For most small businesses, having a web site is not an option ó itís a requirement.

At their base levels, websites are nothing more than information on a computer connected to the Internet. Some are more elaborate than others ó some have advanced programs and some get a lot of traffic. Different websites require different web hosts, the computers on which websites reside.
There are five main types of web hosting arrangements that vary by capability, performance (speed and maximum traffic) and price.

Your company should go with the least expensive option that satisfies your needs, and then move up as needed. Many hosting companies, like GoDaddy, offer you additional incentives, such as free advertising for your website on Google, Bing and Facebook.

You are probably also going to want to have an e-mail address with your companyís web site. Many hosting providers offer this service. However, email services may not be a hosting providerís strength or might come with big limitations. You may want to use Google to set up a free business email.

Your company should compare web-hosting services to find the best match for your small business. Here is a summary of the types web-hosting services available.

Shared hosting

The vast majority of small businesses can get everything they need with shared hosting for less than $10 per month. Thatís where your website pages and assets (such as videos, programs, and forms) sit on a small portion of a disk on a single computer that also hosts lots of other websites. Itís like sharing a room in a house.

Since youíre sharing that one computer and its Internet connection, this is very inexpensive. But it also lacks the flexibility that you would have on your own computer, such as incorporating certain features. In addition, if one website hogs the computer, it may slow your website.
GoDaddyís Deluxe shared hosting package hosts your website and mobile site 24 hours daily for $5.99 per month. Like other shared hosts, somebody else runs the computer, and in this case, you also can call for support 24/7.

Virtual Private Server (VPS)

Imagine being on a shared computer, but always having the same amount of the computer and Internet connection so that others canít hog it. Thatís the advantage that VPS has over shared hosting. While generally similar and slightly more expensive than shared hosting, VPS provides you with a dedicated amount of the computer, so the other websites have little impact on yours. You may also get more control over what you can put on the system. Typical cost: $20 to $150 per month.

Cloud hosting

Cloud hosting is still pretty new, but promises to offer low prices like shared or VPS with advanced features and the ability to scale your hosting as your needs grow or shrink.

Dedicated server

A dedicated server, at $100 to $250 per month, is like having your own house. Your website is the only one on that computer, so its resources are dedicated to you and you can make changes as you see fit. Itís more expensive, but it gives you the ability to run programs and add features that the less expensive alternatives wonít allow.

Co-location facility

Think of a co-location service as owning a plot of land in a neighborhood. You buy your own computer (instead of renting a computer as in the first three alternatives), and then put that computer in a facility (such as your local phone company). The facility can manage it for you, and connect it by fast lines to the Internet. ďCo-loĒ normally costs $200 or more monthly in addition to the cost of the equipment that you provide.

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