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As a small business owner, your Website may be the main or sole source of your income. A large percentage of small businesses begin on the Internet and maintain most of their business this way. For this reason, it is very important that you choose the right hosting plan, while not overspending your budget. It can be hard to strike a balance between cheap hosting intended for individuals and expensive hosting intended for those who sell a slew of products on their Website. The top things to keep in mind when looking for a hosting plan for your small business are:
- First, since you are not selling any products online and will be using your Website to promote yourself and your services, a shared hosting plan should be sufficient.
- You may be able to find a good shared server hosting plan, with a good amount of space and bandwidth, for as little as $9 per month. Although there are cheaper hosting plans available, a plan that is $8-$10 per month will usually have certain extras that you will need to help promote yourself and measure your visitor activity, such as Google AdWords/Yahoo! Search Marketing credits and Website statistics.
- If you do not know how to build your own Website using a program like Microsoft FrontPage, and you do not have Website builder software on your computer, then you are going to need to make sure that you have a plan that includes web hosting with site builder.
- An SSL may be appropriate if your are collecting/sending customer information – including non-credit card data.
The most important thing for you to remember is that you should try to offer payment options outside of direct payment through your Website. If you are a services based business, you are likely to have returning clients which will make check, money order, or Paypal payment options easier. Accepting money directly through your Website may end up costing your more money than it is worth, and should be reserved for those who sell products via their Website on a daily basis.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|