Website hosting: A guide for small businesses #StartUps - The Entrepreneurial Way with A.I.


Monday, May 18, 2020

Website hosting: A guide for small businesses #StartUps

How does web hosting work?

Hosting server

There are several types of web hosting available, catering for everything from the smallest personal blog to vast video streaming sites and ecommerce operations.

So, web hosting works differently depending on how the server’s resources are allocated to customers.

The different types of web hosting are:

Shared hosting

Your website shares a single physical server with multiple websites.

Shared hosting is the most affordable option, because your website is only allocated a portion of the server’s resources.

Because of this, it’s only suitable for small websites and blogs with low traffic, although you can scale up to a VPS or dedicated hosting plan as your website grows.

For our money, InMotion has the best shared offering, with excellent features, unlimited disk space, and a free domain. Check out InMotion’s shared plans here.

  • Cost-effective
  • Flexible
  • Straightforward setup
  • Lots of professional technical support
  • Limited resources
  • Limited customisation
  • Less security

Virtual Private Server (VPS)

A great option for growing businesses, your website is stored on a virtual server that has been configured to act like multiple dedicated servers.

This means your website is allocated a dedicated amount of disk space and bandwidth, and can run its own operating system and applications. VPS hosting is also more secure, and offers a greater degree of flexibility than shared hosting.

If you’re looking for value for money, A2 offers excellent VPS plans for a great price.

  • Greater flexibility for growing businesses
  • Greater range of features and functionality
  • More affordable than a dedicated server
  • Setup demands more technical expertise
  • You may not be issued with your own IP address, and may have to share with unscrupulous sites – which could damage your ranking


Your website is stored alone on a single server. As you’re allocated 100% of the server’s resources, your website should experience faster load times, better uptime, and enhanced security.

Dedicated hosting gives you maximum control over the applications and operating system, meaning you can customise the server to the needs of your business website.

If dedicated hosting sounds like the option for you, check out the great plans on offer from Bluehost and HostGator.

  • Enhanced performance, security, and reliability
  • Maximum control and flexibility over the server
  • A unique IP address, ensuring your ranking won’t be damaged by other sites
  • The most expensive option
  • Requires much more technical know-how
  • The physical server is still the property of the hosting provider


Your website data is spread across multiple servers, which are all connected through the cloud. This makes cloud hosting a highly flexible, scalable and reliable option for small businesses.

As there’s no need to maintain any hardware, cloud hosting can be cheaper, too. There’s also a diminished risk to your data, and disaster recovery from the cloud is easier than from a physical server.

Does cloud hosting seem like the best option for your small business? Check out A2Hosting’s excellent cloud plans here.

  • Reduced costs compared to a physical server
  • Easier to scale your plan
  • Disaster recovery is easier
  • The cloud can be more vulnerable to data breaches than a physical server
  • Likewise, access to your data is entirely reliant on access to the internet


As a hosting reseller, you buy a large amount of server storage space and bandwidth from a provider at a wholesale rate. You then sell some of your allocated server space to other business websites for a profit. Essentially, you’re becoming a small-scale hosting provider.

Why would you choose this option? It’s common for web designers or developers to become hosting resellers as an extension of their service. It allows them to offer hosting and domain services to clients instead of passing them on to a third party provider.

Buehost offers its reseller plans through provider ResllerClub.

  • Make a profit from your hosting plan
  • Run a hosting business with minimal upfront costs and maintenance
  • Maintain relationships with valuable clients
  • Your hosting business is vulnerable to technical issues from your hosting provider, which you have no control over
  • Technical knowledge required

What’s included in your hosting plan?

Hosting is a highly competitive industry. And, in their drive to match each other's offerings, you’ll find that many providers’ plans are somewhat uniform.

This can make it hard to choose between them, but it does help you to understand what you should expect as a minimum from the best web hosting providers.

From our research, a basic plan should include most of the following:

  • Free domain
  • 24/7 hosting
  • Free SSL certificate
  • 99.9% uptime rate (minimum)
  • A money back guarantee
  • Unmetered/unlimited storage and bandwidth

Unlimited and unmetered

It’s important to note that unlimited and unmetered don’t actually mean unlimited or unmetered.

Your hosting provider will base your allowance on what it deems to be ‘normal’ usage of data/bandwidth.

Normal usage is determined by regularly examining customer usage data, then using statistical analysis to define normal.

What happens if you exceed your usage? Nothing too bad in normal cases. For example, Bluehost’s shared usage policy states that it will send you an email asking you to reduce usage, which you have 48 hours to respond to. Some providers may impose fines for repeat offenders.

Of course, you can always upgrade to a larger plan if you need more storage and bandwidth.

via by Henry Williams, Khareem Sudlow