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The Search for Affordable Web Hosting for Small Business Explained

Small businesses must get their name and brand out there into the public arena. Potential customers -- all potential customers -- must be reached by the promotional arm of the small business. Does a small business need an advertising firm to help it with branding and promotions? Working with a big firm absolutely won't hurt, but budget won't make doing so possible. The same is true of AdWords campaigns. Helpful for sure - but these endeavors could end up being a bit too costly for the average small business owner at least on a consistent basis.

All small businesses do require an online presence. A website -- well designed and search engine optimized -- has the potential to draw in a huge number of different customers.

To get the best website up and running, searching out the best affordable web hosting for small business is required.

Avoid the Free Websites

Nothing in life is free -- or so the saying goes. Sure, there are definitely free web hosting service options available but for serious businesses, they are best avoided. Something is really not better than nothing where the issue of free web hosting is concerned. Free web hosting does a lot of branding damage. Free hosting gives the impression a small business is running with no available funds. Giving an impression of this nature could drive more customers away than gained.

Besides, free web hosting is not even necessary. Affordable web hosting plans do exist for small businesses and they are more than adequate for those in need of creating an online presence.

The One-Page Plan

For those who are seriously limited in terms of the funds available to them, a simple one-page website would be way better to procure than a free site. A nominal fee gets a single, professional-looking webpage that comes with a custom URL. Such a page is a good one for those desperately limited in funds and workable those with plans of building a multi-page website. The single-page website is not viable for long-term plans. As placeholders, they are okay. Serious small business owners do have to look into affordable plans that deliver a lot of assistance for their reasonable costs.

Defining Needs from the Beginning

In order to target the most affordable of web hosting services, it is necessary for the business owner to understand what is required of the website and the corresponding hosting company. Is the small business a local one that deals with a very specialized clientele? A local personal training or heating and cooling service is not likely to get millions upon millions of hits on the website per day. So, the megabytes (MB) required for hosting does not have to be extremely high.

A business that focuses on national online sales, well, that is a different matter. Such a site may get an enormous amount of traffic. If the business deals in, say, t-shirts, a ton of traffic may land on the site due to the national or international nature of the potential customers.

Depending on the type of business, a tremendous amount of non-customer traffic may be drawn in. For example, a company that sells t-shirts related to the entertainment business could attract millions of visitors looking for entertainment news. The bandwidth of the page has to absorb all those visitors. This type of e-commerce site would need more bandwidth at higher monthly costs.

Auditing different needs is a wise plan because it ensures no extra MBs or other components are necessary when signing up for service.

Of course, looking over the many different facets of what a particular web hosting plan offers helps with making the right selection.

Shared vs. Dedicated Hosting

There are several different types of web hosting available for clients. For those looking for affordable options, certain ones do have to be crossed off the list. Collated web hosting is going to cost quite a bit and wouldn't even be necessary for the average small business. The two most common types of web hosting plans sought after are shared and dedicated.

Generally, shared hosting is the less costly method. The way shared hosting works is that a client does not have exclusive access to a web server. Other clients share the server and the bandwidth on the server.

A small business that requires a "decent" amount of bandwidth probably would be better served selected shared web hosting. The cost is cheaper than a dedicated server, but the added cost for a dedicated server may be worth the investment.

A dedicated server refers to a server with only one client's web site placed on it. All the bandwidth is "dedicated" to that client. Since only one client is present on the server, security can be better maintained. No website benefits from a Denial of Service Attack. Nor does any website gain from going offline due to too much bandwidth being used by other clients. Dedicated servers have only one client so they are easier to manage. Paying a little extra for a dedicated server can be a good investment.

Web hosting companies do not automatically charge high sums for dedicated servers although they will cost more than a shared one. Seeking deals and special offers on dedicated hosting plans might reveal a very nice discount that makes the plans easier to acquire.

An Investment of Sorts

Publishing a website and procuring the necessary domain registration and hosting service is an investment. Small businesses do have to spend a certain amount of money in order to earn money. Advertising would be a perfect and most common example of this theory in action. So would paying the best people to work for a company. Even investing in remodeling an interior factors into doing well in the commercial market. So does investing in the best possible web hosting service for a particular budget.

The issue of the budget the small business owner is working with does have to be examined. Again, it is understanding new businesses and struggling small businesses do not have a lot of working capital or even credit. Costs have to be cut wisely in order to succeed. "Wisely" is the important word. Going with the cheapest web hosting service could prove be to a mistake. The company may present a great deal, but the actual hosting feature could be sorely lacking. What benefit derives from that? Perhaps paying a little extra would be the better and more business-savvy plan. A small business owner does not have to break his or her budget, but "skimping" won't help the cause of success very much.

A little bit -- maybe a lot -- of consumer research could be required to find affordable web hosting for small business endeavors.

Features to Look for in Web Hosting

The first thing to check out is the storage amounts available. Look at both the maximum amounts for shared and dedicated. Storage available could be as low as a mere 4GB and as high as an incredible 6TB. With such tremendous variety in available bandwidth, a small business should not have any trouble locating the right amount based on needs.

The litany of features a web hosting plan should come with must be anything but brief.

Domain hosting and disk storage are obvious necessary features. Is there a cap or is the storage unlimited. All this depends on the particular hosting company the client signs with. A domain name is one thing among many that a website cannot do without. Domain names can come for low costs or outright free. Packages could include several different domain names.

Emails are important assets in any web hosting plan. The same is true of blogs. Unique emails are professional-looking and definitely better to use than a free email service. Professionalism positively must be the running theme of any website's style and function. An effective web hosting plan should contribute to this outcome. Blogs are deemed by some to be a bit "old hat" since social media has become the premiere source of disseminating information. Still, people who visit a web page may wish to want to learn more about the company, its products, and its services. Blog content helps with this cause and can do so immensely.

Blog publishing on a website can be a great addition to any hosting plan. The content could aid in drawing in search engine traffic and branding the company. As such, a web hosting deal that offers coordinated blogging platforms should be given a close look.

A word about customer service does have to be mentioned. Customer serve may not be a direct feature of web hosting, but it is a feature of the actual web hosting company. Problems with websites do arise and the hosting service must present a reasonable means to address and resolve any concerns. The hours of customer service's operation are important. Being able to reach a customer service rep via phone or chat during working hours is not too unreasonable a request.

Actually, all the features should be looked at closely. One other thing to point out here is the service should have upgrades available.

Upgrades and Their Value

In addition to being able to upgrade memory, all features available should be available for upgrade by simply requesting a new plan. Growing businesses may find their needs completely change for the better as time goes on. An increased number of customers could mean a need for more bandwidth, uptime percentage, emails, and more.

Any request for an upgrade should be completed and billed smoothly and efficiently. Transitioning from one plan to another should never be a hassle. Otherwise, a business could suffer some annoying operational problems and delays.

Performing Comparisons

Looking at one web hosting service won't be helpful to the cause of finding the best and most affordable deals. Comparing the various prices and features associated with different web hosting companies is strongly advised. Rushing into a selection won't be helpful. No one wants to get stuck with a hosting plan that is disappointing. Yes, it may be possible to mitigate to a new website but this is going to cost time and money -- and wastefully so.

Making comparisons is very easy thanks to a number of web hosting consumer sites. The reviews and comparisons these sites craft are solid reading and are highly informative. That said, consider it prudent to also check out customer testimonials. Those small business owners who have used a particular web hosting company are going to be a great "go to source" for the unvarnished truth about a web hosting service.

Garnering as many details about the web hosting companies in the industry definitely makes it easier to buy the right hosting package deal.

Be On the Lookout for Deals

One of the best ways to save money, a traditional tried and true way, is to seek the very best deals offered in the web hosting industry. Yes, this might seem like highly obvious advice but it is advice that is somewhat ignored at times.

Deals and discounts are available all throughout the year, but a need for web hosting may arise at any time. In such a case, acquiring the best deal present at the current time is the only option available. Since there is such a huge volume of quality web hosting deals out in existence, finding something of great value should not be too difficult.

Affordable Web Hosting and Small Business Growth

Small businesses are constantly in competition for customers. Competition, in many circumstances, is good. Edging the competition is even better. The best possible website connected to a solid web hosting plan, an affordable one, assists with beating out the competition. Being careful and deliberate in the search for a web hosting services definitely aid in the search for inexpensive and outstanding results.

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