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Choosing a Small Business Web Hosting Provider

by David J. Smith

If you are looking to have a web presence for your small business you will need a web hosting provider to host your website. It does not make any difference whether you are an individual who wants to share their hobby with the world, or a large company requiring e-commerce applications to sell your goods online, either way you will need a web hosting provider to make your site available on the Internet.

Currently there are many thousands of web hosting providers out there all fighting for your business, this alone can make choosing a web hosting provider a confusing task. Below are a few aspects to consider that will hopefully relieve some of the confusion involved with choosing a web hosting provider.

The first aspect that you must determine is the type of website or websites you are planning to make available on the Internet. This will greatly influence your choice in web hosts, if you are going to have a website of less hundred pages and will not be hosting any multimedia content such as streaming videos, a standard entry level hosting plan will more than likely provide more than you will ever need. Entry level plans can be found for less than $5 per month, there are many companies covering this segment of the web hosting market.

A good option to consider for small business is shared web hosting, this type of web hosting is very affordable and can be found for less than $10 per month, most if not all shared web hosting providers these days offer good feature sets, as well as a generous amount of disk space and bandwidth. Features such as PHP and MySQL databases are the standard features offered by shared hosting providers running on Linux powered servers. The main thing to remember is not to sacrifice quality just to save a few dollars per month. Be sure to read reviews, check the hosting providers message boards if they have one for user feedback about a prospective host and arm yourself with as much information about a hosting provider before making your final decision.

Other considerations that need to be taken into account are bandwidth and disk space. Bandwidth is the amount of data transferred from your site, although it is almost impossible to calculate the amount of bandwidth your site will require you can make an educated guess by working out the average size of your websites pages, and then multiplying this size by the amount of page views you expect to see in a month.

It is crucial that you allow for more bandwidth than what your site will require, if at any point your site requires more bandwidth than your plan allows you run the risk of having your site shutdown by your web hosting provider to conserve bandwidth. Working out disk space usage is easier, this involves adding up the size of each page you will be uploading to your hosting space, if you will be using databases be sure to allow for this usage in your calculations.

In summary, find out as much information about a web hosting provider you are considering as possible, find out their good aspects, as well as their bad aspects, be sure to allow more bandwidth than your site will require, and more disk space than your site will require, also allow for any growth in the future, either by allowing for growth when choosing your plan initially, or choosing a provider that allows you to upgrade your web hosting plan easily.

Wednesday, Oct 11th, 2006