Everything your startup needs to know about hosting
When you’re just starting out in the world of business you need a lot of things in your favour. Startups must have a strong idea that fills a gap in the market and attracts enough revenue from customers to make it pay. They need to keep a close control on spending and, importantly, they need to be found.
The very bare minimum to help with this is a website. This is in turn a signposting device to get people to contact you, a resource to spread news about your products and services and a showcase of your work to help you to build a reputation in your sector.
A website is a must, but as with everything worth doing for a startup, it costs money. You need to design and launch your page, yes, but you also need it to be hosted in a safe and secure corner of the internet so that it continues to serve your needs. Here’s what you need to know about going about this:
You have a couple of options when it comes to web hosting
You can choose to either use your own dedicated server or go for a shared option.
Dedicated, as the name suggests, is your own personal server. This is much more affordable than it would have been years ago but does still come at a price. For your money, you buy yourself freedom and flexibility and that is a real positive. The question is, with a product or service to launch, a building to find, staff to pay and marketing to start – can you afford another cost? Do you even need your own dedicated server?
Chances are, as a start up, you can afford to go for a more affordable option if you wish. Cloud technology, in particular, means that sharing can be much simpler and cut the cost drastically. Entrepreneur has compiled a handy list of ten options that startups have in this field.
Shared servers are not without their issues, though. They are cheaper – probably the same in a year as a month of a dedicated server – but they offer much less freedom and flexibility. That means you might struggle to scale up further down the line and might compromise your security a little.Green Geeks, handily, describes it like living in an apartment where you have a shared common space with your neighbours.
VPS – a virtual private server – aims to bridge the gap, giving you a dedicated space, but in a shared hosting environment. You get more flexibility and freedom, but have to pay a little more too.
You have to weigh up cost – but also the specific needs of your business. A small webpage with contact details and a brief summary of your business needs less than a company that wishes to sell goods online or take the important private data of customers.
What’s a VPN and why do I need one?
Safety and flexibility are high on the priority list for many businesses and these need to be considered alongside any choice about hosting.
Firms who want their employees to be able to safely access work networks, software and systems from afar need a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
This is also important in terms of security. Privacy Online explains how you can secure your data, avoid being tracked and hide from hackers with a VPN.
Choose a relationship that bears these features in mind to have peace of mind.