Four Things to Look For in a Business Web Hosting Plan
, , , , , , Dec 23, 2011

Four Things to Look For in a Business Web Hosting Plan

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Cheap web hosting has contributed to the democratization of the Internet and the staggering growth of our digital society. With hosting fees costing less than a fancy latte, virtually anyone can have their own website these days. Affordable hosting is great for private users, but for small business owners, a natural question arises: should I rely on a generic hosting plan or should I get a small business web hosting solution? To answer this question, you should first rephrase it. The better question to ask yourself is: should I invest in a business hosting plan now, or can I afford to take the risk of using a personal plan for another year? If you think that the time is right for investing in a small business web site host, there are a few essential things that you must look for when selecting a business web hosting provider. Choose a small business web hosting solution that includes the following four features, and you can be confident that you have a solid, yet flexible foundation to build your online presence. 1. Security There is a reason small business web hosting security is first on our list. Even if you don’t use your website for commercial transactions, it is vital that you take every step required to keep your online presence safe from prying eyes. Unfortunately, security is not a primary concern for the many small business owners who make decisions based on the old “that can’t happen to me” principle. Admittedly, small business servers are not frequently targeted by hackers, spammers, or phishers. But when an intrusion does take place, the potential for disaster is enormous. In the “best-case” scenario, your site might be defaced, a situation that can drive customers away and damage your credibility. In the worst-case scenario, you will lose a lot of money, either directly – through fraud — or indirectly – though the costs of stopping the intrusion, restoring the site to its original state, and even paying compensations to the customers who suffered from the problem. Dos: Investigate the track record of the business web hosting provider. Check for the existence of security measures and make sure they are enforced. Get a small business web host that is monitored 24/7. Don’ts: Steer clear of fly-by-night operations that seem too good to be true. Avoid business hosting plans that don’t come with basic security features such as password-protected directories, SSL access, and spam filtering. 2. Reliability Reliability is an absolute must, but reliability of a hosting service is often left to chance. Virtually every business web site hosting provider advertises reliable services and high-availability, but not all of them are being completely upfront. So how can a business owner or an IT manager see beyond the flashy marketing talk? Don’t overlook reliability. If the small business web hosting plan is marketed with 99.99% availability, ask for proof. Have a look at genuine user reviews and carefully read the policies and the terms of use of the hosting solution. Once you compare the actual features with the advertised features, you might discover some major discrepancies. Even better than doing your own research, opt for a business web host that comes with a Service Level Agreement (SLA), a document that specifies exactly what level of service you will receive. Dos: Look for a small business web hosting provider that provides a clear SLA. Go for 99.9% availability or higher. Opt for a solid, experienced business web host provider. Don’ts: Avoid ultra-low-cost web hosting solutions. The savings are usually made by sacrificing quality. 99% availability may seem good, but 1% over the course of a year is more than 3.5 days of downtime! 3. Flexibility The hard part actually begins after you settle for a business web site hosting solution. Buying a dedicated business server or a VPS plan is one thing; keeping it running at full potential and ensuring that it can scale as your business grows is another. Don’t lock yourself into a service that you are likely to outgrow in 3 months, 6 months, or a year. Moving from one solution to another can be painful, especially in business scenarios. You will waste resources on the move and you will also risk downtime, which in business hosting is simply unacceptable. A solution is to find a scalable small business server that can adapt to your needs as you grow. VPS hosts are great in this aspect, as you can allocate more resources to the server as your needs change. No matter which solution you choose, make sure to check the costs of upgrading before you sign on the dotted line. Dos: Find a small business web hosting plan that can handle your future growth. Check the prices of the entire product range in addition to the entry-level services. Make sure you have enough resources – processing power, RAM, disk space, bandwidth, etc. Don’ts: Shared web hosting solutions may be limited so look for scalable VPS hosting solutions whenever possible. Manage your business server with scalability in mind. 4. Business features This point covers a wide range of tools, features, and technologies. Depending on your specific industry, the business line-up can include payment gateways support, unique IPs, private or shared SSL, application frameworks (PHP, .NET, ColdFusion, etc.), ecommerce scripts (osCommerce, ZenCart, etc.), and many others. Choose your small business server only after carefully considering what you need to achieve with the hosting solution and what you plan to do in the future. For example, if you only need a business presentation page and a blog for the time being, but an online store is a possibility for later down the road, ensure that you can use WordPress or another CMS on your business web server and that you have all the necessary ecommerce tools in place. Dos: Look for a versatile, feature-rich business web hosting service. Get a well-rounded business hosting plan that can be used for multiple purposes. Ensure that you have all the features needed for your business’ critical apps. Don’ts: Don’t invest more than you need to – there is no need for high-end features if you only plan to run a company blog. Don’t use personal site-oriented web hosting solutions for business purposes. Get the right mix of features at JaguarPC JaguarPC is an experienced provider of web hosting solutions, from shared hosting plans to VPS solutions and business-grade dedicated servers. With reliable 24/7 support and a best-in-class technical infrastructure, JaguarPC meets the high demands of thousands of corporate and small business clients. All JaguarPC small business web hosting solutions abound in features that will allow you to get the most out of your website hosting provider without breaking the bank. All servers are security-hardened and monitored proactively for threats to ensure the best availability and safety for your online properties. To learn more about the small business hosting solutions provided by JaguarPC, or to order an affordable web hosting service, visit jaguarpc.com or call 1-888-338-5261 today.
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