Having your own dedicated server as among the more expensive business website hosting options.
This May Be Too Much
Frankly, we rarely recommend that a client gets their own dedicated server. For small businesses the cost and expertise required are simply not worth it. Unless you run a membership site or e-commerce store that has very high security requirements, or if you develop your own websites, there are not many reasons for small businesses to choose this option for their business website hosting.
If you really want the best possible performance and functionality without having to actually devote a lot of time you may want to consider a hosted solution.
Managed Hosting – The Valet Service
For those small business owners that want the best of both worlds we recommend managed hosting. Just like the name implies you pay a service provider to manage your business website hosting for you. You still control your business website or e-commerce store. But much of the basic maintenance and security are no longer your responsibility. This is like have a valet service bring your car around when you need it.
For many small to mid-size businesses this is an ideal business website hosting option. Managed hosting solutions generally provide high-speed servers that are already optimized for website performance. Security is usually top-notch as well, with managed hosting providers offering SSL certificates as part of their service. And managed hosting providers take care of basic website maintenance, theme and plugin updates, and database configuration for you as well.
The Worry-Free Solution
If you want worry free business website hosting that takes care of your website so that you can focus on running your business we recommend you look into managed hosting. If you are worried about the cost consider how much time and money you currently spend just trying to keep your business website up and running. In most cases you will spend less than that on a managed hosting service, and have more time to run your business as well.
Selecting Your Business Website Hosting
Now that you know the different types of business website hosting and understand the pros and cons you are in a good position to select a hosting provider. Perhaps you already have business website hosting and just wanted to learn more.
Most reputable business website hosting providers offer a variety of different packages and options. This should make it easier for you to find the optimum service level without having to leave your current hosting service provider.
If you are just starting out, or feel like a different business website hosting provider would be a better fit, there are a number of different options available. Be sure to check carefully that a business website hosting provider will be able to help you scale and grow your business when the time comes.
Here is an excellent post by Template Monster about 20 Reliable WordPress Hosting Companies for Full Trust. It provides a quick comparison between shared, VPS, dedicated and managed business website hosting providers.
Need a Place to Park Your Website?
Here at ESPRESSO.digital, we offer a full range of technical support services, including IT and website consulting and business website hosting. Contact us to learn more about our small business website hosting services, and how our team can help you leverage business website hosting advantages of your own.
And if you are still not sure how your website hosting affects your business website, don’t worry! Simply reach out and contact us. Our expert team will listen to you, answer your questions, and determine if your business website hosting is geared for your business success. That is one of our specialties, after all!
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