If your just starting a new Business and you will have a Website, then you already know you will need some kind of Hosting Plan to run your website. For just running a website such as a Landing Page, Company Profile page etc, there are plenty of Hosting Companies to choose from, however, these plans are generally not designed to run your Business Operations and Mission Critical applications. While Hosting Plans will offer you quite a lot of choices, many will be Shared Servers, which means many customers on one physical server, and your Shared Host will be a Virtual Server. The down side of Shared Servers is that for running your Operational Applications, there are many restrictions. You will have little control over what you can install, and even less access to maintain the server as you may need. You likely will not have access to Root, which is a critical account that will allow you to install, configure, and run pretty much anything you need to.. This is where a VPS (Virtual Private Server) becomes important.
With a VPS Server, you will basically have the keys to the castle to install and run what ever applications your needs require. Another good reason to consider a VPS Server is that Operational Applications can get expensive. While many don't require anything more then a PC to run, their are usually Subscription or License costs associated with them. This would include applications such as Accounting and Invoicing like Quickbooks, FreshBooks, or Zoho Books. These will all do what you need, but you will have to pay a monthly subscription fee.
If you, like me, want to keep your operational costs low, and you have the skill set for it, you may want to consider Open Source, Self-Hosted Solutions. In general, while there are little or no costs to use the Applications, you will need a server to install and run them from. This is where choosing a VPS Server comes in. With a VPS you can simply install the applications you need on your own Virtual Private Server. VPS Hosting plan prices vary widely based on what kind of Server Profile you need. The profile refers to the hardware, how much CPU, Memory, and Disk you need to run your applications. The more powerful the server, the more expensive the monthly plan.
There are a number of VPS Hosting Companies out there, some offer more features then others, from the flavor of Operating System, Server Applications, etc. I tend to gravitate towards a company that offers the right amount of Server Profiles and Applications to meet my needs without being overwhelmed with a ton of extras that I will never use. Running a Business and setting up your Operations environment can be confusing enough, there is no need to be confused with too many choices wondering if you've made the right one.
I currently use Vultr.com for my VPS Server. They have just the right mix of Server Profile choices, OS Flavors, and Additional Applications, all of which you can deploy and be up and running in a matter of minutes with only a couple clicks of your mouse.
If you are interested in getting a VPS Server for your Business Operations, I highly recommend Vultr! If you use the link below, you will get $10 credit for your new account. Check them out, you won't be disappointed!
Choosing the Type of Host that fits your needs.
Types of Web Hosting
All Hosting Companies offer a wide variety of plans, each plan is designed for a certain set of requirements. Let's briefly discuss the differnt Hosting Types.
Dedicated Hosting: – A dedicated Host is about the most expensive of all the Hosting Plans. This is generally as it's name suggests, your very own, physical dedicated server. With a Dedicated Server, you can customise just about every aspect of your server. This however, requires the most amount of skill, and certainly not for anyone new to administeringing their own server.
Advantages: Your own Server. You can install and configure the server as your requirement call for. Great for Hosting Resellers, Developers, or running Business Operational Applications. Root Access.
Disadvantages: Steep learning curve. Expereicne required to maintain it and of course, the cost. They can be quite expensive.
VPS Hosting (Virtual Private Server): – While similar to a Dedicated Sever, you have full control over the server. You can customise them as you see fit and install what ever you need. Unlike a Dedicated Server, a VPS is a "Virtual" server. This means that the VPS is deployed on a physical server, but through the use of a Control Panel, multiple Virtual Servers can be deployed on one physical server.
These tend to be much less expensive, and while the Physical Hardware is shared, the Virtual Hardware Profile is completely determined by your requirements and the plan you choose. It's a great alternative to a Dedicated Server, and will meet pretty much all your needs.
Advantages: Less expensive then a Dedicated Server, with pretty much all the customization you need. Access to Root.
Disadvantages: More then one would need for just a Standard Website, or Smaller E-Commerce Site.
Shared Hosting: – Shared Hosting is the most widely used type of server. Hosting Companies generally have many different Shared Plans based on Server Performance, Size of your site, and other considerations, including cost. It's one of the least expensive types of Hosting Plans, and while every this from the Physical Hardware, and much of the Software (such as OS, Web Server etc) are all shared. Each user on a Shared Hosting Plan gets their own Shared Server. These generally run on very powerful Physical Servers so there are many users all sharing resources. While each Share has it's own slice of those resources, everyone is still running on the same server. This means that there are far less areas you would be able to customize. However, they generally provide a host of Applications and Tools to build your website. Many use the commend Control Panel setup called CPanel. This allows you to easily install applications on your Web Host, and usually comes with very easy to use Web Site Builders to help you get your site online quickly.
Advantages: Low Cost, Very Small Learning Curve, Easy to use, Sets up in minutes.
Disadvantages: Usually limited to the Software provided by the Hosting Company. No control over the Server Settings, and no Root Access.
Cloud Hosting - Rather then one Physical or Virtual Server, a Cloud Host is a pool of hardware resources configured to act as a single server. It can offer the benefits of a Dedicated or VPS Server, giving you more control over your server then you would have on a Shared Plan, but at t price point that makes them pretty affordable for just about all budgets. You have for more configuration abilities with some restrictions. You will want to check with the Hosting provider to see what features they offer. I have seen a wide range of features based on the Hosting Provider. Cloud Hosting is great if you need a highly reliable server with virtually no down time. Since the resources are pooled being negatively affected by hardware failures are a thing of the past.
Advantages: Highly reliable, medium cost, usually comes with a Control Penal to easily install your applications, and build a website.
Disadvantages: Does require more experience then Shared Hosting, Many require more resources to maintain then Shared.
If your looking for a great Hosting Company that offers All the Hosting Plans discussed above, check out Site Ground. All of their plans are highly reliable. Their hardware is Optimized for Speed and Performance, and they offer a plan for just about every requirement you may have!