Web Hosting for Businesses: A Beginners Guide

Before understanding web hosting for businesses, it is important to ensure you have a little bit of background about how web servers work in general and what sort of options are available for any website or business owner.

Servers and the Internet

Basically, any website that you can reach on the internet has its data running on a computer called a server. When most people think of servers, they picture large racks of dozens of servers in a large cabinet surrounded by air conditioning or being cooled with fluids. This image is of a server farm. Although large server farms are common and important, each of the individual computers on a rack is still an individual server capable of hosting many websites’ data and making it openly available for people to find online.

Where a personal computer is made for a human to be able to interact easily with the internet and applications or programs on that computer, servers are made to interact with other computers. Servers are therefore a bridge that everyone’s personal computers have to cross over to get to something that other people want to share. For example, a business’s website.

web hosting for business

Who Can Have Servers?

Anybody can have servers, provided they are willing to pay for the hardware and other associated costs. For some, it may seem like obtaining servers and having the latest and greatest tech available with full customization to your needs is the best option. But before jumping to conclusions, it is important to consider the cons.

Buying your own servers can result in:

  1. Resistance to change due to sunk costs, as you’re stuck with outdated tech and software over time, but not able to financially justify upgrades to service
  2. Expensive capital investment for hardware and installation as well as predictable long-term maintenance costs for many hours of upkeep per month
  3. Potential risk compared to larger more qualified leasing options for servers

Historically, web hosting for businesses involved large companies operating their own servers and maintaining those facilities by themselves. But since the mid-1990s, web hosting businesses began providing rental services so that smaller businesses and individuals could pay lower fees, while also outsourcing the technical expertise you would need at all levels to run those servers, keep them maintained and secure, and so on.

A large company like Google has over 2.5 million servers. Thanks to innovations like cloud technology, even some of the largest companies are outsourcing large degrees of their needs. Some common companies people outsource to are Google, Microsoft (Azure), Alibaba, Oracle, IBM, Amazon, and other huge Cloud providers. Web hosting businesses that market towards helping other, smaller businesses get online and provide proprietary web-building tools and domain names will either run their own servers or operate like brokers who can help get your business leasing from a large provider’s servers. 

Benefits of Web Hosting Businesses

As mentioned earlier, web hosting businesses can help you spend less while still being able to get crucial online connectivity. Other benefits also include:

  1. Reliability: Trusting other more professional and established companies to care for their servers, especially when their business model relies entirely upon near 100% up-time, helps you trust that your website will be working 24/7.
  2. Easy Website Building: Many web hosting services also offer platform tools that enable a relatively low hassle experience in putting together a website. In comparison, building one from scratch would be either labor-intensive for you or expensive to outsource to professional web designers.
  3. Speed: From the outset, going through a web hosting business will accelerate how quickly you can get a website up and running. However, your website’s performance will also benefit tremendously in terms of loading speeds and the risk of crashing.
  4. Security: Professional web hosting businesses ensure the security of data for you and your visitors.
  5. Customer Service: With dedicated and responsive technical support, any time that something goes wrong there is a team devoted to being able to immediately address issues.
  6. Email and Domain Name: Many web hosting businesses are also domain name registrars that will get you set up with the domain name you need for your business. These platforms can also create business emails that refer back to your company name (example: @seodesignchicago) instead of Gmail, Hotmail, or other common personal emails.

There are many different web hosting businesses that offer varieties of services and options. These options will allow you to customize the service to your needs. You should look into the best web hosting services and familiarize yourself with the market before deciding which one you will use.

types of website hosting

Are There Free Web Hosting Businesses?

The short answer is yes. However, as with almost everything that is free, it leads to monetization in other ways. It can have considerable drawbacks compared to paid services.

Your website could end up being plagued by advertisements, poor functionality, slow speeds, insecure data, requests to pay for upgrades, and generally limiting and reputation-diminishing website building quality. Due to these concerns, it might be the best fit for a serious business to invest in web hosting for businesses. If you already have a bad website situation or have other reasons for needing changes, you can pursue website migration services instead of starting over.

What Types of Web Hosting Businesses Are There?

If only it were as easy as googling “website hosting business” and finding just the one that you need. In reality, there are many different types of web hosting businesses. As you conduct your search, you will want to be sure that you are looking for the right company based on your needs.

Cloud-Based Hosting

Hosting through cloud-based services runs single websites through multiple servers. This provides many layers that improve performance and avoid crucial failures and crashes. Since no website is ever tied to just one server (or any set number), cloud-based web hosting enables scalable usage. This can help to make costs more specific to people and can save them money by minimizing waste.

Shared Hosting

One of the more common methods of web hosting for small businesses involves sharing a server with many other websites. This method is the cheapest as all of the website owners leasing the server share the cost. However, there are negatives such as potential conflict and slow loading times that can occur as a result of sharing servers.

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Dedicated Hosting

Instead of sharing a server with other websites, you could trade the reduced costs for full control over how you want the server to work. That is what is called dedicated hosting. Paying for your own dedicated servers replicates many of the benefits of having your own server farms. In particular, you benefit from customized functionality. Dedicated hosting can also help you get more personalized customer service with more emphasis on your website’s needs. Lastly, dedicated hosting improves the performance of websites and can aid in enhancing customer experience.

How to Start With Web Hosting

Ready to start finding a website host for your business? Follow these steps!

Domain Names

Just as your business needs to have a name, making a website starts with choosing a domain name. Domain names connect an IP address that computers can locate with a displayed title that humans are capable of understanding. It is also important for branding that all of your associated web presence comes back to a website name that matches how people are familiar with you and your business. You can get a free domain name through some web hosting services. But you do have other options like purchasing and owning one or renting one.

Types of Domain Names

Domain names will end in a variety of things, which are called the Top Level Domain. There is the well-known “.com,” but also “.net,” “.org,” “.gov,” and so on. Your Second Level Domain is the title of your website. For example, “SeoDesignChicago.” Both of these should be professional and make sense. Obviously, when a university or government entity has a website, their extension will have a Second Level Domain that says “.edu” or “.gov” respectively. Simplicity rules, though. So for your business, a typical extension of “.com” or “.net” should be fine. 

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Picking a Web Hosting Service

If you already have a domain name through a registrar, your next steps are going to be choosing web hosting businesses and creating your website. You’ll need to have a working website for a server to do anything with. But you will simultaneously need servers in some fashion for any website to be available online!

Take Your Website from Planning to Published

If you are looking for the best web host for small businesses, SEO Design Chicago has a wealth of information and expertise. Everything from creation and execution to the marketing of your business’s web presence can be done with the help of our expert team.


  • What are servers?
  • Who can have a server?
  • How many servers does Google have?
  • What are the types of web hosting services?
  • What are examples of domain names?

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