When you start a business, there’s a lot to think about. One of the things you might not consider initially is where you should host your website. But it’s an important step in getting your business online. It’s essential to choose a reputable and reliable hosting provider so that you get the customer service and support you need.  

Web hosting basics

What is web hosting? Simply put, web hosting makes your website accessible to others on the Internet. A web hosting provider ‘rents out’ allocated space on their servers to their customers for a fee. The cost of web hosting depends on your requirement. The web hosting packages are made up of a number of features like email accounts, disk space for storing files and the number of visitors allowed (traffic quotas). 

Depending on your business’ requirements, you may need only a portion of a server or the entire server. Renting a portion of the server is called shared hosting as you share the entire server with a number of other customers. Your hosting provider will continuously monitor all the hosting accounts on the server, making sure that no one is abusing the shared hosting space and slowing the other customers’ websites down.

If you require a lot of disk space or expect a large amount of traffic, you may want to rent an entire server – this is known as dedicated hosting. With dedicated hosting, you have the option of having the server maintained on your behalf (Managed Hosting), or you can manage the whole server, the updates and security yourself (Self-Managed Hosting).

Choosing a hosting package 

Choosing a hosting package that’s right for your business depends on a number of factors and your business’ specific website needs. Factors you may want to consider are:

1. The resources you’ll need:

Hosting packages normally include specific quotas for resources such as disk space and traffic. You’ll need to factor how much your website will need when making your hosting package decision. If your website is a simple corporate site, a small e-commerce site or a personal blog, a shared hosting package is best. If you are running a popular website with a large number of visitors, a custom website with specialised software or if you have specific configuration requirements, a dedicated hosting plan would be more suitable. 

It’s important to understand your resource needs before selecting a web hosting package. While it’s possible to adjust your package based on our needs, exceeding your allocated quotas could lead to unnecessary over-usage costs. 

2. Technical assistance:

How much control you want and assistance you’ll need will dictate the type of hosting plan you choose. If you require every aspect of your web hosting managed for you, including software updates, security patches and networking, then a shared hosting plan would be your best choice. While all aspects of hosting are managed by the hosting provider, most hosting providers will not assist with your website design and development.

If you need more control over your hosting and you are willing to assume a bit more responsibility in keeping everything up to date, a Self-Managed Server would be suitable for you.  In this case, the hosting provider only provides the server and a place in the data centre. You manage all other aspects of the hosting, including which operating system and other software are installed.

Finally, If you are looking for a balance between control and support, then a Managed Server may be your best bet. Here the hardware, networking and software are provided and managed on your behalf, while you get access to the entire server.

3. Capacity to scale

Scalability is important when choosing a hosting provider and web hosting package. While you may start off small, you’ll want to be able to upgrade your hosting package with ease as your business grows. Be wary of any hosting provider who makes upgrading or downgrading between packages unnecessarily complicated or costly. 

Lastly, no matter the package you choose, you want a hosting provider that prides themselves on their customer service, and one that makes themselves available to you 24/7. The customer support team should be available by phone and email and should also provide you with helpful resources to guide you if you prefer to figure things out on your own. 

When you’re ready to share your product or service online,  it’s important to choose the right hosting package – and provider – to help you do that. At xneelo, we support our customers to start and grow their businesses online. We’re here to help you as you grow.