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How to choose hosting for your business website


Business Websites – all about hosting

A couple of weeks ago, we spoke about whether your business needs a website. Now, let’s look at how you go about setting one up.

Starting a new a website can be an intimidating business, particularly if you haven’t much experience with technology. However, it’s now easier than ever to get a business website off the ground, and it doesn’t need to cost the earth.

What is a domain name?

A domain name is just the name of your site (so ours is switchmybusiness.com). Your domain name is usually your business name. You can buy a domain name with your web hosting or separately, most businesses prefer to have a domain name that ends in .co.uk or .com.

What is a CMS?

CMS stands for content management system. Content management systems are used for adding content to your website. If you want to have a blog or will be updating your website frequently, you will need to use a CMS. WordPress is probably the world’s most famous CMS, and is used by businesses both small and large. Other CMS examples include Drupal and Joomla. Don’t let the concept of a CMS worry you – most hosting companies have something called ‘1 click installation’, which allows you to install your CMS instantly.

What is hosting?

Essentially, a web host provides the means for your website to be viewed on the internet. Web hosting companies own servers, and website owners ‘rent’ space on these servers.

What sort of hosting do you need?

The hosting you need depends on how many visitors you expect your site to receive, and how much you want to grow in the next few years. The most common type of hosting for small businesses and personal blogs is ‘shared hosting’. On a shared hosting plan you share bandwidth with other websites. Websites on shared hosting tend to be slower, and can’t necessarily handle large numbers of visitors. What’s more, if another website on the same server as you experiences a surge in their traffic, your website may be affected.

If you are expecting high traffic (over 100,000 visitors a month), a dedicated server may be more appropriate for your needs. You don’t have to share this type of server with other websites, however it is a lot harder to manage this type of hosting, and it tends to be more expensive.

Alternatively, you can take the middle option and have a Virtual Private Server (VPS).  Virtual Private Servers host a limited amount of websites, and ensure that you aren’t affected by traffic surges of other websites on your server. VPS hosting is cheaper than a private server, but more expensive than shared hosting. Some VPS hosting is located in the cloud, this is known as ‘cloud hosting’.

So now you know what type of hosting you need, what hosting provider should you go for? Check out this list of 2016’s top hosting providers.

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