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Web Hosting Tips

People often ask about domain hosting - basically a way to put your on the web so that everyone can see it. Also called website hosting, this is an important part of operating an internet business.
Many small businesses (or those just getting started) often choose to use the most affordable or inexpensive web hosting they can find. While it's natural to want to save money up-front, in the end, choosing a web host based solely on price can lead to more problems and lost sales than it's worth.
Choosing a Web Host: Price is Only One Factor
The cheapest web host isn't necessary the best choice for your business. Neither is the most expensive. For that matter, price offers no conclusive evidence on how well a web host will perform.
In my 5+ years online, I've gone through many hosts, using both shared hosting(where many domains from different customers are hosted on the same server) and dedicated servers (where you have an entire server all to yourself, to host as many or as few domains as you like).
I've paid as little as $5/year, to as much as $250/month.
My worst experience by far was with the most expensive shared hosting account I used. This inept web host messed up big time and all of our sites went down for 4 days. That's four days! Coupled with poor communication, rude support staff, and incompetent techies, it was an experience I don't care to repeat - at any price.
Reliable web hosting is paramount. Downtime costs you in lost sales and lost productivity.
When Is It Appropriate to Use Inexpensive Web Hosting?
Every business naturally wants affordable web hosting, however your business defines "affordable". Budget hosting solutions can be appropriate for:
  • Testing - if your site is in development and not quite 'ready' for the public, you can save some money by going "cheap" until the site is developed. Potential downside: when you move to your 'permanent' web host, you may have to re-install or re-test any software to ensure it runs the same on your new server.
  • Non-critical websites - hobby sites, for instance, or websites that don't sell anything.
  • Businesses that are seriously strapped for cash. If you truly are operating on a shoestring budget, and you think your funds may be put to better use elsewhere (marketing, for example), then inexpensive web hosting may be a good option for you. Potential downside: what happens if you send out a big marketing campaign... and then your website goes down?
Once again: just because a web host is inexpensive, does not indicate that it has poor reliability or support! Price is but one factor to consider when choosing a web host.


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