Small Business Website & Blog Options
(Comparing Apples, Oranges, and Bananas)
Long before everyone was buzzing about cloud computing, companies like BlueHost and Godaddy were selling shared hosting plans to many businesses that only needed websites, blogs, and online storefronts. So why is today any different? Well, it ready isn’t. But there are more options now like cheap virtual private servers (but that’s another post).
Let’s consider for example if you are a Real Estate Consultant, Attorney, Accountant or some other professional service. And all you want is a presence on the web where you can post contact information and maybe a blog that shares information about services you offer. Well, hosting is still a good choice. And here’s why…
Because unlike the cloud in most cases, hosting companies offer easy user portals for most novices to deploy a WordPress website that can be easily customized with a theme and plugins that are tailored for any specific needs like calendars, social networks, and newsletters.
Small Business Websites
Here’s a screenshot of my Godaddy One-click application portal. It’s as easy as choosing an application and following a system of answering questions to complete the installation. Voilà … minutes later you are online!
Compared to whereas most cloud providers are giving you a full server instance that will require an experienced system administrator and developer to set up and code a solution for your system needs. Now granted, maybe you have outgrown the hosting solution and want to expand your services to more powerful servers. In this case, AWS or Azure may be the right choice.
But on the other hand, if you are just beginning and you only need a basic website then a shared hosting service provider like Bluehost or Godaddy is perfect to get you started. And there are many examples on the web where you can find step by step guides for setting up a website in a few minutes.
Comparing Cloud Vs Hosting
So before you dive into the deep end and spend $50 -$100 a month for a full VPS (Virtual Private Server), all you may need is a hosting account that costs $5 – $10 per month and lets you build multiple websites with a few clicks using their self-service software packages (screenshot above).
As a matter of fact, CloudHelp.org is currently running WordPress on Godaddy hosting and I am very satisfied with the features and performance. And another thing is most hosting companies allow their customers to scale up to VPS or dedicated servers as they grow.
Whereas with the cloud, AWS or Azure will start you off on a VPS or PaaS, and billing will be per-use, whereas hosting companies will charge a set price per month regardless how much storage or bandwidth is used, or depending on the plan you’ve chosen.
The tail of the tape comparison on hosting versus cloud.
1. Small needs like websites and blogs are perfect for shared hosting. They can also be set up by most novice users via the self-service dashboard. Other use-cases for a shared hosting plan are for photo galleries and landing pages for sales funnels.
2. Medium needs requiring back-end servers and databases can use VPS hosting or cloud but will require someone who can set up more complex configurations. Also serving videos is a specialty that will also require more powerful servers, networking, and a more complex set up.
3. Medium to large server needs can be hosted on VPS or dedicated servers via hosting or cloud and will begin to cost much more per month than most small businesses will want to pay and are overkill for basic websites and blogs.
4. Large and more powerful computing needs are better served by cloud services that are built and designed to provide high SLAs and redundant locations for disaster recovery. Most hosting plans are hosted in a single location and lack the ability to scale to large workloads capable of supporting large company compute needs. That said, many hosting companies are evolving their services into more cloud-like systems.
For some, it’s all about the bottom line and lower costs, where for others it’s more of a preference. But if you are a small business comparing cloud versus hosting for your companies new website or blog a shared hosting plan on Godaddy, HostGator or BlueHost is probably a better and more cost-effective solution then trying to jump straight into a cloud solution.
Here are links* to all 3 hosting companies mentioned in this article for you to compare:
Click Here to visit HostGator
Click Here to visit Godaddy
Click Here to visit BlueHost
*Note: these are all affiliate links.