How’s it going? Good? Right on. Let’s get down to business.
Since I’ve started working for this company, I’ve been approached by all sorts of different small business owners who were interested in creating a steady and reliable web presence for their company. Although they all seemed committed to the idea of reaching out to new potential clients online and developing their business in this digital sea of endless and highly profiled contacts, they’ve all lacked some serious knowledge about web hosting.
Being owners of businesses that don’t make an insane amount of money, most of these entrepreneurs operate on a very tight budget. They cannot afford to make any mistakes and spend money they don’t really have on things that don’t really work for them.
Apropos to everything written above, I have decided to address this matter on our blog.
As you probably know, buying a web hosting package is not quite as easy as a buying a loaf of bread. You cannot just enter a web hosting bakery, come up to the counter, look at the guy who’s standing behind it, all determined and ready to blow minds, and say: “Give me that one!”
No. It doesn’t work like that. You cannot just stick your fingers into it and see if it feels right. Buying a correct web hosting package for your business tends to get a bit complicated, if you don’t know what you’re exactly looking for.
Relax. Don’t panic. It’s not just you. Most people don’t know what they want from their hosting provider. They don’t really understand the difference between a good and a bad hosting service. They’re also not quite familiar with all the types of hosting packages.
Saying to some people such words as shared web hosting, dedicated servers and vps is like screaming random english words into a person’s face who doesn’t really speak the language. It’s pretty pointless.
But hey, we’re here to help. We will teach what to look for when choosing a host for your small business website.
Ready to get started? Great.
So, the first thing you need to do is get familiar with the terms. Let’s break them down:
As I already wrote on this blog, there are four types of paid hosting most companies offer: shared, co-located hosting, vps, dedicated hosting. In case you missed the article where I explained these four types of hosting, here’s the quick run down:
1. Shared hosting is the most popular option. Most people go for this deal because it’s the cheapest. This sort of service implies that you’re sharing a server with other customers of your hosting provider. The host manages the server, but he also gives you the opportunity to manage your server via control panel. Shared hosting is a solid deal for those who are just starting and have small audiences. In the long run, they should focus on more serious deals.
2. Co-location hosting is a service where someone else holds the server hardware that you provided and gives it an internet connection. He or she placed it in a secure facility designed with resources which include a secure cage or cabinet, regulated power, dedicated Internet connection, security and support.
These co-location facilities offer the customer a secure place to physically house their hardware and equipment as opposed to locating it in their offices or warehouse where the potential for fire, theft or vandalism is much greater.
In this scenario, the provider is not responsible for the support and maintenance of your server. Some providers offer maintenance services for additional cost, but most of them don’t.
3. A virtual private server (VPS) is a virtual machine sold as a service by an Internet hosting service. A VPS runs its own copy of an operating system, and customers have superuser-level access to that operating system instance, so they can install almost any software that runs on that OS.
4. The term Dedicated hosting refers to the service where you lease an entire server just for yourself. By paying for it, you get full access to all its resources. You can host one, two, three, as many sites on it as you wish for. It’s up to you. If you own a website that gets a lot of traffic and needs some serious disk space – than this is the best solution for you.
Dedicated hosting deals tend to be a bit more expensive, but they’re worth the money. Providers usually offer full maintenance and over the clock support for customers who end up going for this sort of deal, so they don’t need to worry about anything except what they’ll be posting on their site.
All these packages can be managed and unmanaged. It all depends if you want your host to provide you with 24/7 support, or not.
Never, I Repeat, Never Go for Unlimited or Free Hosting Deals
Whatever you do, whatever type of hosting company or package you end up choosing, please don’t get suckered into paying for those so called “unlimited” deals. As I already mentioned on this blog, there’s no such thing as unlimited hosting. It’s a con. Next to that, it’s of crucial importance to avoid free hosting providers as well. Why? – Well, for a lot of reasons. First and foremost of all, they’re not actually free. Click here to learn more about the troubles that come with hosting your website on one of these platforms.
Dedicated Servers > Shared Hosting
We advise all our serious clients to get a dedicated service for their business. Why? – Well, because it’s a lot safer. If you end up sharing a server with someone, that means that you’re willing to pay the price for their mistakes. If these guys screw something up, your website will go down.
Everyone is a potential security risk to the server, and therefore, to you. If your website is hacked or the server goes down, there will be costs associated with downtime, the cleaning process, and recovering lost files. And if you are not the tech-savvy person, you’ll have to hire someone to help you.
Signing with popular packages and “affordable” hosting providers has a hidden cost. You will be dealing with excessive downtime and frequent security issues that are not going to be resolved.
I know that budget is tight, but trust me, you don’t want to put your entire website in jeopardy by saving a few bucks a month.
Since your business is small and you won’t be getting an insane amount of visits on your site, you do not need to spend a lot of money on hosting. You don’t need to purchase ton of server. No. One will do you just fine.
Security and Stability Above All
If you’re planning to setup a WordPress site, the first thing you should think about is investing in security and stability. You should host your website on servers that are not overloaded and balanced for each client.
You should be able to access all your data and files more than just SFTP and PHPMyAdmin access.
A good hosting provider will allow you to add a lot of features and updates to your cPanel. Be sure to have this in mind before you decide to go with a certain web hosting company.
You need the freedom to make constant changes, add new plugins, install updates and change themes whenever you wish.
I hope this post help you figure out what type of hosting would be best suited for your small business website. If you have any questions about this particular subject, feel free to write them in the comments section below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Thank you for your time and patience,
See you soon again,
Goran @ AltusHost B.V.
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