How to Choose a Hosting Service for your Startup
When you run your own business, you start thinking about things that never even crossed your mind before: getting funding, finding the right people, and… web hosting services. There are lots of great web hosting options, and it’s hard to find time to cut through all the noise and figure out the best web hosting packages for you.
We’ve got you. Here’s everything you need to know to choose the right web hosting service for your startup:
First of all, you need a domain.
Don’t worry too much about this one; a good web hosting company will help you register a domain name that hasn’t been taken. Try not to put this off too long, though. Coming up with a great domain name is easier than you think.
How does Web Hosting Work?
Also, just so we’re on the same page, we’ll explain how web hosting works. All websites are stored (or “hosted”) on special computers called servers. When a client types your website into their browser, their computer connects to the server that hosts your website. The server then delivers the website to your client by loading it onto their computer. Now, they can see your services, book appointments and make purchases on your website.
Web hosting companies let you host your website on their servers.
But great web hosting companies have tons of hosting packages for you to choose from, and that’s where things can get a little confusing. So, we’re going to walk you through the five best web hosting services for your startup, then we’re going to teach you how to tell what to look for in a web hosting company.
Five best web hosting services for your startup
There are lots of hosting services, but these are, hands down, the five best web hosting services for your startup:
- Shared hosting
- Dedicated hosting
- VPS hosting
- Website builders
- Web hosting with cPanel
1. Shared hosting
Shared hosting means you share your server’s resources with other website owners. If the word “shared” conjures up unpleasant images of watching in anguish as your cousins manhandled your toys, hear us out. Shared hosting might actually be a great choice for startups.
Shared web hosting is cheaper than other hosting options, because you’re sharing the cost of the server with someone else.
If you’re not anticipating your website getting a ton of traffic in the beginning (most new websites don’t), it makes sense to get cheap web hosting. This way, you don’t end up spending your money on a huge hosting service, then end up using only a tiny fraction of it.
And the great thing about this is that if you do decide shared hosting is what’s best for your startup right now, you’re not stuck with it when you outgrow it. You can always upgrade your hosting package if you choose a web hosting company that has lots of packages for each stage of your business.
Don’t knock shared hosting: You might find that the wisest choice for this stage of your startup might be cheap web hosting with just the right amount of storage for your current needs.
If you’d prefer something bigger, there’s dedicated hosting.
2. Dedicated hosting
Dedicated hosting means you get a server that’s dedicated to your website and only to your website. You don’t share the server’s resources with anyone else. This means you get faster server performance than when you choose shared web hosting. The catch is that dedicated hosting isn’t as cheap as shared hosting. (This makes sense, since you’re not splitting the cost of the server.)
Don’t get us wrong; dedicated hosting is still way cheaper than operating your own server. But, if you have a really strict budget, you might not want to go with dedicated hosting unless you really want a hosting option that can handle all your startup’s current needs and the increased traffic you’ll eventually have when your business expands.
Dedicated hosting is a good choice if you foresee your business expanding at an astronomical rate, and you want to choose a hosting service your startup can “grow into.”
For a great combination of shared hosting and dedicated hosting, you might want to try VPS hosting.
3. VPS hosting
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. A Virtual Private Server is a shared server that acts like a dedicated server. That’s because even though there’s only one server, your hosting company runs several operating systems on it, and each operating system acts like a dedicated server. VPS is a great way to get cheap web hosting that gives you something closer to the increased performance that you get with dedicated web hosting.
Unless your startup is directly related to website creation, you might want to choose a hosting company that offers website builders.
4. Website builders
The best web hosting packages for your startup will give you access to a great sitebuilder. A website builder is exactly as great as it sounds: It helps you customize and publish a beautiful, professional-looking website in minutes. This is great for startups, which are often short on time, but still need to attract clients with websites that don’t look like they were designed by someone’s nephew.
Also, look for a hosting company that gives you the secret sauce of beautifully managed websites everywhere: web hosting with cPanel.
5. Web hosting with cPanel
cPanel (control panel) is one of those things that nobody talks about unless they get really serious about web hosting – and then they talk about it a lot. Once you try it, you’ll see what all the fuss is about.
Getting web hosting with cPanel means you’ll have access to one of the world’s best website management tools. Instead of long strings of code, cPanel has images and automation tools that make running your website easier and more intuitive.
This gives you more control over your website, so it looks exactly the way you picture it. That’s why the best web hosting packages will always give you the option to get your web hosting with cPanel. Hostific even gives you cPanel when you choose shared hosting. But a gorgeous, well-managed website is only half of the equation. You also need to keep your website’s data safe.
Website backup is super important
With all the sensitive client information your website collects, secure web hosting isn’t even a choice. You could end up losing millions of dollars if information got into the wrong hands.
Hosting services that offer great website backup will even let you plan periodic website backups, so you can head off potential danger.
Even if nothing terrible ever happens to your website, just the peace of mind of having secure web hosting is worth choosing a hosting company that offers website backup.
What to look for in a web hosting company:
Web hosting is only one of the investments you’ll need to make for your startup. So, make sure you choose a web hosting company that’s affordable. Also, make sure your web hosting service has lots of packages to choose from. Your startup will have different needs as it expands. You need a web hosting company that can cater to you at every stage.
Also, make sure you choose a hosting company that gives you secure web hosting. Hackers and data loss are very real threats to your website, so choose a hosting service that offers cloud backup.
The best hosting service for your startup
Take an honest look at your startup’s current needs and figure out whether it’s most important to have the cost-effectiveness of shared hosting, the increased performance of dedicated hosting, or the “best of both worlds” feeling of VPS hosting. The best hosting company will offer all three hosting services and make it easy to upgrade when your needs change.