Most entrepreneurs share similar fears: Am I going to make it? Does anyone care? What will be the impact I have on my industry or market? What is the point of the work I am doing right now?
Fret not; there is boundless opportunity out there if you organize yourself well enough to capture it. As Lawrence J. Peter once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.” What is your North Star? You need a plan.
Starting a business is tricky, and achieving success is harder, so you need to start by setting your goals; the road map of where you want to go. Your motivation. The motivation of a young entrepreneur looking to start their own business is often quite simple- to earn success.
A key factor to many start-up’s success is having an effective website. If people can’t find information about you, it’s difficult for them to share your business or support your cause.
Young entrepreneurs encounter various decisions to make when drafting their first website and content, with choices ranging from the font size to choosing your brand’s domain. Often, small business owners will arbitrarily choose their web host so they can get on to more exciting things, but this is a decision that should be made with long-term intent.
What is Web Hosting?
Web Hosting acts as the foundation for your business- it is the back end that supports the website your potential customers will be visiting when browsing the market. Though there are multiple forms of web hosting, two that are worth initial consideration are:
- Shared Hosting
- VPS Hosting
By understanding the pros and cons of each, you can benefit your business and move towards achieving your goals. Websites may look the same from a consumer perspective, but as a site owner, you have to consider factors such as bandwidth, security, and price.
Choosing A Type Of Host
As mentioned earlier, you’ll want to understand your goals before you start making business decisions, and choosing a web host is no different. Ask yourself, “What do you want to happen as a result of someone visiting this page?”, “How much traffic do I anticipate?” and “What is the purpose of the site?”.
There is technically no wrong answer when choosing a web hosting server, but there is perhaps a smarter choice depending on what you’re providing.
Shared Hosting requires that you share a common server space with other websites. This is much more cost effective for something simple like a landing page or blog, however it does provide less bandwidth and less space for your content. Sites using Shared Hosting often anticipate low traffic and typically do not take much in the way of secure personal information.
With that being said, most businesses need personal information of some description. Whether that is business inquiries, sales leads, eCommerce, or newsletter sign ups, you’re bound to collect information at some point, which needs to be protected. Shared Hosting is generally safe, particularly if you partner with a secure host, however, if one site on the server gets breached, the others are also at risk.
This sounds scary, and it can be, however shared hosting is a very cost effective solution to getting your website or blog up and running, which can be important when you haven’t established income streams yet. Fortunately, you can typically upgrade your web hosting to scale with your goals, expanding to VPS when you’re ready to take your business to the next step.
Virtual Private Servers
Virtual Private Servers, or VPS, dedicate resources exclusively for your site. Rather than sharing a general pool of CPU and RAM with other sites on the same shared hosting server, you have storage and bandwidth segmented off just for you. With hosting via VPS, you get increased security, increased speeds, increased support, and, notably, an increased cost.
VPS provides the scalability that is limited with shared hosting, which can be important if you expect to see an influx of traffic to your website. If your website is simply informational, shared hosting is likely enough to get started, but beyond that, the variety of VPS options likely offer the structure you hope to grow into.
Key Considerations When Choosing A Web Host
When browsing different hosting networks, everything may look the same. You may get confused about the difference between brands, services, and options. This makes it difficult to choose where to purchase your hosting.
Although this can seem overwhelming, we make parallel decisions constantly without much stress. What factors do you consider when purchasing groceries? Price, quality, convenience, etc.? The same considerations hold true with web hosting.
A few factors to consider are:
- Price: how much are you willing to pay?
- Performance: Bandwidth? Speed time?
- Security: What steps are taken to protect data and keep away from viruses?
- Scalability: Can the volume and size change? Can the size work for your site?
- Customer Support: is the company easy to reach?
These factors are important to consider for your budding empire so that you can find the right hosting solution for you. Here, we just discuss two different web hosting options, however there are many variations out there. You can never do too much research, however, remember that there is flexibility as you scale. Most web hosts provide multiple tiers of service that allow your website to evolve with your business, so find a quality host, invest in yourself, and flourish.
Contributor: Lucy Long (Magnus Opus)