One of the most important factors to consider when starting a new online business is your choice of hosts. So how do you choose hosting for your particular business? Well, there are a variety of factors, and each will differ slightly depending on your particular business model and your financial situation.

Types of Hosting

If you are just starting your business or operating a small business, then you will probably want to opt for shared hosting. This doesn’t mean you have to be crammed on to one domain with other businesses. Instead, you just share the resources of a single server.

For businesses that expect heavy traffic on their website, you might want to opt for virtual private servers. Or, if money is no object, then a private server might be the best bet for a high volume site. There are also specific WordPress hosting options available. These are great for beginners building a wordpress site but may need help troubleshooting.

Before you decide on which particular hosting you will need, you will need to look at exactly what you want from it.

Factors to consider when you choose hosting

Reliability

The last thing you want from your new hosting is for it to be down all the time. This will mean that customers cannot access your website, and will result in lost orders and may even affect your search rankings.

Luckily, most of the good hosting providers will give you an idea of their up time (meaning the time their servers are operating normally). Make sure it is somewhere around 99% or higher up time. Some hosts will even give a guaranteed up time in their terms of service. (the one we use guarantees 99.9% up time – check the banner at the bottom of this article).

Speed

Now that you’ve found a host that is online all of the time, you will want some good speed so your customers can access it quickly. Speed will vary from host to host, and visitors own internet connection speed will be a factor. Generally you can check the server speed, CPU and memory.

Be aware that in shared hosting, these resources are spread amongst a number of different account holders. However, there are usually rules in place to stop bad websites sucking all the resources from everyone else. (in fact, resource hogging will get your account barred from many hosts).

Cost

Now down to the nitty gritty of how to choose hosting – the cost. Shared hosting is always going to be the cheapest option. Starting a new business website doesn’t mean you have to have the most expensive hosting. Think carefully before jumping into virtual private hosting or a private server, as the cost difference is immense.

For a standard static business website or small eCommerce site, shared hosting is usually enough. When you’re starting a new business, these little savings are essential!

Room to grow

Remember, your chosen hosting isn’t permanent. If your business grows and your hosting is no longer enough, you can always change it!