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Small Business Web Hosting Services

Aug 20, 2008
There can be a hundred reasons to create a website but the fundamental idea remains to share data, news and opinions. These days' websites, blogs and forums are also created with the purpose of doing business online. Web hosting helps you in creating a website, which serves as a gateway to let your services and thoughts known to people. A properly hosted website has many advantages. It can help you market your business effectively, especially to the target customers, whom you to be informed of your existence. To gain the utmost benefit from a website, it is important that you take care in selecting the right web host. This can often be a tough task and require proper research. If you search in the internet, you will find several web host companies. Before deciding on any web hosting service, it is important to inquire about their company background. You must also ensure about their dependability and whether they offer the required services or not.

These following tips will help you to accomplish your web hosting requirements:

The primary step is to identify the requirement of web hosting:

Comprehend the main objective of your website, once you have decided to build one in the Internet. Settle on the type of website based on your objectives. However, if you have opted for an e-commerce site, you will need to include certain security measures. Secure Sockets Layer encryption and shopping carts are extremely essential for any e-commerce site. In case you are interested in customer e-commerce site, you will need a web hosting service that can support certain software systems. PHP or Perl/ CGI scripting are generally used in developing blog sites. These kinds of sites also require an access to some databases such as SQL or MySQL. These are highly technical aspects and people generally depend on web host if they have very little acquaintance about them. Taking the advantage of the client's ignorance various web hosts demand high charges for such services. Thereby, you need to collect as much information as possible before appointing a particular web host.

Required storage space:

The nature and content of your website would determine the storage space that you require for your website. If you are running a small website, which doesn't contain large number of features, it would consume less space. On the contrary, websites that consists of thousands of pages, images, videos and graphics would consume large amount of space. E-commerce websites generally contain large scale of information and contain large amount of data. Though in some cases, separate databases are provided to the customers, yet there are many web hosts that don't provide. It has also been noticed that, separate databases create problems as the storage limits are not always exactly what, it is claimed to be.

Determining bandwidth

Bandwidth of a website is essential. The number of hits that your website would experience could determine the bandwidth limit that your website requires. This can be stated in a simple way, if your website is a popular one and is used by the visitors frequently, your site would require or rather consume heavy bandwidth than a site on which visitors hardly click. Suppose you have a website that is simple without too many features and average webpage is of 8KB. If it is assumed that your web pages experience 10 hits per day, then your bandwidth per month would be 810x30.

It is a very important factor of web hosting. Therefore calculate the exact size of your website even before selecting a web hosting company. You can even ask your web host to determine the bandwidth requirement. In that case, you need to give a thorough specification of your website. If you own an online blogs or forum, it will need more bandwidth than any simple company websites. The reason is very simple. The visitors in blogs and forums also participate actively.

Essential feature of web hosting:

While deciding on a particular web host you need to consider the web hosting features that you require. You can either use simple HTML or PHP/ ASP and Flash for developing your website. You need to clarify with your web hosts that they are able to provide you required services regardless of your technical bases. You also need to keep in mind that it is the programming languages that determine the appearance of your website. Moreover as it is your website, you must some a special access to it. It is with the help of FTP or Telnet that these special accesses are provided to you. Thereby, you need to clarify and confirm with the web hosting company about the kind of access you require for your website.

Types of web hosting

There are several types of web hosting services offered by the web hosts. Each of these services is based on the budget and purposes of the web hosts. Web hosting includes shared, dedicated, managed, server co-location, reseller and free web hosting services. Depending on the website requirements of your budget you can make your selection. For large websites and companies with big budget, dedicate web hosting is always preferred whereas, for small business, with less or low budget, free web hosting is preferred. All these type of web hosting have their own pros and cons and hence you can go about any of these provided the web host is authentic.

Some of the tips to move ahead:

* Calculating the value of data that your website would create is very important. This is usually a rough calculation, which is likely to change with time and expansion of your website.

* If you are subscribing to a speared database then it is essential to check out how much extra the web host is charging you for the database.

* It is suggested that you keep some free bandwidth and disc space in store if you want to expand your website in future.

* If a web host claims to provide you with unlimited bandwidth then do not go by such words as bandwidth and storage space can never be limited. They are always restrictive to a certain amount.

* Be careful about the Operating System that is used for creating your website. This is so because Windows web hosts provide access to more technologies than that offered by the Linux or UNIX web hosts.

* Do not make comprises due to price. For better and uninterrupted service, it is better to keep your budget flexible.

* Change your web host only when it is an emergency or else there is not need of such change.

* Find out what kind of domain name services the web hosts offer. Relevance of the domain name with that of the website and its objective is very essential according to the search engine rules.

* Check out whether your web host can offer you enough information on SEO or Search Engine Optimization. SEO is very essential as this would determine the ranking of your website in search engines like that of Google, Yahoo and MSN.

* There are ample web hosting directories from where you can get the references of companies, offering these services. Check out all the various types of services offered, the projects that they have already handled and read reviews before signing up with them.
About the Author
Author: Jeff Solon. Solon, a veteran of the website hosting industry and helps small business owners find the best hosting companies on the Internet.
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