The size of the web hosting company you choose for your online business will really depend on the size and scope of your own business.
Big vs. Small in Your Own Business
If you are running a business that relies totally on the web, choosing a cheap hosting company may mean that you are choosing one that is plagued with sluggish service and frequent breakdowns which may spell the doom of your business. If your business model is dependent on the number of visitors and search engine rankings, you will have to stay with premium servers in order to survive. Content based websites, such as blogs and other sites that rely on online advertising need high performance servers.
If, on the other hand, you use your website primarily as an advertising medium for an existing offline business, you probably don’t need a big important web hosting company to host your website. There are perfectly decent web hosting companies who can do the job for as little as three or four dollars a month. Just don’t expect too much from them, other than a live site. You do have to take into account your future plans for your business, because if you hope to expand and start to do internet marketing at a future date, do you really want to start the process over again with a new web hosting company?
What To Look For
Think about what your current business needs are, and then factor in your future plans. You need to examine the following features normally offered by web hosting companies: storage space, data transfer (bandwidth) capability and extra features offered, such as scripts, statistics, etc.
Once you have decided what is important for your current and future business, you have to compare the pricing of the various offers for the services offered. At this point, it becomes a simple matter of comparison and you can even set up a small spreadsheet to compare features vs. price. Is additional storage space worth an extra $20 per month, if you are only going to be using about half of it anyway? Depending on the functionality of your site, do you need addons such as shopping carts or statistics? List the basic hosting price, the prices of all of the added features, and then make your comparisons.
Free vs. Paid
If a cheap hosting site is subject to sluggish performance and breakdowns, what do you think happens with a free one? Regardless of the size of your business, no businessman wants to take a chance on his site not responding when a customer is accessing it. If your business is small and starts to grow, you may even be at risk of losing service completely, since the bandwidths offered by free sites is very limited and if you grow too much, you may simply outgrow them and be shut down!
Darren writes on many topics including technology, free people search, social media and social networks.