The goals, the challenges and tasks for small business owners are largely different from those of medium and big companies. Therefore, the website-related services they need are different, too. When the time comes to select a service to host your website, you need to be aware of the criteria that are relevant to small businesses.
The free time criterion
Some entrepreneurs are do-it-yourself and they have the knowledge to host their own websites and cater to the server, to the security aspects, to software installation, etc. These matters also take a lot of time, which not everyone has. If you feel you’re already too busy with other aspects, you will want to have more free time for these. In this case, you should select a hosting option where the company’s staff can do all the work for you, from software installation to security updates.
Considering future expansion
Your choice will definitely depend on what you expect your website to be. Planned growth, significant amounts of content and loads of traffic expected point to greater needs in future. This means you need a host that lets you expand with ease and upgrade your package. The smoothest transition is ensured by cloud hosting companies. These use an ever-expanding network of servers, able to accommodate greater demands. Therefore, as the hosted sites grow bigger, the grid grows, too. The hosting plans are on the expensive side, though.
Choosing the server type
You must do this according to the size, purpose and current/expected traffic of your website. Loads of web hosts offer loads of extra services which you may not need if your site is small. You can rent a server for your use only, or you can share one with countless other websites. The latter is the cheaper option, but the resources will be limited by the bigger or faster growing websites on the given server. To keep the prices low, opt for the cheapest packages, at least until you start getting loads of traffic.
Most popular entry-level options
Shared servers are popular with new, small businesses because they require little to no technical knowledge. Besides, the costs are low, because the server is partitioned to hundreds, if not thousands of websites. A virtual private server is similar, but better in terms of security and control. However, this will not be able to handle sudden surges in traffic so you will be forced to upgrade. Although it appears like having your own dedicated server, it’s only virtual – you’re still sharing it with other websites.
Why starting small is better
You may feel tempted to select the bigger and better options if you’re having high hopes for your website and online business plans. However, it’s wiser to invest only a small amount in your first web host. Small companies must watch their budget. To handle future growth, select a web host provider that lets you expand or upgrade easily. You’ll know when to make the changes. Once your business grows and the revenue follows suit, then it is safe to invest more in hosting.
A web host is meant to help you establish your online presence. There is no need for sophisticated options in the very beginning, when your needs are simple: good uptime, reliability, safety and security, plus low costs.