A decent web presence depends on your web hosting package. It is an absolute essential for any small business these days – it really is non-negotiable. While some businesses can get by with a Facebook page, a Twitter account and perhaps a listing on a business directory; those that want to really get the most out of the opportunities for free or inexpensive marketing make having their own website or blog a top priority.
If you’ve formed a new business, or have decided it is time to create a site for an existing enterprise you are involved in, then it is surprisingly easy to do. Whether you invest in professional website design or build the site yourself, the first step to actually publishing your new site is to get a web hosting package somewhere. However, before you get to that point, there are some key decisions you can make that will make life easier as you begin making the site a reality:
Image Credit: HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites [Paperback] on Amazon
Your domain will not only be in the URL of your website, but also any business email addresses you set up. Some businesses buy several domains that are related to their company name so that nobody else can get them, and so that users will get to their site whether they put in ‘.com’ or ‘.net’ etc and have them all direct to the same website. Whether you want to do this is up to you, but you will need at least one.
Before you get your web hosting package, you need to choose a domain name as this is generally something you will set up as you register. The most obvious thing to do is choose your company name with the “.com” suffix, if you are running a commercial business. “.org” is usually used instead for non-profit organizations. However, if this is not available because someone already owns it, you may have to get creative.
You can use your business name with ‘.net’ or another generic suffix (some suffixes are reserved for specific industries, like ‘gov’ and ‘edu’ and others are reserved for specific countries), or you can use a variation on your business name. It is best to avoid making it too long or using a lot of complicated dashes and things because although most people get to websites using links and search results these days rather than by typing in URLs, you will still want your email addresses (which will be in the ‘yourname @ yourdomain . com’ format) to be memorable.
Your Hosting Needs
Before you buy hosting, you also need to know exactly what you need from your hosting package. Most small business websites opt for hosting on shared server resources as having a server dedicated to hosting your site is not a cost effective option when you have a small site, however you may still want unlimited size, and other options that make your site scalable if it grows in size and popularity.
You should also look at things like how quickly you would need support if your site went down. Is your site just there to tell people where and what you are if they are searching for a local business like yours, or is it your main channel for sales and inquiries? If it is the latter, having it down for days would probably be unacceptable and cost you customers.
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This post was submitted by Victor Brown; an IT expert by profession, he likes to write about his work and share his opinions with others. When he is not busy offering his clients dedicated servers, he likes to relax over food and a great movie.