If you are one of the millions who run a small business from home, you know how challenging it can be to manage every aspect of your company. Being a small business owner is also rewarding. No matter what type of business you run, it’s important to have a good website to attract customers, provide important business information, help with branding, and much more. When getting ready to set up, you may wonder how you can host your small business website from home.
But in virtually every situation, having your site hosted physically in your house isn’t a good idea. Instead, you need a good hosting company that will allow you to manage your site from home while keeping the physical hardware and other equipment safely in a dedicated data center. To learn more about how to do this, read through this article.
- What website hosting is
- What makes good small business website hosting
- How to manage your site from home
What Is Website Hosting?
Website hosting is where the data for your website is located. In most cases, this refers to the physical server and any network connections needed to access your site. Small businesses usually work with a dedicated hosting company that has all of the resources needed to run a website.
To host your site physically in your home, you must buy expensive hardware and software and pay your internet service provider (ISP) for a dedicated internet protocol (IP) address. Doing all of this quickly becomes cost-prohibitive and requires advanced technical knowledge of how to set everything up and maintain it, which isn’t easy. Paying a web hosting company to handle all the hardware and networking requirements is much more common and affordable.
What Makes the Best Small Business Website Hosting?
There are thousands of different web hosting companies to consider. Choosing the best one for your particular situation helps ensure you get the right hosting services at a price within your budget. Small business web hosting is surprisingly affordable, and the best hosting companies provide you with the software and other tools to manage your site from home. When choosing a hosting company for your small business site, consider several key factors.
Type of hosting
When shopping for web hosting, there are several options regarding how the hosting hardware is set up. The one you choose depends on how much traffic you expect on your site, what type of content you will be putting on your page, and other factors. The following are the different types of website hosting to choose from:
- Shared hosting: When multiple sites are set up on one physical server and share all of the system resources like disk space, memory, and network bandwidth
- Virtual private server (VPS) hosting: Multiple websites are on one physical server, but each site is given exclusive access to a set amount of each system resources for added stability and power
- Cloud hosting: This spreads the data for each website across multiple physical servers, which adds redundancy
- Dedicated servers: One website is on one physical server, so nothing is shared
Making your choice
Most small businesses use shared or VPS hosting since they are affordable and work great for most small to midsize websites. When deciding which is right for you, make sure your hosting company has what you need today and the option to upgrade to something better should it become necessary.
Hosting service specs
The most important system specs to be aware of are disk space, memory (RAM), and network bandwidth, as well as an uptime guarantee. But the exact requirements your website will have depends on several factors, including how much traffic you expect, how much content will be on your site, and the type of content. For example, if you are hosting videos on your site, you need much more disk space and bandwidth than when hosting text and basic images.
If your small business only serves customers from a small geographic region, it’s a good idea to have a hosting company that operates out of a data center that’s fairly close. This minimizes the risk of downtime caused by regional internet outages and reduces the distance data has to travel, which speeds things up. While closer is always better, if the typical visitor to your site is in the same country as your hosting provider, you will get great service.
Cost of hosting
Finding a hosting company with quality services at a fair price isn’t difficult. So much competition in the web hosting industry has improved the overall quality and kept the prices quite low. For example, if you just need shared hosting for your small business website, you can typically get a great service for less than $10 per month. If you need more advanced hosting, the monthly costs go up, but you can often get a good quality dedicated server for around $100 per month.
How To Manage Your Small Business Site From Home
Once you have chosen a web hosting company for your small business site, you must learn how to build and manage everything from home. After signing up for your account, you will receive instructions for accessing your hosting environment through your normal web browser.
The specific steps you take to create your website depend on what type of content management system (CMS) you use. For example, most websites are run on the WordPress CMS. Most web hosting companies will install WordPress for free or show you how to with a few clicks.
Once your CMS is set up, you just log onto the “back end” of the platform and add content, adjust images, link different pages, and more. While managing your small business website does have a learning curve, it is surprisingly easy even if you have no technical experience in this area. You won’t have to know any programming or web development knowledge to create a beautiful website for your small business.