A well-designed, informative web site is critical to drawing potential customers. That means choosing a web hosting service – and then setting up your website. Fortunately, with the right service, it’s not that hard & it’s very affordable.
The first step – is to find hosting service to store your website’s files on its servers and deliver them to your site visitors’ browsers. Hosting services vary in amounts of monthly data transfers, storage, email, and other features. Most offer a choice of payment methods. It’s important to take some time to figure out what you need for your online success.
There are several different types of web hosting:
Shared hosting is good place to start, when you don’t want to spend a lot of money and don’t mind the traffic and data transfer limitations.
VPS (virtual private server) hosting is a better choice if you need more power, but don’t want the cost of dedicated hosting.
Dedicated hosting is powerful but kinda pricey; it’s for sites that experience really high traffic.
Managed WordPress hosting is for those who want to use WordPress, but don’t want to bother with a lot of the backend stuff like updating WordPress, theme, plugins, and doing backups.
Think about how much you expect your website to grow, and how soon – before you commit to more than a one-year plan. Make sure that the hosting you select is able to provide for the growth you might need – switching providers can be done, but is a hassle.
Website builders like SquareSpace or Wix combine their site builder with hosting – they offer very nice looking designs – but remember they are proprietary – you’ll pay more for less worries – they can’t offer all the features that WordPress can. It’s still a good option if your site is straightforward and you only plan for 10-20 pages, don’t care much about blogging, SEO controls, or lots of other addon features.
Look for a web host with 24/7 customer support — if not phone, then at least live chat. Forums, knowledge bases, and help tickets are fine, but sometimes you need to communicate with another human being to get things done.
Most web hosts offer a graphical control panel to make server administration & website management easier.
Uptime is critical!
All this stuff matters, but most important is site uptime. If your site goes down, customers will not be able to get to your products or services and may go somewhere else.
Pick a level of service that meets your needs, they all have a low cost starter plan to get your website launched at $4–$5/mo, and that might suffice but pay attention to performance and traffic. It’s not wise to loose potential business for a couple dollars a month.
Top 4 web hosting services for your small business:
Starting at $3.49/mo
Bluehost makes it easy to create WordPress websites for your business, great reputation, c-panel, emails, & great interface. This is who I have used for over five years– dozens of sites – very satisfied! Check out Bluehost
Starting at $4.95/mo
DreamHost strikes a near-perfect balance between features and price, but it’s for users who are familiar with website administration. Winner of PC Mag’s Best Web Hosting Service for the second year in a row, you can trust us to get your website, blog, or e-commerce shop online quickly. Check out DreamHost
StartUp plan $6.95/mo
All web hosting plans are carefully tailored. On top of the standard features like free domain names, 24/7 technical support, 99.9% uptime, etc., they add their own custom-made solutions to make websites faster, safer, and better supported than anywhere else. Check out Siteground