Well-designed websites can help small businesses stand toe-to-toe with bigger competition. Armed with great content, easy site navigation and in-depth product pages, SMBs can find, engage and keep a global customer audience.
Great websites, however, depend on great hosting plans and providers. But with so many options on the market, how do small business owners find their best fit? Here’s what you need to know about choosing the best web hosting plan for your small business.
Web Hosting Basics: What Are Your Options?
When it comes to web hosting, you have three basic options: shared hosting, virtual private server (VPS) hosting and dedicated hosting.
Shared hosting is the most cost-effective. In this model, resources are shared among multiple websites on the same server. It’s a great choice for small businesses building their first website.
VPS hosting is more expensive but offers more control. By using virtualization technology, businesses get access to private resources on a shared server, allowing them to handle more traffic and build more robust websites. SMBs also get complete control over how resources are used and how their virtual piece of the server is configured.
Dedicated hosting is the last and most expensive option. In a dedicated hosting model, servers are not shared. Instead, SMBs get complete access to all server resources and can configure the server however they prefer.
Five Tips to Choose the Best Web Hosting Plan
While all three hosting plan types offer benefits for small businesses, the best-fit option for your business depends on several factors, including the size of your company, your budget, your current online presence and how much of your revenue relies on e-commerce.
To help find the best plan for your business, start with these five tips.
Consider Your Needs
There’s no shortage of great hosting plan features — but with new features come higher costs and more digital details to manage. Before committing to a web hosting plan, it’s worth considering your needs. For example, if your SMB is just getting started online, a shared hosting plan that includes robust technical support may be the best option.
Identify Your Budget
Budget comes next. How much can you afford, and how much are you willing to spend? Shared hosting is the least expensive option, with plans often ranging from $5 to $20 per month. VPS hosting may cost $50 per month or more, and you can expect to pay several hundred dollars per month for dedicated hosting.
Pinpoint Key Features
What features do you need? For example, VPS and dedicated plans let you take more control over server OS and software, while in shared plans this is handled for you by the provider. The rule of thumb here is simple: If you don’t have a specific purpose for a feature, don’t spend on it.
Think About the Future
It’s also worth considering the future — what happens as your business grows? Here, it’s important to look for web hosting plans that can scale with your business. This scalability includes server performance, bandwidth and storage capacity.
Find the Right Provider
Last but never least? Find the right provider. Great providers offer ongoing support for SMBs along with minimal server downtime and the ability to scale up services as needed.
The Host With the Most
There’s no one-size-fits-all hosting plan that works for all businesses, all the time. Instead, finding a great plan is about finding a provider that fits your needs by offering the ideal combination of price, features and service reliability.