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Smart Connections: A Small Business Mini-Guide to Web Hosting

Smart Connections: A Small Business Mini-Guide to Web Hosting

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When you’re first starting out in business, you might feel overwhelmed by the prospect of buying web hosting. Every business with a website needs it. Here’s how to feel comfortable during the selection process.

Figure Out The Type Of Hosting You Need

Everyone’s hosting needs are different. For example, IBM cloud hosting provides a robust platform for small to medium-sized businesses that are flirting with enterprise-level hosting needs. It allows for infinite scaling up or down, and can be easily adjusted based on the individual needs of the company.

Other hosting options aren’t quite as robust but might be more appropriate for the company. For example, discount hosting might be fine for a startup that doesn’t have much of an online presence and doesn’t have much money to spend on hosting.

Calculate The Cost Of Hosting

Calculate the cost of your hosting plan. This is usually pretty easy to do. Almost every host publishes their prices online in an easy-to-find and read format.

If a host offers hosting for $4 per month, this is usually all there is to know. Some hosts, however, try to bundle several services into a “package deal.” Be wary of these because they may not be as good a deal as you think.

For example, some companies might try to sell you hosting, server security, SSL certificates, and backup or storage plans at a bundled rate. But, you should break out the component costs to make sure that you can’t get a better deal somewhere else.

Avoid “Too Good To Be True” Offers

Some hosts bundle domain names with their hosting plans – this is usually a bad idea. The host often offers a “free domain” with the hosting plan. The problem is that the host will retain ownership over the domain name, while you pay for the hosting on that domain.

If you cancel your hosting, you lose the domain name. Obviously, if you’re trying to build a brand, you don’t want to be trapped with one hosting company. You want options.

Look for deals like this that are “too good to be true.” Usually, if something looks too good to be true, it’s because it is.

Avoid 24/7 Tech Support Claims – They Don’t Work Out, Ever

A common sales pitch for hosting companies is that they offer you 24/7 tech support. This largely a myth. Tech support is one of the most expensive departments to fund. And, if a host is charging discounted rates, they have to give something up in exchange for that. Usually, what happens is that support suffers, because it doesn’t directly contribute to profits.

So, if you buy into discounted hosting with “24/7” support, expect poor support from the company after the sale.

Back Your Site Up

A total wipe out could ruin your entire online presence. That’s why the best hosts always offer a backup service. If the host you’re looking at doesn’t have that option, run away. Backup services are usually pretty inexpensive, so it shouldn’t be a major issue to get you up and running with one.

A backup plan also gives you a way out if you end up not liking the service you’re getting. You can easily download the most recent backup and take it to a different host.

Nicholas Rider is a freelance IT consultant. He likes to share his insights online and has previously posted his thoughts across a variety of websites.