5 questions SOHOs should ask before choosing web hosting service

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.