So you are finally opening your own home business, congratulations! Having an online presence is important to any home business, and finding the right company to host your online business website can mean the difference between success and failure.
Online web hosting basically boils down to two categories personal use, and business web hosting. Each category then can be broken down into smaller sub categories, such as paid or free personal sites, and different levels of business Web hosting where different options are offered depending on the monthly cost. The key difference between the two of these hosting packages besides features is that many Web companies will not let you conduct business using a personal web hosting account. This is both for your benefit, and the web hosting company’s benefit. Personal websites generally are not stored on the same servers, and thus do not have the same levels of data security, backup, and redundancy. Personal use website hosts also generally cap the amount of data throughput that can be used in any given month.
Because companies that offer business web hosting put your data on special servers it usually costs a little bit more depending on the amount of data you plan on storing, and the amount of traffic you anticipate generating. Business web hosting packages also offer a larger feature set then available with personal web hosting packages. Most business web packages offer more database tables, enhanced CGI support, and even more specialized tasks such as running Cron jobs.
Depending on your host when you use a business package will also be assured some level of customer support. Website service providers are notoriously bad at customer service; often times customers are left waiting for days at a time before a customer service representative gets back to them. With a business to web host the company usually spells out in exacting detail what level of customer service the client can expect. This can include anything from guaranteed live phone support, to technical support available through chat dialogue using their online help messaging system. Even if support is only available through e-mail it is generally quicker than what someone would otherwise experience using a personal web hosting plan.
When choosing a business web hosting service consult the Internet for customer reviews of the various companies and the packages that they offer. It is often easy to see trends of customer satisfaction, and thus find a package that fits your needs. Not all companies live up to their advertisement claims so it is definitely importance to do your research ahead of time.
Because this is a web host for your business cost cannot be your sole point of analysis. You will end up paying more for increased feature sets, however these features are important for maintaining a reliable presence online. Try to find the right balance between cost, customer satisfaction, and necessary features such as database tables in CGI scripts. Once you find this balance, and you have spoken to their representatives asking any questions you may have sign up and enjoy your new business web host.