All posts tagged bandwidth
When you have an enterprise with a lot of capital, you have plenty of options for good hosting, but when you are a small business owner, those options are severely limited. Whether your business employs 50, 10, or even just you by yourself, there are still ways to get good web hosting at an affordable price.
We could simply tell you who we think the best host is for small businesses, but we would rather give you a more complete answer so that you can come to the same conclusion on your own.
The following are five key features a small business should look for in web hosting:
- Reasonable Pricing – Particularly for small businesses, this may be the number one concern. You want the most for your dollar, but you also need quality services. Since your website will probably not be huge or generate Facebook-like traffic, features like unlimited space and bandwidth are less important than web development tools, free script installation, and multiple support options. With all of the hosting competition out there, you should be able to get all of that and more for a good price. Moreover, look for hosting deals. You may save money by paying an annual fee as opposed to monthly.
- E-Commerce Add-ons – Assuming you plan to do business on the web, you will want to have a variety of e-commerce options without having to jump through hoops to get them. Good hosts will offer add-ons such as SSL certificates and extra IP addresses without charging you a lot of money. Furthermore, some may even have special e-commerce or business hosting packages that fit the needs of most small to medium-sized businesses (SMB).
- Hosting Automation – Chances are, if your business is small, only a few people or possibly even one person will manage your website. A web host that offers poor hosting automation will cost your business time and money. Therefore, the next item on your list should be a good hosting control panel, and you should not have to pay a lot to get one. There are even quality free options if you are running an unmanaged server. But beyond basic control panels, good hosts will add value to their hosting automation by including additional features, such as script installers and third-party web analytics integration.
- Content Management – Not all content management systems (CMS) are ideal for business. You should make sure your web host either provides installation for business-oriented content management systems or at least meets the system requirements for the CMS you want to use.
- Scalability – Your business is small now, but do not assume it will always be small. Once you get it going, you may soon find yourself running out of space and running into a bandwidth wall. A good host will provide you with a reasonably priced upgrade path so that you do not back yourself into a corner. Whether you simply need the next step up in shared hosting or need something more powerful, such as a VPS or dedicated server, your host should make it easy to take that next step.
As you develop your small business, your website may become one of the most important aspects of it, especially in today’s technological world. You would not trust your money with a mediocre or even average bank, so why trust your website in the hands of a low quality web hosting provider? In this case, the right choice is very simple.
The use of the word “unlimited” is a common one in the web hosting world. These days, almost all web hosts offer at least some “unlimited” features, including disk space, bandwidth, domains, and more. Just like unlimited Internet access and unlimited mobile data plans, there are actually limits. The real difference between limited plans and unlimited plans is that the unlimited plans are undefined.
When you sign up for a hosting plan that allows for unlimited disk space, you will most likely not run into a problem, even if you use hundreds of gigabytes of space. Typically, hosting companies that offer these unlimited services have a surplus of it available. If they do not, it is truly false advertising. They base their claim of unlimited service on the maximum amount of usage they get from their users. They then make a business decision that even if a user goes over that maximum amount, they will impose any additional charges.
Unlimited, therefore, is more accurately described as “unmetered”. The web host is not measuring how much of the service you use. There is no quota, and you will probably not have a problem unless you are using more than even a dedicated server would typically support. In that case, your host may contact you and offer you some type of other deal. Under no circumstances, however, should your host slap you with additional fees when they have made a promise of “unlimited” space or bandwidth to you.
For some services, such as domain hosting, the unlimited amount is limited by other features. In other words, if your account has a 400 GB space limit, such as the Hosting Mini plan offered by WebHostingBuzz, you can only have as many domains hosted as 400 GB will allow, which is more than most customers will ever use.
To put it plainly, even unlimited hosting has its technical limits, but a good web host will not punish you for exceeding their server capacity. They will simply make arrangements to move you to your own server or setup some type of special account in order to keep your website functioning properly.
Before you even get to this question, there are a few other questions you should ask first. How critical are the websites and/or applications you want to host on your VPS (virtual private server)? What features do you need? Are you willing to sacrifice some of those features in exchange for less expensive hosting?
A low-end VPS is a great way to get a server with root (administrative) access without paying a fortune to do it. If you simply cannot afford the cost of a typical VPS hosting package, it may be your only option. Nevertheless, there are plenty of reasons why you should prefer a reasonably-priced VPS plan from a more reliable host over a low-end deal from a host that may not offer the best service.
One of the most important things VPS users often need is scalability. As your websites grow, they will need more RAM, more CPU power, more disk space, and more bandwidth. A reputable host will offer you a VPS package that is expandable and also leave the option for you to upgrade to a full dedicated server.
You should also make sure you understand what you are paying for when you sign up for low-end VPS service. They manage to be less expensive by offering less RAM, less dedicated CPU power, and often significantly fewer features.
Another important aspect to consider is service. You should not choose a web host simply because it has bargain basement prices. Instead, investigate carefully, and find a host that offers good customer service for a reasonable price. Ask current and former customers what they think of the host.
Ultimately, a VPS can be a powerful tool to add your arsenal, but you should not get your expectations too high with an unreliable low-end VPS. If you just need a test server or something for a small project, it might be enough, but if you are planning to deploy long-term serious websites, you need a stable VPS hosting package.
Anytime you host content uploaded by a third party, you run the risk of exposing your server to malicious files or even to hackers who exploit weaknesses in a user’s account. One possible way to avoid this situation is to host the third-party content on an entirely separate server. The question is: are there any downsides to this form of content hosting?
The answer can be somewhat complicated. First, it is important to note that simply using a subdomain (such as dave.davessite.tld) does not provide any security by itself, unless the subdomain points to a separate server, separate hosting account, separate VPS, or a content delivery network (CDN). Second, the type of file matters. Scripts, for example, could still potentially cause harm to your primary server even if hosted on the secondary one. True static content, such as images and videos, may be significantly safer.
Using a Content Delivery Network
Since hosting files on a separate server can be costly and require is own additional maintenance, many website owners may explore the possibility of using a CDN. A content delivery network is a service that specializes in hosting content, especially static content, and distributing it across a global network of servers. In addition to the security benefits, it is potentially faster, more reliable because of the redundancy, and reduces bandwidth costs.
One way to make your content appear as though it is still hosted on your site is to use a subdomain. You can easily setup a subdomain in a hosting control panel, such as cPanel, by editing the DNS for your domain. WebHostingBuzz provides this functionality for all hosting accounts.