HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST WEB HOSTING FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST WEB HOSTING, If you’re looking for the best web hosting for small businesses, you’ve probably realized that there are countless services available — each with different levels of service. And when trying to figure out which option is best for your business, you’ll inevitably stumble on tons of questions, such as:
- Do you need a hosted or self-hosted solution?
- What are the most important web hosting features to look for?
- What are shared hosting, dedicated hosting, and VPS hosting?
And if that’s not overwhelming enough, switching hosting providers is a time-consuming task, to say the least. So, it pays to choose the best website hosting for your small business the first time around. No pressure then. That’s why we’ve put together this no-nonsense guide on how to choose the best web hosting for small businesses in 2023. By the end of this article, you’ll have a good understanding of what features to look for and the different types of hosting available to you. Plus, we’ll provide you with an introduction to some of the best web hosting services for small businesses Click here.
Which Is Better for Your Business: A Hosted or Self-Hosted Solution?
Before we check out some small business web hosting services, let’s address a fundamental question: Do you want a hosted or self-hosted solution? This is a vital question to ask because whichever option you choose will greatly affect your business and maintenance requirements. And unfortunately, many people don’t realize the difference between hosted and self-hosted websites until they’ve already spent months building a website.
Hosted Website Solutions
- Hosted website platforms are ‘all-in-one’ toolkits that provide everything you need to build and manage a business online. For example, you can sign up for Shopify in minutes and immediately gain:
- A business website builder with free themes to customize the appearance of your store.
- The ability to process credit card payments securely
- An inventory management system complete with order processing and shipping tools.
- A built-in point-of-sale system to sell in-person.
- Integrations that allow you to sell via other major sales channels, such as Facebook, eBay, and Amazon.
- Built-in security, analytics, etc.
There are also more than 6,000+ Shopify apps that enable you to customize your website’s functionality. In short, hosted website services provide an optimized, managed platform so you can focus your time and money on growing your business. No technical skills or knowledge are necessary. Hosted solutions typically charge a monthly fee — Shopify, for instance, charges just $29 per month.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST WEB HOSTING, Self-hosted solutions are more hands-on. This type of small business website hosting requires you to rent server space from a provider. You then need to install, configure, and manage a content management system. Not only that, but you’ll also need to piece together your website’s functionality by integrating different tools and services. Here’s how it typically plays out:
- Purchase small business web hosting from a provider like BlueHost or SiteGround.
- Install a content management system (CMS) like WordPress.
- Purchase and customize a website theme from a marketplace like ThemeForest.
- Integrate a commerce tool like WooCommerce to be able to take payments and manage inventory.
- Install additional WordPress plugins for security, search engine optimization (SEO), image optimization, analytics, etc.
Normally, each of these services will charge a monthly fee — bringing your monthly bill to somewhere between $50-$300 per month. All in all, self-hosted solutions provide an enormous amount of flexibility, as you can customize virtually every aspect of your website. However, in the words of Spiderman’s Uncle Ben, “With great power comes great responsibility.” In other words, when using a self-hosted solution, you’re responsible for building, optimizing, managing, and updating every aspect of your website.
Which Should You Go With: Hosted or Self-Hosted?
So, which type of small business web hosting should you choose? Here’s the gist:
- If you’d prefer to leave the technical stuff to the experts and focus on growing your business, use a leading hosted website solution like Shopify.
- If you’re technically-minded and want granular control over your website’s backend, self-hosted solutions are the way to go.
Now, when most people talk about web hosting, they’re referring to self-hosted services. So, from here on out, we’ll dive deeper into self-hosted website solutions.