How to Choose the Best Website Hosting for Small Business

Wassana Lampech

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Who you pick as your web hosting company has a direct impact on sales and revenues. A bad web host can charge you unfair prices or cause you to lose your customer base from frequent maintenance and downtime issues. Before showing you how best to shop for web hosting services, let's tackle why it's important.

Any small business or large corporation that has a dedicated website can only market its products and services online if a web server is hosting its site. Nowadays, digital presence has become a staple for any commercial enterprise lest it be crushed by competitors who do market through the web. If your brand doesn't appear in the first pages of a search result on a web browser, such as Google Chrome or Internet Explorer, it'll have a hard time attracting any business.

Now that we've cleared up why a web host is essential, let's look at factors that determine a good web hosting plan.

Types of Web Hosting

There are at least three types of web hosting services available to the public: shared, dedicated, and VPS hosting. Shared hosting, as the name implies, is where multiple clients share a single server. For instance, Google.com shares the same server as YouTube.com. Obviously, the upside to shared hosting is that the costs are split two or three ways, which means the hosting is less expensive over time. The downside, however, is that all resources are shared, which means your business's site can suffer traffic spikes that can deter visitors.

VPS hosting is similar to shared hosting in that multiple websites use a single server. However, a dedicated VPS host accommodates only a limited number of websites per server, and each site receives its own resources. For a starting business owner with a limited runway, it's usually best to start with a shared hosting account.

Uptime Stats

Web server reliability measures the host's uptime score. Nothing is more important than having your website up and running online 24/7. Look for a web host that provides reliable, cutting-edge servers and uninterrupted network connections. As a general rule, you should avoid anything below 99%. There are different ways to know the uptime data of a web host. You can either read user reviews or monitor your hosting plan with free monitoring tools.

Option to Upgrade

Even shared web hosting plans have enough power to run a small business. For instance, a shared hosting account can accommodate a WordPress site that receives 40,000 unique visits per month. If you anticipate your business picking up in the next several months, consider a VPS Windows plan that has room to grow. If you need to add more processing power, memory capacity, or robust security, you should be able to upgrade to a better hosting plan without being forced to pay ridiculously high prices.

Costs

A shared server is generally cheaper than a VPS server. That being said, shared hosting plans are more expensive to renew despite the attractive signup rates. Shared hosting prices range around $10 per month, but it's not uncommon to find hosting plans around $3. Some packages are more expensive but come with a free domain name and some other hosting essentials, such as Cron or Server Side Include.

Final Thoughts

If you have more time to compare your hosting options, there are many variables to use as filters to find the right plan for your small business. Live chat support, backup servers, subscription periods, and even the eco-friendliness of the shared or VPS server company are key areas to look into.

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