An online presence is crucial for almost all businesses these days. 78% of internet users conduct product research online, so visibility on the web plays a vital role in driving customers to a business. This can be complicated for a small business though, not least in knowing how a website should be hosted. We will take you through the options and help you to figure out what hosting solution is best for your business.
Shared hosting is the most basic and cheapest way to get a website online. Space is allocated to a website on a physical server held in the host’s data centre. This server will be shared with other websites, hence the term shared hosting. Because all these websites are sharing the server’s resources, the amount of traffic your website can withstand will be capped by the host. If your websites receives more traffic than agreed with the host, your website will be taken down. This means that shared hosting is best suited to businesses that do not need a lot of space to run. This particularly applies to sole traders such as tradesmen, photographers or shop owners who may only need a single page to communicated contact details, rates or other simple details.
A VPS, short for virtual private server, functions as an self-contained server but is not hosted on any one machine. Instead it uses modern cloud technology to locate itself across any free space on servers in your chosen location. Users simply select the amount of resources they want their VPS to contain and it will be available to their website. An advantage of hosting this way is that further resources can be added easily, meaning spikes in traffic are easily dealt with. On top of this, VPSs have automatic failover technology that enables them to relocate themselves if the machines they are occupying suffer downtime. Websites hosted on a VPS are therefore far more immune to downtime caused by physical damage. Likely candidates for a VPS are small businesses with high projected growth, particularly those who will be using their site to carry out transactions. A VPS allows businesses such as these to keep initial costs down while still keeping options open to add further resources as the business grows.
Hosting with a dedicated server provides a business with its own full machine located in the host’s data centre. It is an option that benefits those who need a more powerful spec, with fast connectivity, unmetered bandwidth and reliable hardware. Naturally, superior resources come at a higher price, but businesses gain a reliable piece of hardware with none of the associated costs of hosting in-house. Dedicated servers will be most suited to small and medium businesses that require a more powerful hosting solution because of a large existing target market/audience.
Getting the right hosting for a business can prevent complications further down the line. Providing a website with the resources it needs minimises downtime and leads to a smoother customer experience, and ultimately increases levels of repeat business. Careful consideration of which hosting package is appropriate is a vital part of setting up a business in today’s market.