Modern small businesses, aspiring bloggers, and others who wish to establish a significant presence online are all faced with the bane that is bandwidth. The way you choose to go about everything from your website design to your monthly marketing projections depends on the level of sophistication you want your web hosting to be.
Corporations and other entities with big budgets and a large payroll utilize armies of IT whizzes to service an independent online infrastructure. The rest of us have other options to choose from. Those include independent use of ISP web space, free web hosting, domain hosting, shared web hosting, and server colocation.
Deciding which one to choose is, once again, based almost entirely on the amount of traffic you anticipate, and therefore the amount of bandwidth you need.
ISP/Free Web Hosting
This is ideal if you only need a light internet presence and expect virtually no traffic, at least hourly traffic. You basically utilize some free space your Internet Service Provider allows for each subscriber to access for personal use. This option is perfect for those seeking personality-driven careers such as those in broadcasting and other media, where a simple online profile suffices. Free web hosting is virtually identical and is ideal for the same ambitions, but equally unsatisfactory for anything else.
Those who want their own URL, but can’t afford hosting options can buy their own domain and still use the space provided by the ISP or free hosting service. Once again, this is ideal for those who need simple a profile presence online and not much else, as this allows such an entity to get a more professional-looking URL without the added cost of the paid host. However, the rules regarding traffic still apply as bandwidth is extremely limited when the hosting is paid for by advertising.
Shared Hosting Service
Most small companies that can’t afford the IT staff necessary to operate their online infrastructure through a dedicated hosting service choose to go with a shared hosting service. As the name suggests, companies pay for space on a server operated and managed offsite that is used by other entities as well. This puts the responsibilities of server function in the hands of a management team you pay for through your subscription, allowing you to focus solely on design and marketing when it comes to your website presence.
This option can be thought of as the go-between of shared hosting services and dedicated servers. Colocation involves using space on a server owned and used primarily by a single entity. This means the price of bandwidth is reduced compared to other options available to small businesses. But in order to enjoy the savings, you must have the IT staff necessary to manage the server yourself, or else you pay for the provider to do the management for you. It’s a good choice for those who were serious about establishing a dedicated server system of online management but want to either prevent having to hire more IT staff or wade into the waters of the dedicated server.
Those with unlimited business ambitions, but limited means to manage their own online presence, have a few options to choose from. Whether one or another is the best choice is dependent on workforce, capital, and expectations. Websites can grow with the business. The way you manage web hosting can change as your focus changes. Picking the right hosting option is a lot less troublesome knowing it’s something that can always be adjusted.