In this digital age, online presence is a crucial requirement for businesses. Some various platforms and tools help entrepreneurs build their online presence.
Some e-commerce platforms and website builders include hosting in their services, while others don’t. You’d have to get your web hosting if you purchased your domain or web address as a stand-alone product.
Since several web hosting options are available, picking a suitable one can be challenging. This post reviews the five best website hosting services for small businesses.
What is Web Hosting?
A web host is a company that leases or sells memory space on its servers. The organization provides you with servers for storing and publishing your web content. Web contents include videos, audio, images, and more.
Web hosting enables users to store data elsewhere, thus reducing local storage prices and their footprint. It offers features like support, backup, and security. It also simplifies the process of creating a lasting web presence.
Even though web hosting is done locally on personal servers or computers, cloud-based third-party organizations emerge. A wide range of hosting solutions is available; some are free while others are paid.
Why Small Businesses Require Web Hosting
Every entrepreneur knows that their business requires a website. Solely using digital platforms like Facebook is not enough as they are becoming more defenseless in terms of privacy and security and are less user-friendly.
The market is flooded with hundreds of web hosting organizations contending to get your business online to clients who aren’t searching for services in the business directories.
Generally, all web hosting organizations provide a similar utility: servers stream and store contents. Web hosting services are for professional websites that need to manage tons of content and traffic.
Most businesses require these services. However, enterprises on a tight budget can opt for elementary third-party website builders such as Tumbir, Blogpost, Wix, and Squarespace. But an established enterprise requires real web hosting services.
5 Best Web Hosting Options for Small Business
Designing a website, picking a domain name, and getting web hosting services are the three main components web developers consider when building a small business website.
Some e-commerce platforms or website builders do not include hosting in their services, forcing you to find a hosting platform yourself.
When choosing a web hosting platform for your business, you should remember that the platform you pick will determine how fast your site loads. You also need to find out how the web hosting company handles hacking and manages unforeseen traffic surges.
Below are the five best website hosting services for small businesses:
This is the ideal platform for beginners. Most people prefer using Bluehost for web hosting because it is easy to set up and use its services.
Bluehost offers cost-effective web hosting services for small businesses that need simple websites or sophisticated e-commerce platforms. It also provides free domains when you sign up for some of its one-year plans.
The hosting packages include:
- Shared: Most small business owners use this package. It comes with WordPress integration, dedicated customer support, and e-commerce compatibility for $7.99 every month.
- VPS: This is an upgrade from the shared package. It has some extra features, including offering virtual private servers with high-security levels and granting business owners the flexibility to use their server space however they wish. It costs $29.99/month.
- Incredible Round-the-Clock Customer Service through Live Chat: The technical team at Bluehost responds speedily to any inquiries via the live chat—you don’t have to wait on the phone for long to get help. You can use the live chat throughout the day, and the customer care team goes above and beyond to fix your problems speedily.
- Dedicated: Bluehost offers high security and support levels for high-traffic sites. They are among the leading web hosts for small enterprises with robust eCommerce sites that require increased security and bandwidth.
- Simple to Set Up: Even beginners can use Bluehost. If you get stuck when setting it up, customer support will instantly chip in and fix the problem.
- Affordable: Bluehost has cheap packages that any business owner can afford. Even with a reasonable price, it provides exemplary services. It’s among the most inexpensive web host platforms in the market.
- Bluehost lacks integrated migration services: you have to pay extra cash to migrate your site from another host or do it yourself.
- Bluehost has no trial period, but they have a 30-day money-back guarantee policy.
- Cost increases at renewal.
HostGator is best for tech-heavy enterprises. A dedicated server hosting is an ideal method of storing and managing data for entrepreneurs who need more from their website besides being a place for clients to find them online. HostGator might be your business’s best website host provider if this is your situation.
Dedicated servers mean acquiring your server within an organization’s existing network. You’ll receive a dedicated personal server rather than sharing server space with other sites. You’ll also get the customer service and software tools to keep your website functional.
This platform also provides beginner-level hosting options of the same standard as other providers regarding services and pricing.
- Dedicated Server Tiers: It has three levels that use Intel Xeon-D CPU servers. The plans come with 30 and 16GB RAM options, including DDOS protection, three dedicated IPv4 IPs, a fully redundant network, 24/7 live support, and unlimited databases. Costs start from $118.99 every month.
- Shared Web Hosting Business Plan: This plan is less intense and costly than the dedicated server tiers. A better option for businesses with lighter requirements for their sites, it comes with unmetered bandwidth, unlimited domains, free business domain names, SEO tools, and free SSL certificates. Costs start from $5.95 every month.
- Free SSL: only a few web hosts provide a free premium quality SSL certificate. HostGator provides Comodo SSL for every user and their domains, so you don’t have to fret about encryption between your site and the web browser.
- Money-Back Guarantee Policy: This is an excellent feature that each web host should provide. HostGator offers a 45-day money-back guarantee policy, so if you aren’t satisfied with their services, you can cancel during this period and get a full refund.
- Doesn’t Charge Hosting Activation Fees: Unlike other platforms, HostGator doesn’t charge any activation fees when you choose to make monthly payments. This is among the best HostGator features that make it better than other web hosts.
- Many Themes and Site Templates: The platform is among the leading static web hosting service providers with a drag-and-drop feature. HostGator’s site builder has numerous optimized layouts and pre-built designs.
- Free Website Migration: If you do not know WordPress and FTP, shifting a blog from one host to another can be a pain—this applies to other apps and CMS. It takes hours to transfer files, but if you select HostGator, their staff will move all your files to their servers at no cost.
- Excellent Customer Support: Hostgator has the resources to employ many customer assistance engineers; therefore, you can contact their customer support and get assistance for any challenges you encounter with web hosting.
- Server Downtime: There is a lot of downtime with EIG firms, HostGator included. There are also issues with server response time, and if you’re using shared hosting, server response time exceeds one slow second.
- Numerous Marketing Emails: These emails can be annoying. HostGator sends regular emails to share the best web hosting deals and any discounts they may be offering. This may sound okay to many; however, it’s not ideal for those who don’t want to have a long list of unopened emails since they often don’t open their inbox.
- Costly Hosting Prices: Their shared hosting is somewhat affordable, but the reseller and VPS plans are more expensive than other hosting companies. HostGator provides excellent resources and RAM; however, their cost is out of a small business’ price range.
- No Free Daily Backups: Every blog should have this feature, but if you’re using the HostGator platform, there are no guarantees on backup since they have one backup every week. You won’t be able to restore a website unless you pay for it.
Namecheap is best for technical support. If you’re a newbie to managing websites, the ideal web hosting for your business might be a web host that offers 24/7 technical support. You should get a web host that ensures your website is functional around the clock.
This web host offers top-notch technical support through chat. Namecheap’s technical support team is always available to respond to queries. They go above and beyond to help customers who don’t have the technical savvy to make changes.
Namecheap hosting tiers include:
- EasyWP Turbo: Low-cost hosting for WordPress websites with 50GB storage space and 250,000 visitors every month. It costs $7.88 every month, but you pay $2 for the first month.
- Stellar Business: Offers unmetered bandwidth that prevents your website from slowing down when there’s high traffic. It has free automatic backups and is e-commerce friendly and PCI compliant. You’ll pay $4.44 every month for the initial year, then $8.88 per month after the first year.
- Xeon E3-1240 v3: Physical server for enterprises that need to surpass expectations in digital environments costs $74.88 every month. The cost for the first month is $36.88.
- Qasar: Complete VPS hosting using Linux-based servers, which gives you total command of your network and the flexibility to run your digital presence as you wish. It costs $24.88 every month, but you get to pay $19.88 per month with a new signup promotion.
- User-Friendly Interface: Namecheap’s record page is easy to explore. Unlike its competitors, Namecheap doesn’t constantly try to upsell customers each step of the procedure or clutter your page with many offers.
The interface where you handle your domain names is entirely natural as you have your choices organized in a clean sidebar, so the whole page isn’t disorganized.
- Outstanding Customer Support: Namecheap offers extraordinary 24/7 customer care. The platform has a dependable, quick live chat that allows clients to air out their grievances and seek instant help.
- High-level Security Principles: You get one free year of WhoisGuard security insurance administration for every domain you enroll on Namecheap. After the free year, you only pay $2.88 yearly to keep it. You also get a first-year discount on the Comodo PositiveSSL declaration. All accounts incorporate essential security warnings that you receive in your email.
- Free Migration and Domain Name: Namecheap is an excellent choice for space names. It is the leading domain registrar and offers free domain names if you register on its website. You’ll also get free website migration services.
- Poor Hosting Uptime at 99.87%: Namecheap conveys a reliable 100% uptime for the most part. However, in some instances, Namecheap produces an uptime of 99.875%, which is below the business average.
- Slow Load Time: The next primary standard is the rate after the data transfer capacity. Rate is significant because it has been associated with customer happiness—the probability of a client bouncing back multiples over 100% if your pages take approximately six minutes to load. Namecheap’s slow load time can keep customers away.
- Namecheap’s Money-Back Guarantee: Most web hosting platforms offer a 97-day money-back guarantee. On the other hand, Namecheap’s guarantee lasts for only 14 days—a short period that potential customers consider too limited to perform a trial.
This web host is best for unlimited bandwidth on a budget. Few website hosting providers offer unlimited bandwidth as part of their cheap hosting options; this isn’t the case with Inmotion.
This platform’s hosting plans include free SSL certificates, a bonus for companies that want to venture into e-commerce while providing their customers with a sense of security.
This excellent suite of moderately priced services makes this platform a leading contender for small businesses’ best website hosting site.
The platform provides the following business-focused products:
- Launch: Comes with two free sites, unlimited bandwidth, ten email accounts, a free domain, and 50GB of disk space at $10.99 every month.
- Power: It comes with 100GB of disk space, unlimited bandwidth, 50 websites, one free domain, 50 websites, 50 email accounts, and other marketing and security tools, all for $14.99 per month.
- Pro: Comes with 100 websites, unlimited bandwidth, 200GB of disk space, free domain and email accounts, pro-level support, faster performance, and more for $23.99 every month.
- Customer Support Team: The platform has an award-winning customer support team that offers US-based hosting support through chat, ticket system, phone, and email.
- Professional CPanel: Many website hosts will give you regular CPanel; that’s not the case with InMotion as they offer professionally designed CPanel.
- Money-Back Guarantee: The platform offers a 90-day cash-back guarantee. If you aren’t satisfied with their services within the first three months, you can cancel your plan and get your money back.
- Hosting Performance: Since they’re already known for business-level hosting, you’ll be provided with high-performance servers.
- Free Database Backups: InMotion also offers free database backup features; you can easily back up your entire folders and files.
- Single Click WordPress Installer: InMotion also offers several advanced features to assist users in installing their WordPress blogs. If you experience any challenges while installing WordPress, their customer support will install it for you at no cost.
- Costly Hosting Plans: InMotion is a leading web hosting provider. Thus, their hosting fee is higher than most hosting providers.
- Web Hosting Limitations: You won’t have unlimited bandwidth and disk space if you have limited funds and wish to begin with the starter package.
- Hosting Pricing Structure: If you’re searching for a provider with a monthly payment plan, InMotion isn’t for you since you must pay a yearly fee to get hosting services from the platform.
iPage is ideal for small businesses on a budget. Having a robust website host may be the only option for some companies. However, for others, a simple and cost-effective option may be all that’s required.
If you fall in the latter group, iPage could be the best choice. With this platform, you can choose dedicated, shared, cloud, or VPS hosting for your site needs.
Users also get one-click installs of trending apps and CMS platforms, plus excellent customer support. Best of all, you get all these at no cost.
Here are some of the products the platform offers:
- Website Hosting: This is the cheapest and leanest product option that’s inclusive of one-click installers, domain names, unlimited disk storage, and email support for $7.99 every month.
- Business VPS hosting is less expensive and intense than HostGator’s dedicated services; IPage business VPS hosting is ideal for businesses with lighter site requirements. The plan includes unmetered bandwidth, SEO tools, free SSL certificates, and unlimited domains for $59.49.
- Reasonable pricing.
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
- You can host unlimited sites on one account.
- Unlimited storage, MySQL databases, and bandwidth.
- Instant activation of your account once you register and pay.
- Free website-building features to assist even the newest members.
- Unlimited domains.
- 9% uptime guarantee.
- Free online store and shopping cart.
- Statistics aren’t broken down into individual websites.
- Website building functionality is limited unless you upgrade to more expensive plans.
- After the first term, the renewal price is higher than many competitors.
- Domain price is higher than usual after the first year.
How to Select the Best Website Hosting for Small Business
Before selecting a website hosting provider for your small business, here are a few rules that should guide your decision-making:
- If you’re aiming to attract traffic to your website, you should be willing to pay extra.
- If your website isn’t a blog, your host should offer excellent support, have great uptime, and fast-load.
- If you have a limited budget, find a hosting provider that offers affordable prices like Hostinger and HostGator.
That said, here are some factors to keep in mind when choosing the best web hosting provider:
There’s no point in having web hosting that’s not available for online users. The first quality you should look for in a web hosting provider is excellent uptime. Don’t fall victim to the almost-perfect-uptime that most providers offer — this guarantee might not be genuine. Additionally, don’t accept any self-reported or third-party uptime data.
Speed impacts your website and highly affects its rankings. You need to get a fast-loading web page to boost your conversions or customer satisfaction.
All the aspects of your business depend on your website’s speed. Therefore, when looking for a website host, remember the importance of speed. The web host doesn’t have to be lightning-fast; however, it must be sufficiently fast.
Your website must be faster since it will have more visitors as your business grows. So, the speed needs to be instantaneous, particularly if you’re dealing with a product that attracts high traffic.
3. Customer Service
If you’re a newbie, reliable customer service is essential. Don’t rely solely on online reviews, as there can be conflicts between reviews and actual quality. You should use the free trial to test their customer service.
Most website hosts provide a money-back guarantee for their plans. You can set your sites with low stakes during this period and test their customer service using phones, live chat, and open tickets.
No one would want to overpay for hosting. Therefore, don’t use price to select a web host.
Some cheap hosting options have promotional offers that don’t last after renewals, while others have terrible support and costly uptimes.
Don’t go for promotional offers just to save a few coins as they’re valid for limited periods, and most don’t persist past renewals.
5. Migration Features
Migrating even a simple WordPress website can be challenging. Therefore, it’s worth considering the ability to migrate easily and quickly when choosing a web host.
If you are handling all the migration yourself, choose a host with easy-to-use migration tools.
6. Upscaling Features
If you’re just starting or have been in the game for a while, you can rest assured that your business will expand once you set up a website.
It’s therefore essential to select a hosting provider that has an upgrading option. An excellent hosting provider will offer users the chance to expand their business without hassles.
Benefits of Business Web Hosting
You have to get the services of a website hosting organization to build your business’ online presence. Excellent web hosting offers several benefits to your business, including:
1. Space to Store Your Files
Web hosting companies provide storage space for small business content. These platforms ensure that your site is live, and they take care of the technical details. Web hosts also backup your data regularly and provide security measures to protect your files from hackers.
2. Exceptional Technical Support
Websites are sophisticated, so you can easily get stuck when working on them. Good web hosts usually have around-the-clock customer care to handle glitches and resolve issues. Following this, web hosts have an exceptional technical support team that responds to inquiries.
3. Branded Email Addresses
Web hosts usually create elegant and executive websites for small business owners. Some web hosting companies offer branded email addresses as a low-cost or free service. Branded addresses give your emails a professional look and establish you as a legit entrepreneur in your field.
You can even liaise with their staff to create an optimized website for your business. For instance, they can help you set up a sales function on your website to offer a hassle-free customer experience and increase your sales.
If you know what you require from your website, what your budget allows, and the platform that can assist you in making the most out of it, you’re well on your way to selecting a suitable host. To this point, you’ll want to be keen on support, add-on features like site builders, and pricing to guide your decision-making.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it possible to transfer the web host alone?
Yes. Nevertheless, most web hosting companies provide their customers with free migration. All you need is an excellent DIY guide, and you’ll be set.
2. What’s the purpose of web hosting?
A web hosting service is used to host a site so visitors can access the content. If you want your website to be functional, you need a domain name and web hosting.
3. How do I host my small business website?
Even though most business websites aren’t different from other websites, they need the best web hosting service so that they don’t experience downtime.
4. Can I get a free web hosting service?
Yes, there are various free web hosting services in the market. However, you should know that there are risks associated with free web hosting services. These may include forced ads and a lack of customer support.
5. Do I need to buy a domain name?
Yes. Even though you can build a website using another company’s domain name, it’s crucial to get your domain name if you set up a business website.