5 questions SOHOs should ask before choosing web hosting service

5 questions SOHOs should ask before choosing web hosting service

Summary: Small office/home office businesses in Asia setting up a web site for the first time with minimal resources may find it daunting to decide on the various web hosting options. We look at some questions they should ask.


As a small office/home office (SOHO) business setting up a website for the first time with minimal resources, you may find it daunting to decide on the various web hosting options available in the market.

To ease your search, try making some of these key decisions first:

What is the main objective of your web presence?

Whether your want an online brochure of products and services you offer, or a news feed of your business activities updated to-the-minute, this will determine how frequently you will be updating the content on your website. That in turn influences how frequently your web site will be viewed.

What is the domain you want for your website?

Registration of domain names are priced differently. For example, domain registration for "zdnetpracticallytech.com" will differ from "zdnetpracticallytech.sg".

How many e-mail addresses does your SOHO need?

Typically only one e-mail address comes bundled with the web hosting package, for instance, "customersupport@zdnetpracticallytech.com". If you have more e-mail requirements, you need to explore mail hosting services too.

Does the nature of your business involve images and videos?

Publishing images and showing videos require more infocomm resources than merely displaying text that is updated, say, only once a year.

Do you need a robust website from the start?

As your business grows larger, your potential customers will expect your website to be up all the time, you will need to pay attention to better security and data privacy, and your website cannot be laggy as more people view it. Whether you start off with a robust website with few features, or evolve from a simple website to a robust one several years later depends on your business plans.

There is a wide variety of web hosting pricing out there because service providers combine their offerings differently and at different qualities of service. So you'll need to ask yourself first what your SOHO needs to decide which option is the right one for you. 

Topics: SMBs, Broadband, IT Priorities

Imelda Tan

About Imelda Tan

Based in Singapore, Imelda is an arts fan disguised as a business consultant and Infocomm technical writer.

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  • Misleading Headline and Inaccurate Information

    This article has little to do with web hosting. It should have been titled "5 things you may consider before getting your first web site" since that's really what it's about. Not that I really think these are the most important 5 things and some of the information here is rather inaccurate. In the interest of helping someone who may actually need this information:
    1) Every web site needs to be frequently updated. If you don't it likely won't be successful - period.

    2) The price of the domain name isn't a big deal almost all of them are very similar (usually under $20) what is far more important is choosing a good name and buying up a few of the related ones.

    3) Typically almost every hosting account I have seen will bundle FAR more then 1 email address. Most provide 25-50 and unlimited forwards.

    4) Publishing images doesn't require all that much more resources. A web site devoid of them would be highly unusual. Most sites embed their video content via YouTube or Vimeo and this won't affect your hosting at all. Unless your planning on hosting thousands of images or restricted access videos this is not something to even consider.

    5) All businesses should get a robust web site from the start. If you don't you're approaching your business as an amateur and it will show to your potential customers.

    In general these 5 things are not the most important things to consider for any new business. I hope this article doesn't lead people too far astray. There is a lot of more applicable and accurate information available online and it's easy to find it with a modicum of research.
    • Misleading Headline and Inaccurate Information?

      Hi pawprint_net and apoteke

      Thank you for your comments. Perhaps your experiences and available options are different.

      I have come across businesses which are effectively "one-man shops". The owners are not from a technical background. Because of their limited financial resources, some believe they cannot afford a web site. Others believe that the only way they can get a web site is through a web hosting service provider. For those who search for web hosting service providers, they typically choose what comes with the lowest advertised price, without understanding the conditions or trade-offs.

      Such small businesses tend to take their own photos and save them in the finest quality. They may not agree to the terms of the popular free services.

      These questions are not the most important. But these are questions that even the smallest SOHOs are able to answer themselves, without or before paying for a consultant.

  • thanks`

    Paw-I got more from your post than I did from the article