Most businesses have learned by now that to operate in today’s marketplace, you need a strong web presence. If these concepts are still new to you, here is a short overview on the benefits of a website, and what web hosting options are available.
Why You Need A Website
First off, your competition probably already has a web presence. To yield this ground to them is to willingly not compete for the biggest source of market exposure. More and more, customers do product research and shopping online, usually on a smart phone that they can use anywhere. Even if your business seems completely unrelated to computers or technology, having a website makes you available at any time of day, from any location.
Free Hosting: Beginners Only
Usually, free hosting is for personal use or for businesses run from home. If you are a shoestring operation setting up your first web site, this may suffice. But you will have very little control and no ownership over your material. For conducting business, this option is not recommended.
Shared Hosting: A Step Up
This is an affordable option for small businesses, or those for whom only a small web presence is needed. Ownership of the physical servers is shared between several clients. This means that when other operators are putting strain on the server, your site will slow down. This option is viable when your business is starting out, or when you are transitioning to online operations, but will probably not serve your needs as your expand.
Dedicated Hosting: Full Service
Once you are conducting high business traffic online, or if you are a larger business, a dedicating hosting server will become necessary. This means you will wholly own a server that is fully dedicated to your website. In addition to more storage space and higher bandwidth capacity, dedicated hosting usually comes with domain specific email addresses and better security. This hosting option is also more complex, so if you do not have experience administering a server or have a network specialist in house, you will need to hire a server manager.
For all of these options there are affordable web hosting provider services available. Having your web presence available 24/7 without problems is essential, so balance price with reputation and reliability to have your needs met.