Your small business needs a website. Nowadays, it’s as essential as any other kind of presence like a physical shop or your business phone line. A business website doesn’t necessarily need to be expansive, complicated, or even expensive to launch, but you do need some kind of web presence. After all, many users flock to Google first when trying to find a new product or service they require.
Web hosting is, as the name suggests, where your website is hosted. It’s the home of your site, which means the speed of your site and its reliability depend upon the web hosting service you choose. That means it’s crucial to pick a host carefully. Much like you wouldn’t want your business to have an ugly storefront, you also want your web hosting to be as professional as your operation. It can be a daunting process, though, especially if you’re not tech-savvy.
Read on, and we’ll explain exactly what to look for when purchasing web hosting, and we’ll narrow your options down to the best web hosting for your specific scenario.
What type of hosting is best for my business?
Web hosting providers aren’t all the same. Broadly, they can be divided up into four main categories – Shared, VPS, Dedicated, and Cloud Hosting. Shared hosting is the cheapest out there because your website is hosted alongside other sites. It tends to mean that speeds are slower, and you don’t have as many features available to you, but it’s ideal for a small business that just wants to host specific information.
VPS hosting and Cloud hosting are both quite similar. They involve providing you with a virtual private server, which tends to give you more flexibility and better performance, but at a price.
The highest-end form of web hosting is dedicated hosting. You get a whole server dedicated to your site, providing you with the best performance, security, and speed, but it comes at a substantial cost. For a small business, this is almost always overkill.
What should I look for when buying web hosting for my business?
For most small businesses, the cost is a considerable part of the decision-making process when buying web hosting. You need to consider purchasing web hosting, a domain name, as well as potential add-ons like an SSL certificate (if you’re selling online). Some web hosting comes with all that included, while others add it on as you purchase.
Ease of use is essential, too, with an intuitive control panel making the process so much smoother, as well as excellent customer support. Some web hosting also offers built-in website builders so you can get a website built within hours without the need for specialist knowledge.
Speed is also something to take into account, as a slow loading site is off-putting to customers and affects your search engine ranking. Reliability is essential, too, although the hosting companies we’ve listed here are all highly reliable and offer minimal downtime.