First Things First: Figuring Your Web Hosting Needs3 min read
When it comes time to launch your website, you need to know what you intend the site to accomplish. Is it a gaming site or a retail site? Does the site simply need to inform users about your products or does it need to sell directly to them? Determining what your website needs to accomplish, and the types of conversions you want to get on the site, is your first priority when it comes to launching your online business. It helps you determine your Web hosting needs, so you get the most benefit for the money you spend.
Action Versus Information
Items on a website that lead to action, such as download links, videos or online checkouts require more bandwidth than items on a website that don’t generate action. First, media items are larger than text in bytes, and the more pictures and videos on a page, the more bandwidth it requires to load. Second, each time a user clicks on an image to view it larger, they have to download the image, using up more bandwidth. That’s why, overwhelmingly, action sites, like retail stores, require more bandwidth than sites that are more informational, such as church or charity sites.
Small Business Web Hosting Services
When it comes to business Web hosting packages, you begin with a few options — shared hosting, dedicated hosting, VPS hosting or some type of cloud hosting. Knowing the intent of your website, or the type of action you want users to take, can help you decide which of these hosting plans is right for your company.
With shared hosting your site will share resources with other clients of the host on one server. Dedicated hosting is more like renting a server from the hosting company, because you have exclusive rights to the server. It hosts only your website and files. VPS combines these two hosting types. With VPS, you technically share a server, but the host partitions that server, ensuring that your website has a dedicated amount of resources. VPS hosting lets you dynamically increase or decrease the resources available to your site, but you’re limited to the available resources on one physical machine. Cloud hosting is similar to VPS hosting, but the cloud platform is actually hundreds or thousands of physical servers pooling their resources, so you can expand your available resources well beyond what a single physical machine can provide.
Choosing the Right Package
Aside from the amount of resources dedicated to your company’s needs, the main difference between the different types of hosting plans is the expense. Since shared hosting guarantees no specific amount of resources, it is the least expensive. Since dedicated hosting guarantees your company a server of its own, it is the most expensive. As a blending of the two, VPS combines dedicated resources with a lower cost. Cloud hosting, on the other hand, is as expensive as your needs make it. Because you can expand or shrink your usage quickly, you end up paying for only the resources you need, making it a great option for small businesses.
Knowing what customers will be doing on your site plays a big role in the resources you need to successfully run your site. A retail site needs more resources than a church site. A gaming site needs more resources than a retail site. When your company is new, though, cost may be a major factor in your hosting decision. A successful business launch requires staying on budget when possible, so it may be wise to opt for a lower cost plan. With the number of hosting companies that have earned good reputations, you may just have to do a little research to compare prices and find the company that fits your budget.
When it comes to hosting, you want enough resources to ensure your website stays up and running, but that doesn’t mean you have to go all in from the start. The best thing about paying for space on a server instead of buying you own is that upgrades are easy. If you find your needs are greater than your hosting resources, you can always move your plan up to the next level.