Web hosting was once a luxury among business owners. If you, as a business owner, did not absolutely need a website, it was silly to outlay that expense for unproven advertising on this thing the kids called the “internet.”
But in the 21st century web design and web hosting have become accessible to the masses thanks to many changes to web programming and server technology. However, even as a business owner there are certain things you need from a web host if you are a “small business,” and if you are online conducting transactions as a “business” website.
Small Business Websites
When we talk about a small business website it usually refers to a website for a local neighborhood or community business that simply has an internet presence and not much more. A website for a small business is much like a Yellow Pages advertisement – just the basic facts.
Characteristics of a small business website
- – “Brochure” website – A “brochure” website is just that. It gives the basic who, what, and where of a business.
- – Static – This means there is not much interaction between the web visitor and the website. Visitors merely click from page to page and read what is provided, and do not give any input.
- – Informative – A small business website is more like an online advertisement with the who, what, and where.
- – 4-5 Pages – These sites have just a few pages usually with a welcome or “Home” page, an “About Us” page, a page with items or services for sale, and a “Contact Us” page.
- – Affordable (not ‘cheap’) – Small businesses just need to “hang a shingle” on the internet. Thus, basic affordable hosting for just a few bucks a month is suitable.
- – Easy account control and access – Small business owners are not typically web gurus. An easy access control panel is usually appreciated.
In contrast, business websites are those sites that need a bit more from a web host. More resources, more space, more bandwidth, more features, etc.
Characteristics of a Business Website
- – Interactive – Business websites are usually interactive. Whether selling goods or simply collecting email addresses from visitors, these sites requires more advanced programming for user interaction.
- – Frequent updates – A business website will likely have more frequent updates. Examples of frequent updates might include blog posts, new product photos, and new SEO landing pages.
- – e-Commerce transactions – Business is actually transacted on these sites. Goods or services are sold through a virtual “shopping cart”, and money is exchanged online.
- – Suitable bandwidth – Visitor traffic is usually higher and growing for an online business website.
- – ECommerce support – In order to conduct business, support is needed for shopping cart, merchant accounts, and gateway software.
- – Scalability – Business websites sometime outgrow their hosting plan and need to move up to a bigger plan with more resources.
Whether you are a “Mom & Pop” retail store in your local neighborhood, or a growing small business reaching for a more national market, you have certain needs from your web host. Be sure you analyze exactly what you need and anticipate your future needs as well before you determine what type of plan you choose.
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