Digital Garage Helps Small Businesses Build Digital Skills

Small Business Online MarketingDigital Garage is an online platform provided by Google to help small business owners develop digital skills such selling online, reaching more customers on social media and getting noticed online. Small business owners can sign up for specific courses and learn through video tutorials at their own pace. Whom better to learn from on how to optimize your online presence than the company that directs up to 50% of traffic on the Internet.

There are 23 topics currently available, some of the ones that I would recommend are:

Build your web presence
There’s more than one way to establish your home on the web. Understand your options and create an action plan to get online.

Get started with search
Discover how they work, why they’re important, how they’ll impact your business and why they are key to your online success.

Get noticed locally
Whether you’re a bricks- and- mortar shop or a localised service, find ways to use the web to reach customers nearby.

Get started with analytics
We’ll show you how to slice and dice data to answer real business questions, and to measure how you’re doing online.

And why are these things important to learn for small business owners? The testimonials are pretty compelling:

Adrian Simpson set up a basic website for his new speechwriting business and began advertising online through search.

Within 31 days, he’d sold 31 speeches.

And here’s another testimonial from across the pond:

Rachael’s Kitchen makes and delivers delicious cupcakes across the UK and Europe.

Since Rachael started marketing online, web sales have grown by 50%. She’s been able to take on new staff and to compete against much larger players.

And lastly, to show the value of understanding what your customers are doing on your website:

Cotswold Balloon Safaris runs hot air balloon flights over the picturesque Cotswolds countryside.

By analysing his web traffic, Captain Mike Jennings learned that his potential customers often browse at lunchtime and in the early evening. Now he targets them at those times.

So basically, more customers, more sales and more money – what’s not to like, right? But you still have to invest time which is a hard thing to come by when you’re running a business. So what should a small business owner expect? Here is how it works:

  1. Create a learning plan by picking courses that interest you
  2. Watch video tutorials and learn from other small business owners
  3. Start applying what you’ve learned on your own website
  4. Rinse and repeat – take more courses
  5. For bonus points, complete all the courses and get a certification 🙂

Again, this is a great opportunity for a small business owner to invest time and grow their business online.

BlueHost Review

BlueHost provides a wide variety of products such as shared hosting, VPS hosting and dedicated hosting.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is a great economical way to start a website. BlueHost is well known for their shared hosting plans. A lot of people will pick a shared hosting plan and start a site using BlueHost’s one-click WordPress install. You can also host a site powered by PHP or just a static HTML site. You can get a lot out of a shared hosting plan.

PlanWebsitesWebsite SpaceBandwidthMonthly Price
Basic150 GBUnmetered$3.45

Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting

BlueHost also has VPS hosting options that can give you more control over your server while being more affordable than dedicated hosting. You avoid the risk of someone else on the server eating up the server’s capacity and you get dedicated CPU, memory and bandwidth. A VPS is a great solution if you’ve outgrown your shared hosting and want more dedicated resources.

PlanCPUStorageRAMBandwidthMontly Price
Standard2 CPU Cores30GB2GB1TG$14.99
Enhanced2 CPU Cores60GB4GB2TB$29.99
Premium3 CPU Cores120GB6GB3TB$44.99
Ultimate4 CPU Cores240GB8GB4TB$59.99

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated hosting is the ultimate in website performance, security and control. You get full access to the server and you can have more configuration options than a VPS. For the increased price, you get more CPU, RAID storage, more RAM and more bandwidth.

Standard4 x 2.5 GHz CPU1TB4GB5TB$79.99
Enhanced4 x 2.5 GHz CPU1TB8GB10TB$99.99
Premium4 x 3.3 GHz CPU1TB16GB15TB$119.99

How Much Web Hosting Bandwidth Do I Need?


There are a lot of factors that go into figuring out how much hosting you need. One component is how much bandwidth you’ll need. Bandwidth is the amount of data that needs to be transferred for all your visitors to see your website. The main components of bandwidth are the number of visitors your site gets, the number of pages each visitor sees and the average size of the page. Once you have these numbers, you can determine how much bandwidth your site currently needs. Most hosting providers will allocate bandwidth on a monthly cycle. Use the following calculator to determine how much bandwidth you need:


One way to avoid having to care about bandwidth is to go with a hosting provider that has unlimited bandwidth. But be careful because typically unlimited bandwidth has restrictions and they also reserve the right to throttle your traffic if it affects other websites. If you are starting a small site and don’t expect too much traffic, most of the shared hosts will be enough.

As an example, if you are starting a website and go with BlueHost, <a href=”https://www.buildhack look what i”>iPage or InMotion, they all provide unlimited bandwidth with their shared hosting plans. This is a great way to get started and then you don’t have to worry when your site gets popular and you start getting a lot of traffic (which is a great problem to have). But be prepared if you do get really popular, you might start to see your site getting slower. You might need to move your site to a VPS or to a different hosting provider. Migrating your site can be difficult, but it’s definitely a rare thing that most websites never have to do.

In conclusion, if you’re starting a new website you probably don’t need to worry about how much bandwidth you need. On the other hand, if you already have a site, you can use that as your baseline and plug those numbers into our calculator and get a pretty good idea of how much bandwidth you’ll need in the future.

Best Web Hosting for WordPress

WordPress Hosting

WordPress run around 5% of the entire Internet, that means around 16M sites are powered by WordPress. You’re reading content that is hosted on a WordPress site. So now that we have established how powerful WordPress is, let’s help you find a web host to host your WordPress instance. Notice how I didn’t mention blog because while WordPress is thought of as a blog, it’s so much more and can power just about anything.

Hosting ProviderBest ForMonthly Price
BlueHostFree Domain$2.75
HostGatorUnmetered Bandwidth$3.13
iPageDrag and Drop Setup$1.99
1 & 1Business Website$0.99
HostMonsterUnlimited Storage$4.95
FatCowUnlimited Domains$3.15
IPOWERUnlimited Hosting$3.25
InMotionHosting with SSD$5.99
Just HostFree Site Builder$3.95
LunarpagesUnlimited Email$4.95
WebhostingPadFree Website Transfer$1.99
Hosting24Unlimited Hosting$3.99

As you look at different web hosts to host WordPress, you want to consider how much space they provide (for all your images/files), how much bandwidth they provide (as your traffic grows) and how reliable the host is. Also, you’ll want to see how much space they provide for your databases since WordPress stores most of your content and configuration in mySQL. And something that web hosts don’t typically include but you’ll want to consider is backing up your site in case the server your site goes down or gets corrupted and you need to host it somewhere else.

Once you have picked a provider and have WordPress installed, don’t get overwhelmed by customizing every part of your site. The best advice I can give is to focus on generating high-quality content. If you don’t have a lot of traffic, a pretty site with no content isn’t going to help. However, if you build high-quality content that gets indexed by Google and you get other sites to link and reference your content you’ll start to see new visitors coming. And once you have new visitors coming, you can worry about the header image and if you’re using the right font. Worry about your house’s landscaping after you’ve ensured the foundation and structure are sound.

And lastly, here are some things you should focus on once you have some well-written content:

  1. Submit your site to Google and Bing
  2. Share the content with your friends and ask them to share it to their social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr, etc.)
  3. Look for relevant sites that might be interested in syndicating your content and contact them

Best Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting

Virtual Private Server

Virtual Private Servers (VPS) are a great way to scale your site as your traffic grows. A VPS also provides you far more control and reliability than a shared host but comes at a higher cost and requires more technical knowledge to maintain going forward.

Hosting ProviderBest ForMonthly Price
Digital OceanDevelopers$5.00
1&1Unlimited Traffic$4.99
BlueHostInstant Provisioning$14.99
ServerMania100% Uptime SLA$10.00
InMotionFree cPanel Account Transfer$29.99

As you compare VPS providers, you want to make sure you’re getting a big enough server to handle your traffic but you don’t want to spend more than you need to. The biggest considerations are how much CPU, RAM and disk space you need.

For Developers: DigitalOcean

DigitalOcean is a great VPS that I’ve used (and still use) and can highly recommend their stability and speed. They also let you deploy your VPS to a number of different regions – San Francisco, Toronto, New York City, London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Bangalore and Singapore. This gives a lot of flexibility and lets you pick a region where your customers/users are to make sure they have the fewest network hops to make when accessing your site. As far as pricing, they do hourly pricing but they typically show the monthly prices for simplicity. And speaking of simplicity, they offer a number of one-click applications that you can instantly deploy – Cassandra, Discourse, Django, Docker, Dokku, Drone, Drupal, Elixir, ELK, Ghost, GitLab, Horizon, Joomla, LAMP, LEMP, Magento, MEAN, MediaWiki, MongoDB, Node.js, ownCloud, Redis, Redmine, Ruby on Rails and WordPress. I’m pretty sure most of those things sound like a foreign language but don’t worry, if you needed it, you would have already heard it by now. As far as pricing, DigitalOcean is extremely competitive and ranges from $5 a month for a basic 1 Core Processor, 512MB RAM, 20GB SSD and 1TB Transfer all the way up to $640 a month for a 20 Core Processor, 64 GB RAM, 640GB SSD and 9TB Transfer. If you’re reading this article, you’re probably looking at the $5 plan and maybe the $10 plan if need more RAM and disk space.

For a Cheap VPS: 1&1

I have used 1&1 for shared hosting in the past and can say they are a decent web host. And if you’re looking for a cheap option, 1&1 provides a lot for a very little price. At $4.99 a month, you get a 1 Core Processor, 512MB RAM, 30GB SSD and unlimited transfer/traffic. This is a pretty amazing deal and if you’re a first-time VPS user, this is a great starting point. And if you are a little unsure about a VPS, 1&1 gives you a 30-day trial after you sign-up. This is a great way to try out a VPS – everything from connecting to, uploading files, setting up your website and finally launching your site.

Best Shared Hosting

If you’re considering shared hosting, make sure you understand the differences between shared, dedicated and VPS. And once you’re sure that shared hosting is a good fit for your needs, take a look below and pick the right hosting provider.

Hosting ProviderBest ForMonthly Price
BlueHostFree Domain$2.75
HostGatorUnmetered Bandwidth$3.13
iPageDrag and Drop Setup$1.99
1 & 1Business Website$0.99
HostMonsterUnlimited Storage$4.95
FatCowUnlimited Domains$3.15
IPOWERUnlimited Hosting$3.25
InMotionHosting with SSD$5.99
Just HostFree Site Builder$3.95
LunarpagesUnlimited Email$4.95
WebhostingPadFree Website Transfer$1.99
Hosting24Unlimited Hosting$3.99

One thing to consider when looking at shared hosting is to determine if the provider includes a domain in your monthly price or if you need to bring your own. I recommend getting your domain through someone else so you’re not tied to your hosting provider if you decide to move in the future. I’m a big fan of Google Domains and have all my domains through them. I’ve also used GoDaddy and NameCheap for comparison and found Google Domains to be the same price with more features included and a far more intuitive and less cluttered user interface.  Google Domains also makes it easy to forward all your emails to your Gmail account.

As you pick a hosting provider, it’s also a good idea to think about a year or two down the road to make sure your provider can scale with you. While everyone hopes their site will grow month over month and be as popular as Facebook, that usually isn’t the case. If you’re not expecting to get more than 10K visitors a month, you’re probably safe with a shared host for the foreseeable future (once you’re on track to hit 10K a month, check out our list for best dedicated hosts and VPS hosts). And if you think you’ll be driving more than 10K visitors a month to your site, you’ll want to think about a provider that can scale and grow with you. For example, BlueHost, HostGator and iPage all provide VPS services that you could upgrade to once you have outgrown your shared host.


Welcome to BuildHack

BuildHack offers the best recommendations to help people understand what web hosting options exist and make the best possible decision.

Everyone should have a piece of the Internet – the American dream used to be owning a home, now in this digital age, everyone should own a website to express themselves on the web. Whether you’re looking for a place to post cat videos, start a business, post creative works or build the next big Internet sensation, it all starts with a website. Learn the difference between SEO and SEM and start building your Internet property.