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Competing with the Big Boys: Web Hosting for Small Business

As a small business owner, you are doing business on a smaller level than the “big boys,” but your small business still has some of the same technical needs required of a larger business. This is especially true when it comes to using a Web hosting service to run the online aspect of your business. By assessing the benefits of what is available and determining your needs, you too can enjoy the same benefits a Web hosting service offers big business.

Technical support should be one of the first considerations when selecting a Web hosting service. When something goes wrong , a business can lose a lot of revenue very quickly. Such a loss can be absorbed by a big business, but devastating to your small business. Look for a service that has a reliable technical support staff. Sending out a bunch of frantic emails is not going to help you get your business back online any quicker if you cannot get a hold of anyone to do anything about it. Therefore, a free Web hosting service is not really going to be of any benefit since technical support is usually minimal.
Many services include bundled software packages in the deal. Before committing to any Web hosting service, it is important to have a good idea what you need to run a fast, efficient operation online. A Web host may offer a package with a bunch of bells and whistles that you simply do not need. There is no use paying for software you realistically will not use. Common software choices of a small business include a content management system, e-commerce options and shopping cart software.
FrontPage is a common editing tool used by Websites to make changes to their Web pages, especially the main page clients and customers first see. If your small business uses FrontPage software for editing purposes, it is important to make sure the hosting service uses the same application. Confirm that a Web hosting service supports typical script languages such Perl, ASP and PHP. In other words, you want to make sure you will be able to edit and update your site as needed.
Speed is just as important to small businesses as big businesses. Uptime, the amount of time a Website is online, should be around 90 percent. It is also important to confirm what connections a Web hosting service uses for its servers. These days, to realistically do any type of business high-speed Internet is a requirement. Web hosting services that are cloud-based are tapping into the latest technology, but there is a lack of control over data due to the decentralized nature of this technology. Ask for details of the hosting company’s data center to see how things are done on their end. This ensures that the technology they use matches your business needs.
A Website is only an asset if the public can access it. If a hosting company’s servers are down for maintenance too often or have too many service issues, this does more harm than good to your small business. The service that you choose should be reliable. This can usually be confirmed by reviewing comments from current and previous clients on the host’s Website or online message boards about the company.

Another way for a small business to grow, other than expanding its customer base via the Internet, is by recording presentations on DVDs to send to prospective clients. The DVD can even include your Website address at the end of the presentation to tie the two marketing efforts together.

Skylar Tate, a small business owner and self-proclaimed “techie” relies on a blu ray duplication company for duplication and preservation of her all DVD business presentations.


One Response

  1. JustinHaigh January 14, 2012

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