Web hosting for small business – the limitations

First off, most small businesses can’t afford expensive hosting setups, nor should they have to afford them.

Some reasons for that:

  • The website is often a test – just to see if the client’s online presence can bring in any actual benefits.
  • It takes second place to the other expenses that the client surely has on their plate.
  • It’s often treated like a one-off thing. It’s still a popular point of view that a website is something that “you get created” and not something that “you work with regularly.”
  • It’s hard to see the value in a thing like web hosting for some clients.

About that last point – the low perceived value of web hosting. Here’s what I mean, and please bear with me…

For most people walking this planet, web servers are not something that they’re aware of. Common knowledge is that websites are “on the Internet.” Not that they’re on “computers in distant data centers that are connected into a network and remain powered on permanently.”

In general, for the average human being, the difference between a domain name, a website, and web hosting isn’t as easy to grasp as you probably think it is.

Therefore, expecting that all small business clients will jump on board immediately and enthusiastically get a ~$20 / month hosting plan (or even a $10 / month plan) is just unrealistic. Hosting doesn’t carry that much perceived value.

So what can we do when working on a small business website for a client? And also, how can we show them exactly what the value of hosting is?

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