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If you are in the midst of starting your own business, you have a lot of things to worry about and many things to consider. From who to hire and how to write a business plan to how to obtain financing and attract customers, there are plenty of factors to worry about.

You can add data hosting to that list of concerns, and it is important to get this part right. No matter what the nature of your business, you need to have a dedicated website, and you need to make sure that website is available 24/7 with as little downtime as possible.

That makes web hosting a key part of any startup business. There are a number of things to consider when choosing a web hosting company, including the reliability of the company, its time in business and the security measures it has in place.

Hosting On Your Own Servers

If local control is your only consideration, you can always host the company website on your own servers. Having the server in your own data center does provide total control, but you will need top notch IT people to maintain and secure the hardware and software. If you are an IT expert, hosting your own website makes a lot of sense. If not, hosting the site through an outside company is probably a better choice.

Starting Off With Shared Hosting

Many startup companies choose a shared hosting solution for their websites, at least in the beginning. Shared hosting is generally much less costly than hosting the website on a dedicated server. Since the cost of the hardware, software and IT support are shared among many companies, the individual hosting cost for each client is much less.

Switching To Dedicated Hosting

If your company website outgrows the shared hosting environment, you can always switch to a dedicated hosting environment. You may pay a bit more for dedicated hosting, but if your website gets a lot of hits the extra cost could be well worth it. Remaining on a shared server after the website has outgrown it could mean longer loading times, less website availability and problems with customer service.

Cloud Storage Options

Cloud storage is another solution startups may find attractive. Cloud storage can offer a host of benefits for not only small businesses but larger companies as well. Whether you choose the security of an IBM AS400 cloud storage unit or another type of solution, transferring your data to a central server for safekeeping can provide a number of important benefits.

Of course cloud storage can also introduce new risks, and there are some potential drawbacks business owners need to be aware of. When you store your data in someone else's cloud, you necessarily give up some level of control. If the company you partner with has a long track record of protecting data and providing 24/7 uptime, you should not have much to worry about. If not, you could be putting your information at risk.

Proper encryption is another vital part of cloud storage, and it is important to make sure that the data you send to the cloud service company is encrypted throughout its journey. Encrypting the data before it is sent will make it much harder, though still not impossible, for a bad guy to steal. The best cloud storage companies take data security very seriously, and they use state-of-the-art encryption to protect their clients' data from prying eyes.

Kimberly Banks has an excellent E-Commerce pedigree and enjoys the opportunity to share her insights and ideas with an online audience. She writes on a regular basis for a number of B2B and IT websites.

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