This is the third in a series of articles about choosing the right hosting for your business. With so many hosting options and all the technical terms involved, it can be a daunting task. In this series, we look at the various types of web hosting from the perspective of running a business and go beyond the mix of price, storage and bandwidth.
Managed VPS is your Best Option
As an entrepreneur, you have particular needs in several areas, including website hosting. If you market your business online and target conversions but don’t want to hire an IT team, then reliable and secure managed virtual private hosting is your best option.
Managed virtual private hosting comes in different shapes and sizes. Hosts typically provide plans that correspond to storage, power and bandwidth plus some default and maybe optional features. Support is usually built in to your package, but support can be basic, extended or hands-on.
Indeed, even in this small corner of the vast hosting ocean, you will find that there are several nuances.
Looking for the Right Managed VPS Plan
Conventional wisdom will tell you that you should look at what your business website needs. And that’s certainly true. But I would take it a step further and prepare for what you will want to have as your business grows. While you may not need all the options and services that your host provides today, you know it’s there and that makes all the difference.
Aside from choosing the storage, bandwidth and power to run your site, consider a hosting service that:
- Provides the minimum of what you need and room to grow several times over
- Gives you enough flexibility to adjust your hosting plan or service features as your business changes
- Offers the support that your business website needs
- Delivers other services you may need in the short or medium term
- Can offer options if your website runs into some trouble
Differences in Practice
Flexibility. Most managed hosting providers will be happy to assist you in determining the amount of bandwidth and storage you will need for your website. Some even define their hosting packages in terms of visitors and traffic. What you will want to know is what they can offer if your traffic doubles or if you want to add an online store which will basically triple your storage requirements. Are you in any way locked in to the package or can you upgrade or downgrade? Can these changes be done with minimal downtime for your site?
Support. You will also want to look at what they offer in terms of support. For example, many hosts offer automatic backup but depending on your plan, this can be one back up per day that’s kept for a couple of days or a weekly back up. Unless you check your website daily and proactively, a few days’ worth of backups may not be enough. Restoring a backup that’s a week old may mean you lose several days of data. It will take time to restore your blog but retrieving the sign ups or worse, the transactions in your online store will be near impossible.
Other services. It will also be useful to have other service offerings from your provider. As a small and growing business, you want to be able to leverage several services since volume may not be there for you (yet). Back office support, website trouble shooting and design services will be easier and more cost effective when you deal with the same company rather than going for that one shot deal.
How important is my hosting plan, really?
Building and growing a company takes time, focus and basically, a lot of work. With everything you have going on, hosting issues for your catalog or landing page should not take you away from that.
Many growing businesses don’t see website hosting as a main priority and really, it shouldn’t be. Hosting is one of those things you use for your business that should not require regular attention. Common sense tells us that issues come when the host doesn’t deliver on the basics of speed, security and stability.
While you should definitely go for a plan that covers what you need today, it won’t be easy to determine your needs when that great idea kicks in and goes viral. Or when that angel investment lets you expand your market. That’s when you appreciate the flexibility of upgrades, multiple support options and the various managed services of your hosting provider. And that’s certainly not the time you want to discover that your only option is to upgrade your plan at three times the cost since it comes with a bunch of other features you don’t really want to pay for.
A managed virtual private hosting service that adds flexibility and diversity to the backbone of speed, security and stability, lets you focus on the great opportunities in front of you as they happen. You know where to get the help you need, when you need it. Choose a host that’s ready to grow with you and your business and you can enjoy the advantages of having a virtual IT team at the cost of a hosting plan.
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