How to Host Your Web Site

PublisherSol Minion Developmenthttps: Small Business infrastructure

There are plenty of options out there and most business owners rely on their technology team to make that decision. While it's certainly a good idea to take their advice into account, the decision about where to host the site should really be in your hands. If you don't have an in-house Web team, your resources may change, but you need consistency when it comes to your site. Make sure you have some control over the hosting and make sure you know the requirements of your Web site.

I find that most business owners really don't want to think about where their site is hosted, they just want it online. That's a double-edged sword. First, you're putting absolute faith in the Web team or company managing your digital presence and assuming that they will always be there as long as your business is alive and well. Second, you're assuming that the service is being managed and will always be secure. While it's important that you do what you're good at (running your business, of course), having access to your site is important for a great many reasons.


You don't need to micro-manage technology, but make sure you have administrative rights over who has access to the server. If, for some reason, your relationship with your Web team goes south or if they go bankrupt and disappear overnight, you want to be able to lock them out or hand the reigns over to another. You might have to enlist a tech-savvy friend to do it, but make sure you have some control over the hosting account and server.


If you decide to look for hosting yourself so you can get something like DreamHost, Rackspace, or Hostgator setup, make sure you get a list of system requirements from your Web team. These hosts don't always keep up with the latest versions of server software and content management systems like Joomla and Magento all have specific requirements. It's also good to know they're using supported versions of server software so that security fixes can be installed should a situation arise.


It really depends on the situation. That said, we use a Kansas-based hosting provider for some of our clients. For those that want a little more control, we love DigitalOcean. A great advantage here is that your Web team can set up the server for you and then have them transfer an entire snapshot of the server (called a Droplet) over to your own DigitalOcean account. They also have automated backups for an extra 20% charge. If we manage the server instance under our own account, we do charge a management fee over the actual cost of hosting, but it's still very affordable.

Some other great hosting providers are Hostgator and Rackspace. Both use a Web-based administration tool called cPanel that makes things relatively easy to setup for just about anyone. My preference for DigitalOcean lies more in the fact that I'm not a fan of cPanel than Hostgator or Rackspace being inadequate. As long as they can meet the requirements your development team outlines, host with your favorite.