Hosting Considerations for Business Websites

Published
07/12/2015 by Edirex

If your company wants to be accessible online, website hosting services are one of the choices you are going to need to make. Web host vendors either lease server space, or own their own server, to provide connectivity to their customers. They may also offer colocation for other company servers, at their onsite data center.  



Web hosting services vary depending upon the space taken up on a server. The more basic type is web page or smaller scale hosting where your files may be uploaded through a web interface (commonly known as file transfer protocol or FTP). Typically, hosting a personal website is far less expensive than a business site.


If your site uses a database or developmental platforms (such as PHP, ColdFusion or Java) which allow you to write and install scripts, your hosting needs are more complex and will be priced accordingly. Certain hosts will specialize in software or support - such as for e-commerce - which are utilized by larger companies that may outsource their networking infrastructure.


Reliability

Availability - this percentage is calculated by measuring the time your website is reachable and accessible by the public. Subtract from this the time your host has scheduled downtimes for system maintenance.


Uptime - the amount of time the host’s system is online. This figure does not include any time the account is down due to a network outage.


Types of Hosting

Free hosting - generally offered in connection with trial services, or when combined with other functions provided by the hosting company.


Shared hosting - your site occupies space on the same server as many other websites. The services offered are basic. Web designers may offer shared services for their clients.


Reseller hosting - allows you to become a reseller for your own clients. You may have your own virtual dedicated server to a colocation. Resellers typically provide technical support as well.


Dedicated hosting - a customer gets their own server and gains a modicum of control (though not ownership). How much control is determined by whether you:


  1. Opt for unmanaged hosting service; you are responsible for maintenance as well as security.

  2. Choose managed hosting; you can manage your data via remote tools or FTP, but you do not have root access. These limitations allow the provider to block the system from being modified - allowing guaranteed quality of service.


Colocation hosting - this is similar to dedicated hosting, except that you own your server. The provider offers the physical space and takes care of the server. Typically you will have your own administrator go to the site to make upgrades and changes.


Cloud hosting - this type of hosting is scalable and based upon clustered loads and power usage. Clouds are less problematic in the event of a natural disaster because other computers in the cloud can compensate for downtime of another. The negative here is that data is not centralized, which might be a security or privacy concern, depending on the industry of your business.