If you currently operate a small business, finding the right web hosting is incredibly important. Pick the wrong service and your business may suffer. Find the best provider for your individual business needs and your business will reap the rewards.
Web hosting refers to the location where your website exists on the internet. Just like you probably wouldn’t buy a new home without first verifying that the new house could fit your needs—affordable, safe, a good size, among other specific criteria—you definitely shouldn’t just choose a new hosting provider without doing some research.
If you run a business and are searching for web hosting, look no further. Here is everything that you need to know about the top-rated web hosting providers for small businesses.
Best Web Hosting for Small Business
First off, there are some important differences between various types of hosting, and it’s important to make sure that you understand these aspects as well as your short-term and long-term goals for your website.
Each different kind of website hosting services has its own advantages and drawbacks. Your ultimate choice will depend on the size of your business and your specific purpose. Here are the most common types of web hosting.
– Shared Hosting
Shared hosting is the least expensive web hosting option. Shared hosting is exactly what it sounds like: you share a server with other websites.
Shared hosting is a good hosting option if you don’t expect that much traffic to your site because the amount of space and bandwidth you are provided with are limited.
Shared hosting can be a great place to start, but if you really plan on building your e-commerce site, it’s probably not a good end-game plan.
– Dedicated Hosting—
With dedicated hosting, you purchase a hosting package and a dedicated server for your business, and your business alone.
This exclusivity makes dedicated hosting an ideal option for sites with heavy traffic. With dedicated hosting, all there’s no one to compete with you for uptime, and your site is well protected, making it an ideal option for a business. However, dedicated hosting is significantly more expensive than shared hosting.
– Managed WordPress Hosting
Managing a WordPress site is not easy, so let managed WordPress Hosting make it just a little bit easier. This form of hosting is specifically designed for websites created by WordPress.
Managed WordPress hosting is usually faster and more secure than other, more generic hosting options. For a small to medium-sized business, WordPress hosting can be a perfect way to have a customizable host.
With these benefits also arise some restrictions on various types of pages and themes as well as typically higher costs.
VPS Hosting (also called Cloud Hosting)
VPS, or Virtual Private Server, is a hybrid web hosting variety. Essentially, VPS hosting creates a dedicated server inside of a shared hosting location.
While VPS can be much less expensive than dedicated hosting, it is still more expensive than shared hosting. Some hosts have begun to call VPS hosting “cloud hosting” instead. This hosting option is recognized as having one of the stronger built-in defenses against cyber-attacks.
What Should You Look For in a Web Host?
Obviously, everyone wants their website to be fast and never fail. However, these specs are often hidden in technical language and confusing paragraphs when web hosts are advertised. Here are the main qualities that you need to consider when searching for a web host.
Uptime refers to the percentage of the time that the web host is up and running. Basically, it is the measure of how good the web host is at keeping their systems up and going.
Obviously, business websites can’t be there for the customers if the websites are down, so uptime is pretty important. When it comes to a business website, server reliability is crucial. 99.95% is considered a norm for decent web hosts, and anything below 99% is not worth considering.
- Load Time
No one likes slow servers, right? Make sure that you check the load times reported by the web host. The fastest web host right now is SiteGround, which reports a worldwide average load speed of just 148ms. Anything up to 500ms is pretty speedy.
For a business website, security is a must. Most web hosts include a couple security measures, but many don’t tell you exactly how secure they are.
It’s important to look for firewalls, virus protection, security protection, spam filters, SSL certification, and domain name privacy in any web hosting packages before purchasing.
- Customer Service
How much hand-holding are you going to require exactly? Some web hosts offer full, 24/7 customer support in a variety of mediums (email, phone, live chat), while others have limited support programs.
Be sure to check this out in order to optimize the benefits of your web host provider. Customer service will make all the difference in running your small business website smoothly.
Which Web Host is Right for You?
There are a lot of web hosts, many of which offer similar services. However, some web hosts stand out far above the rest due to specific qualities and services that render them ideal for small business websites. Here is a selection of the best web hosting options for specific business needs.
Best Web Hosting for Small Business—E-commerce
Choosing the best web hosting for an e-commerce website for your business can be tricky. Obviously, when it comes to e-commerce, you’ll want nothing but the very best to serve your online customers.
Here are the top three web hosts for e-commerce sites.
InMotion Hosting is one of your best bets for e-commerce because it has everything that a business website could possibly need: optimal server uptime and speed, business tools, free website transfer, and a choice of server locations. They also have one of the longest full refund trials of any web host at 90 days.
SiteGround is a popular option for e-commerce because of its reliable server performance, free auto backups, and free SSL encryption. SiteGround also offers top-notch live chat support. Although SiteGround prices are little on the higher side at $9.95 per month for a startUp, you might just be able to score a handy little discount. Right now, SiteGround hosting prices start as low as $3.95 per month.
Hostgator is perfect for all small-to-medium businesses, offering business-oriented plans that come with handy website builders and malware removal. With a solid hosting performance (loading time around 420ms and uptime above 99.99%), Hostgator starts at $4.95 per month and makes it easy to upgrade to VPS or dedicated hosting as your company grows bigger.
Best Website Builder and Hosting for Small Business
The following website builders are ideal options for creating (and then hosting) your small business website. Creating a website has never been easier.
Wix is an affordable, easy-to-use site-building tool. They have hundreds of templates and thousands of customizable tools. Wix is recognized as one of the most easily intuitive website builders, making it easy for experienced and novel programmers alike to quickly make sense of the features and start creating. Wix also offers many e-commerce capabilities, from Store elements to Shop pages.
Duda offers everything that you might possibly need in order to build and host a full-featured website. Duda has free and paid options. A great website capacity makes Duda a full website commerce creator. Unlike other site builders, Duda lets free accounts sell up to 10 products.
Simvoly may be less known than Wix, Duda, and other DIY website builders, but it’s not at all inferior. Simvoly offers a drag-and-drop interface to help you to create attractive site designs. They also have a variety of tools specifically for e-commerce sites. Simvoly has both responsive and modern-looking themes and a large selection of intuitive functions.
Best Web Hosting for Entrepreneurs
For entrepreneurs and startups, the most important quality in a web host is usually affordability. However, saving a few dollars isn’t always worth it if it means that your site is super slow or hard to use.
The following web hosts are some of the least expensive ways to host your startup website, without sacrificing reliability or usability.
Hostwinds, a VPS hosting service, is one of the cheapest hosts you will ever find. They are known for excellent technical support and unlimited bandwidth and disk space. With a 60-day money back guarantee and a 99.99% uptime guarantee, Hostwinds is perfect for the aspiring entrepreneur or start-up.
FatCow is a simple, eco-conscious web hosting company with incredible prices. The “Moo Crew” offers 24/7 friendly, free technical support via phone, live chat, and email. FatCow hosting plans are variable and very robust. If you’re an entrepreneur and tempted by FatCow, you might want to hurry, because the 60% off prices, which includes a free domain name, expires soon.
GoDaddy is a popular hosting plan for small businesses that offers very affordable prices as well as a wide selection of free e-commerce tools. Boasting one of the world’s largest registers, GoDaddy may not be the fastest web hosts, but it is one of the most trusted hosting platforms out there.
Best WordPress Hosting for Small Business
When it comes to web hosting, WordPress is a realm of its own. The following web host providers connect conveniently to WordPress and make it easy for you to link the platform with a host. If you’re using WordPress, then there’s no need to settle for generic web hosts.
Bluehost is highly popular among both bloggers and small business owners. With a load time of just 419ms, Bluehost may not be the cheapest (prices start at $2.75 per month), but it’s worth every dollar. The most important things for a WordPress hosting site are speed, uptime, and customer support to help you answer all those confusing WordPress questions (or problems). Bluehost has all of these, and more.
Not only is HostGator is recognized as one of the fastest web hosting services ever, but it’s perfect for WordPress. You can install it from WordPress with just one-click. They host over 10 million domains and boast a loading time of 462ms and an uptime of 99.96%. The customer service is perfect for WordPress problem-solving.
SiteGround is officially recommended by WordPress and for good reason! They are a reliable, fairly fast hosting service. They also provide free transfers for existing websites. With an average loading time of 722ms (decent, but not fantastic), they have an excellent uptime of 99.98%. As a whole, SiteGround is a solid WordPress hosting option.
Best Web Hosting for Small Business—Today
Yes, web hosting providers do change. Actually, they change quite frequently. Here are our recommendations for the ultimate web hosting providers, right now.
Ranked nearly universally as one of the best web hosting servers of 2018, DreamHost is well worth the cost. They have a broad selection of plans to meet your various hosting needs. They provide features that satisfy both expert users and newbies. DreamHost is known for strong security features and a generous money-back guarantee.
As a shared host, iPage boasts incredibly low prices (only $1.99/month for three-years). You also get a selection of complimentary services when signing up. iPage is not the fastest web host, but it’s not the slowest either. Records also show an uptime of over 99.95%, which is excellent. There is also a variety of anti-hacker and anti-malware security software included in most packages. If you’re looking for affordability, reliability, and security, you can’t do too much better.
InMotion is a strong web hosting provider for small businesses, recognized as one of the very best of 2018. There are three different tiers: Launch, Power, and Pro. Each level includes different restrictions, but all tiers are entitled to the same unlimited disk space, data transfer bandwidth, and a number of email addresses. Whether you need a domain or you already have an existing website, InMotion will give you everything you need to get started with your small business.
The Bottom Line
Choosing a web host can be a challenge, that’s for sure. Although the internet is an incredible resource for marketing and online sales, it can also take some time to learn the ins and outs. So, don’t worry if you’re inexperienced with the web hosting world.
As long as you know what you need out of a website and your budget range, you’ll be able to find the right web hosting option for your business.
Starting off on the right foot with your website definitely requires the right web host. There may be a lot of web hosts out there, but don’t let the quantity overwhelm you.
When it comes to a web host for your small business website, do your research, consider your web host needs, and you’re set. Venture forth and start your website adventure today!