Happy April Fools’ Day!
Before we get to our regular Monday topic, Web Hosting, here’s a quick roundup of April Fools’ gags from Google, Sony, Twitter, and other companies.
And now, no fooling, back to web hosting. Specifically business web hosting.
What distinguishes regular web hosting from business web hosting? Sometimes nothing, because the terms are often used synonymously. But there certainly are several requirements for a web hosting service to be called business web hosting.
Business web hosting clearly means that the web hosting service is intended for businesses, probably small to medium-sized businesses (the term enterprise web hosting is often used for the largest businesses).
The number-one distinction for business web hosting would be from various forms of free hosting intended for personal consumer use. EarthLink Internet access, for example, gives dial-up, DSL, cable Internet and other subscribers a small amount of free webspace that we host on our home.earthlink.net domain (rather than at their own domain name). People typically use these very small, simple sites to share their interests or post something about their family.
Domain Web Hosting
Business web hosting would always be a domain web hosting service, meaning it would support your website at its own domain name (e.g., www.YourDomainName.com). EarthLink Web Hosting plans support from 5 to 50 domain names depending on the service level, and all plans come with one free domain name. Having your website at its own domain is the main requirement of a business web hosting service. (Take a look back at this post about the best website domain names for SEO, branding and online success.)
Business web hosting often provides domain email service as well, although some web hosting providers outsource this to another email provider. EarthLink Web Hosting plans come with from 100 – 1,000 business-class email accounts, so business employees’ and departments’ communication with customers is a branded experience. (See our previous post about domain email addresses for your business.)
Other business web hosting features may include FTP accounts, database support, support for multiple programming languages, content management tools, and marketing tools (our Business Website Plus plan provides a comprehensive suite of online marketing tools).
Ecommerce Web Hosting
When some people use the term business web hosting, they mean ecommerce web hosting: the hosting of a website with online store capabilities. While ecommerce hosting is always business web hosting, not all business website hosting is ecommerce hosting. Ecommerce hosting is specifically geared towards those businesses that need to provide real-time credit card processing on their website, so customers can buy from an online catalog or store, using an online shopping cart. However, not all businesses, even very large ones, need an online store.
Cloud Hosting and Dedicated Server Hosting
Cloud hosting means building and hosting a virtual server in the cloud (at the cloud hosting provider) that is dedicated to one company (for that reason it is also called cloud server hosting). Cloud hosting isn’t always used for web hosting; often the cloud servers are used for application hosting or other IT needs. Cloud hosting for websites offers businesses a greater amount of performance, scalability and security, since the business website is on its own virtual server.
Dedicated server hosting is when you lease an entire physical server from a service provider such as EarthLink Business. When the dedicated server is used for a website it is called dedicated web hosting. Dedicated web hosting offers an even greater degree of control, reliability and security since you have control over an entire server housed and monitored by the hosting company.
If you have basic business web hosting or ecommerce web hosting needs, EarthLink Web Hosting offers six plans to choose from. For very high-traffic sites or complex web hosting or security requirements, you should probably give EarthLink Business a call at 1-855-873-1393 to ask about Cloud Hosting or Dedicated Server Hosting.