Web Hosting: A Guide for Online Business Owners

ECommerce website
••• golibo/iStock

It seems like everybody has a website these days. And why not? The low price of web hosting — both initial and ongoing costs — for your website has made it more affordable than ever. And web hosting is easy to set up and maintain, so anybody can do it.

What Is Web Hosting?

Web hosting is what makes it possible for your website to be live, online, and viewable to your website visitors. Your website and its contents are stored on what’s called a server, which is connected to the internet so that users can access it.

Anytime you add a page, photo, video, or any other type of content to your website, it will be uploaded to your web host.

Every website out there uses web hosting, from Amazon.com to the funny video sites your friends share on Facebook. Individuals and small business use web hosting too.

You could have a website for your personal blog, your freelance career to show your portfolio, your bricks-and-mortar company, or just a personal site for fun. In your case, you’re after a website for your e-commerce/online business. This will be your online storefront, where prospects and customers come to check out your products and hopefully buy.

Web hosting companies specialize in providing these servers and related technology. But there are several options. That’s why it’s so important that you pay close attention to your web hosting provider. You don’t want downtime, or for website visitors to have trouble accessing your site. This is your business, and trouble with your website means you’re not making money.

So you don’t want to invest your money and your trust in a solution that’s not going to work. You also want a web host provider that is going to offer 24/7 customer support in case any issues arise with your web hosting.

With so many hundreds, even thousands, of different web hosting companies and services out there, how do you know which one is right for you? Which ones provide great service, and which ones are unreliable? Which ones can handle the growth of your business from a simple online store to a major e-commerce retailer? How much hard drive space and bandwidth do you need, and which providers or types of web hosting can handle it?

Which web hosting service will give you the best value for your money?

As you’re considering your options, don’t think that cheaper is better. You see, once your online business grows, your web hosting requirements become more complex as you experience more traffic to your site. In other words, you need more hard drive space and bandwidth to handle all the visitors. You need systems in place to account for that growth — you don’t want to be caught short when a breakthrough comes for your business.

So let’s go over this list of the five most common types of web hosting and figure out which one is the best fit for you and your needs.

1. Shared Web Hosting

In this type of web hosting, your website is on a server with other websites… perhaps hundreds. While generally the most cost effective option, the problem with this type of shared server is that your website can be affected by the other websites.

A site that gets a lot of traffic could slow your site down. So it’s probably only your best option if you’re just starting out with your online business.

The main advantage is that it’s cheap: about $5 to $20 per month.

Share hosting is a great option if you're just starting your online business and trying to keep an eye on costs. Most web hosting providers that offer shared web hosting also offer other options that let you upgrade as you continue to grow your business.

2. Virtual Private Server (VPS)

Usually, the first type of upgrade you'll make with your web hosting as you grow your business is from a shared web hosting account to a virtual private server.

With a virtual private server or VPS, you’re bridging the gap between low-cost shared hosting and having your own dedicated server. In this setup, multiples VPSs exist on one physical server, sharing hardware and a guaranteed part of that server’s computing power. But a VPS functions as if it were a separate server from the others so the other sites hosted there won’t affect your site at all.

These virtual private servers will run you about $50 to $200, based on how much dedicated bandwidth and memory you need.

3. Dedicated Web Server

Continuing with our theme of upgrading your web hosting options, once your business outgrows the needs of a virtual private server, the next logical upgrade would be to a dedicated server.

This is an ideal web hosting solution for a small online business because it offers you maximum flexibility. In this solution, you get your own physical server, just for your website, over which you have total control. And there are no other websites on the server that can affect your site by slowing it down. You get the speed and security you need.

Here’s one drawback. You probably will have to hire someone, a system administrator, to run this server’s technical side. With the ability to have root permissions on the server this is a necessity.

4. Cloud Based Web Hosting

Everything is in the cloud these days, even web hosting. In this model, you have individual servers, hundreds of them, working in conjunction to create what is essentially one very robust server. With all that power working for you, you have the advantage that if you get a big boost in traffic — say with a product launch — the cloud-based web hosting plan can handle it — no slowdowns, no shutdowns.

With these types of web hosting plans, you generally have a customized billing structure based on what you use.

Though many companies offer cloud-based hosting as a standalone product, many companies will use a cloud-based structure for their shared web hosting, virtual private server hosting, and dedicated web servers.

5. Reseller Web Hosting

This type of web hosting account is unique as it’s kind of business in itself. Let me explain. With reseller hosting you, as the account owner can use your hard drive space and bandwidth on the server to host other people's websites. These third parties pay you for the service — essentially your are reselling your web hosting space, hence the name reseller hosting. The difference between what you charge your customers and the price you pay for the web hosting space is your profit when reselling web hosting.

In many cases you can sell the web hosting using your own company/brand name — basically acting as a private label.

For the end user, a reseller hosting account is very similar to a shared hosting account. Again, this type of hosting is more suitable if you're looking to sell web hosting as an income source and not necessarily a good option if you're looking to host your own website.

What About Free Web Hosting Solutions?

You may have seen blogs that use this naming convention: websitename.blogspot.com or websitename.wordpress.com. This is technically a type of web hosting, and the major benefit here is that the hosting is free.

But before you rush to use it, be aware of the downsides. The biggest is that you’re stuck with the templates your host provides, among other limitations. And you really can’t run an online business this way, as these hosts don't really offer effective e-commerce abilities. I would completely disregard this solution unless you just want to run a personal blog cost-effectively. Avoid any type of free web hosting or blogging solutions if you intend to make money with an online presence.

If you want to learn more, see this article on why you should host your own paid website.

Putting It All Together

Before signing up for any type of web hosting platform, it’s important that you do your research to find out which solution is right for you. A cheaper, shared web hosting solution is a great way to start your online business. But you’ll quickly outgrow it. At that point getting a cloud-based web hosting service or even a virtual private server or dedicated server will be the way to go.

Web hosting could determine the success or failure of your online venture. It’s not sexy, but getting it right could be the difference between the success and failure of your online business.

Learn More About Online Business

bow tie cinemas in richmond va what is the penalty for cashing in 401k absolutely free credit score no trial check my credit score without a credit card how to get green card pre k online games free what stamp do i need to send a letter how to know what career you want what degree do you need to become a nurse practitioner can you buy a home with a 600 credit score canned beans vs dry beans where can you sell old phones blue and black baby shower decorations who gives free meals on birthdays how to build a wooden cooler stand making outdoor furniture from pallets largest outlet mall in california what is one pound in cups what is the tax percentage in usa best salary jobs without degree how to get a tax extension how much do anesthesiologist make a month what is the difference in cost of living between states cheapest way to get new tires how much does concrete cost a yard poverty level in new york city party games for 8 year old boys free math worksheets 4th grade how to sell a cell phone thanks for popping by baby shower printable 24 hour walmart rhode island christian party games for adults where to sell used phones how to clean an iron night jobs for college students fica social security tax rate 2013 songs about fathers and daughters how to setup a facebook page for your business how much should you put down on a house phone number for internal revenue services free credit report no card required bank of america visa platinum can you buy house with bad credit preschool online learning games for free cut off for earned income credit best firewall for windows xp how many weeks a month 403 b withdrawals before retirement duties of a u.s. citizen secured credit card help credit score earned income credit for single person free career tests for adults poverty level in america 2013 what is the phone number of the irs how much is the down payment on a house what is a withholding exemption free new movies on iphone best streaming tv app for android free games for pre k how to decide on a career test free one lb equals how many cups what is one pound in cups can you be denied employment for bad credit best streaming tv app for android how to find profit percentage cash money orders at walmart how many years of schooling to become a doctor how much do anesthesiologist make a month restaurants that give you free birthday meals average u.s. minimum wage how to calculate poverty level where do i find my tax id number how quick can i get my tax refund capital gains tax stock sale where can i get a free credit score without paying 15 dollar an hour jobs with no degree how many ounces in cup dry average salary for real estate broker how long does a pharmacist go to school pumpkin eating another pumpkin carving canned beans vs dry beans what is current capital gains tax what job would i be good at test how much does a bushel of shelled corn weigh songs about dads and daughters is there any substitute for baking powder federal poverty guidelines for household size banks with credit cards for bad credit funniest e cards of all time how to calculate gross profit rate how do i rid my house of fleas how to season cast iron grill pan down hairstyles for short hair 1 year treasury bill rate how much can i save in 401k per year how many years to become a doctor in usa how to build your credit with a secured credit card status of amended tax return home depot store hours holiday salary for real estate agent how to get rid of ant average salary for dental assistant countries with the highest gdp per capita 1 year treasury bill rate what credit cards can i apply for with bad credit how to become an actress at 14 with no experience harkins arrowhead 18 movie times 5th grade math worksheets printable what is one pound in cups how much federal income tax withheld what information do you need for a background check how to clean an iron how much do you get for unemployment in texas monthly 10 year treasury rate home buyer loans bad credit income limits for child tax credit how do you determine profit margin best firewall for windows xp concrete by the yard price convert pdf to word online free how to extend your unemployment benefits down payment on a house how much pounds in a bushel of corn how to put money on paypal card how to rid fruit flies pound equals how many cups how much does concrete cost a yard early withdrawal from traditional ira how much money should i have in my 401k how long does a pharmacist go to school free on your birthday restaurants how many pounds are in a bushel of peaches loan debt to income ratio is forever 21 open on thanksgiving when can u file 2014 tax return listen to audio books free online i wanna be an actor what does a background check show for a job free trial virus protection for windows 8 baby animals for baby shower where can i find cream of tartar where can i listen to free audio books how to calculate gross profit rate how to clean a stainless steel fridge christmas activities for family gatherings how long to bake precooked ham what are the qualifications for earned income credit 2014 social security and medicare tax credit cards for people with low credit scores games to play at a baby shower what clothes to wear with short hair styles Blue Nile - Signature Diamond Fall 2016 Sweepstakes AFSC Aircrew Egress Systems (2A6X3) Job Description Bookselling Index List - Stock and Bond Indices How Will Selling My Stocks Affect My Taxes? When and How to Say Goodbye to Your Real Estate Agent Score Discounts on Live Entertainment What Makes Successful Ecommerce Businesses Really Tick? How to Budget for Irregular Expenses Some Often Forgotten Risks When Selecting Stocks Consolidation of Futures Exchanges Air Force Two-Year Enlistment Option Do I Need a Lawyer to Settle a Revocable Living Trust? How to Create an Action Plan to Achieve Your Goals Fastest Growing Jobs With a Bachelor's Degree How to Make Your Resume Work History Look Better Fresh Chopped Onion Substitutes Sample Resume for Litigation Paralegal Image360 List of Trading Movies, Documentaries, and TV Shows What to Do With a Financial Aid Refund Tips for Using Medical Expenses to Reduce Taxes How to Get Cheap Motorcycle Insurance 6 Jobs for People Who Like Spending Someone Else's Money - Careers That Involve Making Purchases on Behalf of Others The Importance of Your Corporate Credit Profile How Does a Sole Proprietor Get Paid? When Does Apple Use Promotional Pricing? How to Budget Annual Spending Annuity Premiums - Basics of Annuities Officer Candidate School October 31st Deadlines for Fiction Awards! Deduction for Repairs and Maintenance Expenses Filing an Amended Business Tax Return MOS 91M - Bradley Fighting Vehicle System Maintainer Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Jobs Engagement as Defined in Business, Finance and Law Forbes Best Retail Companies to Work for in 2014 When You Service What You Sell What Are the Career Options Available in Pharmacy? Muscavado Sugar Substitute How to Prepare an Income Statement Measuring Capacity in Manufacturing Stores Offering Layaway Plans How To Work Less and Still Be More Productive 7 Must Have Event Solutions For Your Events Do You Have the Characteristics of an Entrepreneur? The Highest Paid Hourly Jobs In Any Industry Retail Stock ETF's for Your List Real Estate Investing Through REITs How Thinking About Poker May Help Your Day Trading What's a Registered or Fictitious Name, or Trade Name? Penalties for a DUI in Alabama How to Become a Dental Hygienist - Degree Programs How to Become a Nurse Practitioner How to Choose the Right IRA: Roth IRAs vs Traditional IRAs Officer Candidate School Connecting College Majors to Careers 3 Tips for Using Options Summer Cashier Resume Example Definition of Vicarious Liability in Real Estate Military Food Stamp Program Overcoming Writing Obstacles NEC Codes: Machinist'€™s Mate Strategies For Laddering Annuities How to Calculate Rate of Corrosion Leaders Care and Act with Compassion How Does Enzyme Biotechnology Affect My Everyday Life?
confusedSears Worst Practice Core Business Strategy 4 Techniques for Overcoming Sales Objections Ecommerce Profitability Is an Inevitability How to Access U.S. Import and Export Trade Statistics HR Employment: Tips It's Time To Quit kept private Real Estate Transaction Management Systems - Review of Settlement Room Real Estate Transaction Management System Maintenance for a Septic System and Septic Tank Looking to Buy a Franchise? Here's How to Get Financing Walgreens Coupons April 2014 SEP IRAs for Self Employeds And Small Business Owners Surprising Ways To Stop Living Paycheck-To-Paycheck What to Do If You Get an IRS Form W-9 to Fill Out A Bargain Shopper's Comprehensive Guide to Seasonal Sales Basic EPS and Diluted EPS in the Stock Market Psychologist - Career Information Items You Should Never Sell on eBay Hillarycare: Summary and Comparison to Obamacare Horse Farm Manager Job Description How to Address an Email Cover Letter Esurance's DriveSense Review Six Essential Resources for New Freelance Writers Debit Card Reward Programs - List of Cards & Tips Sample Landlord Checklist for New Tenants Cardamom Substitute Why Job Titles Matter for Careers The Shelf Life of Pantry Foods The Importance of Having a Mission Statement List of Software Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer Skills A Taxing Situation Should You Own Stocks in Retirement? 5 Other Ways to Make Money with Your Music Talents Top Jobs for Psychology Majors subsidized How to Staff an Event comparing insurance coverage Interview with Jessica Strawser of Writer's Digest 457 Plan Contribution Limits Government Job Profile: Internal Auditor Why Do In-House Training? 6 Reasons Why Inside Training Rocks Tanger Outlet Myrtle Beach Hwy 17, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina IFA Supplier Forum: Advancing IFA Goals and Initiatives Affiliate Ads - 6 Tips on How To Make Money From Affiliate Ad Programs Director of Operations Resume Example Is It Safe to Eat Eggs Past Their Expiration Date? Front-End vs. Back-End vs. Full-Stack Web Development 2015 Military Reserve Officer Drill Pay Chart Top 5 Investing Books for Beginners When Can Debt Collectors Call? - FDCPA Regulations Sample Employee Letters How to Make a Toad House college scholarships Want to Know Why You Might Use a Reference Letter? Who Inherits Your Investment Portfolio With No Will? Why Hire Another Agent When Your Agent is Doing the Job? List of U.S. Cities that Levy Income Taxes Price Fixing: Definition, Types, Examples https://www.thebalance.com/create-your-own-job-in-the-recycling-industry-2877900 200 ok text/html 103911 Self-Employment in the Recycling Industry 4 123 64 Jetty(9.0.z-SNAPSHOT) 00:01.114 utf-8 Looking for a job in the recycling business? One approach is to create your own job through self-employment or purchasing a franchise. Free Resume Templates for Microsoft Word What to Know Before Applying for Your First Credit Card Hull Classifications – United States Navy How You Can Protect Yourself from Malware Electrician Interview Questions Make Christmas Shopping Easier How to Handle a Paycheck or Bank Account Garnishment Top Tips for Incorporating A Business 5 Secrets to Drawing More Customers to Your E-Commerce Site Inverse and Short ETFs: Six Questions You Should Ask Russian Economy: GDP, Pros and Cons Gas Exporting Countries Forum: GECF Definition, Members Review of the Chrysler MasterCard U.S. Laws That Negatively Impacted Women http://www.fastcompany.com/3048398/the-future-of-work/10-c-suite-jobs-of-the-future 200 ok According to Jared Lindzon 16.12.2016 12:27:26 4 1 1 Varnish 00:00.219 utf-8 How and Why to Create and Adopt Team Norms Navy Re-Training Opportunities - Active Duty Manning Levels Sample Cover Letter for a Human Resources Manager Job Buying Homes With Swimming Pools - What to Look For Bookkeeper Interviews: Types of Questions 3 Ways Your Career Asset Could Be At Risk Top 3 Android Apps to Help You Save Money (April 2013) Things NOT to Do While Cold Calling How Marketing and Sales Can Work Together to Master Social Selling 17 Best Places to Watch Free Movies Online (Dec. 2016)