Finding a Hosting Company For Your SOHO (Small Office, Home Office)

When you are on the hunt for a new web hosting company you can immediately notice that your job will not be an easy one. There are thousands of companies that offer very similar packages. How can you find the right hosting company for your SOHO?

Small office owners and home office owners generally have different needs from personal or corporate site owners. While you may not need a dedicated server, you certainly will need more functionality that a basic web hosting package.

There are specific features that a SOHO will need in a web hosting company.

1. A shopping cart that is included and easy to use. Home office owners do not have extra time to spend configuring complicated shopping carts. If you are trying to juggle three kids, a husband and a new company, the last thing you need is a complicated cart. Try to find a hosting company that will provide a cart that is already set-up and ready for you to use.

2. Mailing list software that can be easily integrated with your shopping cart. Being able to save time sending out customer emails is a real benefit. Many shopping carts will allow you to run a newsletter from within the application. If you can’t find one that meets your needs, try to find mailing list software that will allow you to import your customers to save time.

3. A control panel that can speed up everyday tasks. If you do not have a lot of time to spend manipulating your site, it is useful to have a control panel that can make finding everything on your server a lot easier and cut down on time spent performing certain tasks.

4. An online site builder or built-in Content Management System If you do not have the budget to afford a professional web site design program, an online site builder can save you a lot of money. If you need a more professional appearance, having a CMS or Content Management System pre-installed can allow you to have the best of both worlds. Many popular CMS’s, such as PhpNuke or Xoops are now pre-installed on many servers.

5. Site promotional tools should be included. You will need to be able to promote your site effectively, without having to pay extra for these tools. Most ecommerce packages are now including these tools. Make sure that your host has followed suit and will provide you with what you need to make your site a success.

6. The right amount of disk space and bandwidth. You most likely will not need a mega-package for disk space and bandwidth, but make sure that you will have enough to go around. Add-ons in these two areas are typically very expensive. The average small business site will need less than 100 megs of disk space and 500 megs of bandwidth.

Running a SOHO website does not need to be difficult. If you find the proper host for you company you can save not only money, but time, which is a precious commodity.

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Posted on 12/14/05 10:48 PM

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