How to Avoid Overspending On Web Hosting
In business cost is high priority. In small businesses it can make or break a company. When we decide to pursue a new business venture, we take into consideration all aspects of the business from customer base, to marketing and even website design and implementation. One thing to consider that may save you a lot of money is the type of web hosting you choose. With so many options for hosting it can get confusing and expensive. Unless you know exactly what you need, you may be spending money on hosting services that are not utilized or necessary for your site. Here are some tips on how to choose your web hosting and pay for only what you need:
Determine your Needs:
The first step in any business plan is to determine what you need versus what you want. The same goes for web hosting. You may want the biggest, best plan; however you may just need the basic hosting options. Determine the type of programming code that will be used, the amount of traffic you expect to have, and the visitor interaction with your site. Unless you are planning on a full featured site with extensive customer interaction, you may only need the smaller web hosting plan and save you hundreds of dollars a year in unnecessary expenses. The average personal or small business site only needs 1GB worth of bandwidth each month.
Most companies now a days offer unlimited bandwidth with all their plans, even their basic plans. Hostgator, Arvixe, and Bluehost are a few companies that offer unlimited bandwidth with all of their accounts. If you are unsure of your traffic, you may even want to start with a personal account and upgrade to business class as your traffic grows. This will allow savings as you startup your new venture.
The same holds true for server space. When the internet was just a baby, companies capped the amount of space you were permitted to have on their servers. This was to include all files, databases, images, videos, etc. Now space is unlimited with most web hosting companies. This will allow you to upload files and page without worry of going over space limitations and being charged more.
If your site is database driven it will be important to compare each company to find out how many databases they allow. Some will offer unlimited databases where others limit them. Inmotionhosting limits their databases based on the plan you sign up for. Their basic plan only allows 2 where their Pro plan allows 200.
Just like every other business purchase you want to make sure you are getting the best deal. If you are planning to count on your website to generate customer, you will want to be sure it is always functioning and supported. Shop around and compare the many different web hosting companies. Look at their prices, the amount of space provided, domain name registration, and carefully look at their customer support. You want a company that has 24/7 support in the event that at 3 a.m. your website goes down.
Also look at the advertising features included with the plan. Most companies now provide a certain amount of Google Adwords credit, free SEO advice and many other options to get your site noticed quickly and effortlessly. Bluehosting gives you $75 in Google Adwords free with their accounts; Yahoo Small Business offers $50 but also gives an easy way to advertise on all the major search engines and social networks. That is a feature that may be worth more to you than the extra $25 in Adwords. Compare the hosting plan with your marketing strategy to determine which company will accommodate your marketing plan. There is no point in having a site nobody knows about and you can save hundreds on expensive marketing firms later.
Each web hosting company provides features for your site. For instance if you are planning on building your site and are not a web designer you may want a company that provides free templates and easy web design options. The less time you spend trying to build your site the more time you can spend on business and doing what you love. You will also want to avoid having to find a designer later to fix the jumbled up mess that was created.
Other aspects that might be of use are the types of servers they use, the inclusion of databases, and the ease of making changes. If your site has a store with a shopping cart you will also want to choose a site that includes one. You will also want to choose a design that will easily allow you to change prices, descriptions, and add/remove products.
With e-commerce quickly becoming the preferred method of shopping you will want to be able to assure your customers that their purchases and personal information are safe. Each hosting company provides a certain level of security for your site and those visiting it. Be sure you choose one that you will feel confident in using yourself. If you are planning on taking credit card payments on your site you will want to be sure you have SSL (Secure Socket Layers) included in your web hosting plan. This will help protect your customer’s personal and financial information.
The internet is a fantastic tool for any business. Whether you are operating an online store, social networking site, or are just trying to introduce your brand to the online world to attract business, your web hosting company needs to be your best friend. In the world of bits and bytes your hosting company is your landlord. Choose wisely, research, and pick a plan that offers the services you need at the price you can afford.
Jonathan Sanders creates websites and blogs about many Internet subjects. He recommends checking out these small business web hosting reviews, as well as some great tips for choosing the best web hosting for business.