What to Look For in Business Hosting Packages
Business hosting packages requirements vary based on the scope of the business itself. While businesses that have grown beyond the scope of shared hosting, or enterprise class businesses require the ultimate levels of security, flexibility, control; an assortment of select software resources, and performance as well as reliability, small and medium business cannot compromise on reliability, performance and security if they are to remain in the game. Business hosting packages, in short, should include essential pre-requisites required for the business websites to deliver on their commitments
Reliability and Redundancy
Downtime is detrimental to business websites. These sites have to be perpetually online in order to make the best use of time zone differences, being accessible to all its users across the globe. Business hosting packages should support at least 99 % online availability, minimizing downtime at every possible instance, be it scheduled or unscheduled server outages by adopting relevant redundancy measures. This would ensure that the contents of the website are available or accessible from an alternate back up source, if an untoward incident takes place.
All serious businesses value data security when it comes to transactional or personal data required to carry out business functions. While virus and malware may have a direct impact on the performance and usage of a website, data hacks exposing personal or corporate information may mar the image of the business totally. Small businesses should look for SSL certification support to ensure that their websites are accessed in a secure mode.
Bandwidth influences the performance of the website, with disk space also playing a vital role in storing temporary details of any transactions that may be in progress. Adequate availability of both bandwidth and disk space is mandatory for the website to impress the visitor. These factors, however, depend on the exact nature and size of the business. Webmasters should opt for business packages that are suitable to their resource consumption pattern and requirements.
Not all Internet users are tech-savvy, neither are all webmasters technology geeks. Technical support is one essential factor that governs the usability of the website, with support personnel instantly helping users to tide over any technical difficulties that arise while visiting the site or navigating the website pages. Webmasters too may require technical help at any stage, right from development and deployment of the website components, to managing hardware resources and site functions.
E-commerce websites that support online payments should look for secure integration with payment gateways, such that online payment services such as PayPal are accessible.
Access to the Web Server
Business websites may not necessarily be created right on the web server. Business firms that can afford an in-house IT department often choose to develop the website at their premises and upload the final content on to the web server. Hosting service providers should allow for direct FTP access to the web server to speed up the process of publishing a website on the Internet.
Large businesses may, however, check out dedicated hosting as well as virtual private network options, so that they can exercise greater control over the software and disk space, leaving the maintenance and management tasks to the service provider. Businesses should opt for the right business hosting services that best meet essential requirements of reliability, security, performance and technical support. Price is only a secondary factor, as investments are recoverable over a time period. Well-implemented business websites usually guarantee decent returns over time, either through advertising or affiliate marketing programs.