Many small business start ups need very basic server resources to host their websites. But cloud-based REST APIs, auto scaling or high-performance compute clusters are often overkill, especially for small content providers that sell products online, host blogs with a small amount of customization, and at their core represent an online presence for their brick and mortar businesses.
That being said, what is the right way to go to maximize the effectiveness of your site and lower the cost of hosting? I find it interesting when I see traditional content providers migrate their online presence to cloud services.
Traditional outsourced hosting solutions have been around for a long time. And although they might not be in fashion like they used to be, they can easily service your small business just the same as a cloud solution, but at a lower cost and with less complicated configurations.
Virtual Private Servers (VPS): If you need remote access (RDP/SSH) to a dedicated server, you should look into VPS as a cost effective and viable solution. A VPS is a dedicated virtual server that allows you full console access to install applications, manage services, and tweak system settings. Depending on the businesses needs, this could cost from ~$30-75 monthly for a server with resources to host a moderately trafficked site(s).
Shared Hosting: If you don’t need any console access or full controll to fine-tune the operating system or applications, then shared hosting is a better – and cheaper – solution if you need to host a static, Word Press, or Drupal site. Shared hosting is a service that hosts your files and databases on a shared partition. You will normally receive an interface such as cPanel or Plesk to manage local system settings such as email, databases, user access, and site stats. This option is perfect for small businesses that just need their site online with little other fuss of intensive OS configurations. The cost for this solution is anywhere between ~$4-$25 depending on the resources you require.
For small businesses VPS and Shared Hosting are cheaper and easier to manage and use than most cloud offerings and should be considered as the preferred method of hosting.