Does your small business have its own website? If the answer is no, it’s about time to build one. In the connected world we live in, having an online presence is more important than ever. After creating your website, the next step is to find a hosting service.
What is Web Hosting?
A web hosting company has servers that you use to store the pictures, documents, videos and other content that makes up your website. These servers come in a few varieties: shared, dedicated or virtual. There are many hosting options with many different plans to fit any business’ needs.
Keep in mind that every business and website has specific requirements and variables which should be reflected in your hosting plan.
You’ll want to find a hosting service with unlimited monthly data and e-mail transfers. An unlimited plan guarantees your website will be able to process as many visitors and customers as possible without experiencing any loading issues or errors.
Look for a web host that offers 24/7 customer service. Some web hosting companies are better than others in the customer service sector – so try to find one that avails you the opportunity to speak with real people at any hour of the day.
If you plan on having an e-commerce website or you are selling a product or service, try to find a web host that provides an SSL certificate. An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encrypts the data between the customer and the web host; this is an added layer of security that protects your business interests as well as your customers. Some providers will issue an SSL free of charge, others will charge you.
Most importantly, your small business website will need dependability. This is known as ‘uptime.’ To borrow a sports phrase, ‘The best ability is availability.’ Let’s face it, when your website is down, as a small business you are losing out on valuable customers. These customers will not be able to find you, and they may decide to go elsewhere. If potential customers notice that your site is up one day, but down the next, your brand credibility will take a hit.
The WordPress platform is an all-inclusive platform for creating and hosting your website. WordPress is affordable, feature-rich, and easy to learn for the less tech-savvy business owner.
Types of WordPress Hosting
The two most common types of WordPress hosting are Shared and VPS. With the growth of WordPress, many hosting providers now also offer managed plans.
Shared hosting is easily the most popular hosting for WordPress. Shared hosting is when you share a server with many other websites. Since many sites are sharing space on one server, the hosting provider can offer hosting at an affordable rate. This is a great option for a small business operating with a tight budget. The drawback to shared hosting is that you won’t have truly unlimited resources. You’ll have usage restrictions, and if you put a strain on the server, your account will most likely be upgraded to a more expensive plan.
VPS (Virtual Private Server) refers to a virtual machine. This partitions a physical server computer into multiple servers, catering to each individual’s needs. While you are still sharing a server with others, you will have nearly the same amount of control as a dedicated server. A VPS has the privacy of a physical computer and can be used to run server software. For the less savvy business owner, a ‘managed VPS’ is a good idea. A managed VPS means that your hosting provider handles system maintenance and upgrades.
Managed WordPress hosting is the best option for small business owners who want to focus on growing their business while leaving all the technical aspects to the hosting provider. Managed plans commonly include free site migration, automated backups, security solutions and around the clock customer support. The idea behind managed WordPress hosting is to make the setup and maintenance of a personal blog or business website a hassle-free experience.
WordPress can be a great tool for a small business owner. It’s efficient at building as well as hosting your website. It’s affordable and can grow with your business. As in any case, do your due diligence and research as many companies as possible to find the best possible hosting for your small business.