Shared hosting is the most popular web hosting solution today, ideal for individuals and small business owners as well. So, what exactly is shared hosting? Well, as the name implies, it refers to an arrangement where you share space on a web server and resources such as bandwidth and RAM with other hosting customers. Though shared hosting providers are abundant, the key is finding a company that will set you up for success. This article will provide a checklist to help you use the shared hosting platform as a vehicle to establishing your small business.
Finding a Reliable Shared Host
In order to give yourself the best chance of succeeding with a small business, you need a shared hosting provider that takes hosting serious. First and foremost, they should be dedicated to making sure your site is always up and running, ensuring that visitors enjoy a smooth performance. If your site is frequently down due to technical difficulties or performs sluggishly, converting visitors into customers will be nearly impossible. You can better assure accessibility and performance by looking for these technical specifics:
Uptime – This refers to the amount of time your site will be available on the web. Right now, the industry standard is 99.9% so anything less than that can be considered unacceptable. Don’t simply take the provider’s word on its advertised guarantee. Do a little investigating and find out how the percentage is calculated and what is actually covered in the guarantee.
Disk Space – If you are planning to start an online business, a shared hosting plan must provide an adequate amount of disk space to store your content. You probably won’t require a tremendous amount of storage space so look for something that suits your needs rather than falling for the glamorous “unlimited” offering.
Bandwidth – Equally important is bandwidth, often referred to as data transfer. Bandwidth is another resource that is often advertised as an unlimited offering, but just as with disk space, that simply isn’t true. We suggest selecting a shared host that offers an accurate amount of bandwidth to support your web traffic. Without enough, your site will lag. If you exceed the allotted amount, you could be taxed hefty overage fees despite the unlimited offering.
E-commerce Tools – Shared hosting is your ticket into online business and essentially the world of e-commerce. Depending on the nature of your business, some of the e-commerce features you may want to look out for are shopping cart programs, multiple email accounts, SSL support, and database access among other features. These tools will give you the ability to open up an online storefront, keep in touch with customers and facilitate secure transactions on your site.
Support – A small business hosting solution just wouldn’t be complete without solid support. A reliable shared host should offer support 24/7 to step in and make the save when you have questions or concerns. If they can’t provide quality customer support, the overall quality of their hosting service is questionable as well.
The most attractive benefit of shared hosting is cost efficiency. By referring to this checklist, you should be able to find a small business solution that is both reliable and affordable.