If you’re an entrepreneur or a small business owner planning on launching your online business site or e-commerce website – or upgrading your existing one – purchasing the best web hosting for small business or startup is very significant. Hosting your business on a second-rated provider may affect everything about your business from your site speed to your revenue.
Most small business owners are always confronted with the difficulty of choosing the best web hosting for their business. Hence this write-up
Most web hosting platforms offer different packages including shared hosting, Managed WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, Cloud hosting, and dedicated hosting.
While there are dozens of hosting companies out there, many of which provide varying hosting services plans. Your small business hosting needs to be reliable, affordable, scalable, secure, fast, and easy to use with good customer support.
We’ll try and answer some of the questions you may have while purchasing web hosting for your small business
How Much Does Web Hosting Cost For Small Business?
Shopping for web hosting is like trying to get a suitable cloth for a date, you need something that fits your budget, body, and the occasion in question. As you may imagine, those criteria can look vastly different from person to person and business to business.
If you are looking to create more of an informational business website or choose to focus more on email campaigns, your web hosting plan can be much more affordable. Well-appointed cheap web hosting plans typically cost less per month, with a handful of options offering either free trials or massive discounts for the first month or a couple of months.
If your website includes an option to sell via an online store, the extra security requirements associated with collecting and processing customers’ personal and financial information often may incur an extra cost. You may need to check and see if your web host has dedicated e-commerce hosting package to suit your needs.
What Web Hosting Plan Does My Small Business Need?
To select the right web hosting plan for your small business, you have to have a decent understanding of what you need to succeed. Whether your website is for e-commerce or just getting the word out, the right hosting plan can impact your success.
Start by determining what software you want to use. While some hosting platforms provide free web design tools, some also provide free website builders for small businesses. However, more than a third of all websites use WordPress, so that’s typically a good jumping-off point. WordPress perfectly pairs with WooCommerce which is also free and open-source. Other businesses may prefer a hosted option like Shopify, Wix, or Volusion. You may spend more and lose some control and ability to fine-tune your store, but those companies will simplify the tech side of things and provide a fast track to a professionally designed, ready-to-go website. Another option is to look online for web designers for small business, there are a couple of guys out there that will design your website for a few bucks.
From there, take a realistic guess at how much traffic your business site can expect to see in a month to determine what type of server space you’ll need. The restrictions vary by hosting company, but websites that see only a few thousand visitors per month will typically be best served with shared hosting. The most affordable configuration of shared hosting entails hundreds or thousands of customers sharing one server. Businesses with higher traffic will do better with cloud or VPS hosting, which gives you more computing resources.
Choosing the best web hosting for small business – Features you should look out for
In the professional world, time is money — that’s why finding a reliable, top-notch web hosting partner is critical. The amount of time you spend configuring, troubleshooting, or fixing any issues is time spent away from product development, marketing, or customer support.
What’s more, any downtime will tank your revenue. Simply put, if customers can’t find your website or the site crashes, no one can purchase your wares. While most hosts offer a perfectly adequate uptime guarantee of 99.9%, it’s always a good idea to confirm that service-level agreement exists. Or seek something even better. Here are some other features small businesses should look out for:
- Unlimited storage, bandwidth, and email accounts
- 24/7 customer support via phone, chat, and email
- One-click software installations
- Free SSL certificate and backups
- Multiple datacenter locations and options to upgrade
In addition to server reliability and security, performance speed is another measurement of a worthy hosting company. One in 4 website visitors will abandon a website if it takes longer than four seconds to load, so finding a host that uses modern technology, like solid-state drives and a content delivery network, is a must.
How choosing the best web hosting affects your small business
From email marketing to page load speed, we’ve already covered a few ways the wrong technology can negatively impact your business success. We’ve barely even touched on conversion-focused web design principles. A hosted website builder or solid content management system can help guide you to the starting gate, but you should always look for an edge.
Pay close attention to the design and functionality of each element of your site. Learning UX design principles and how to leverage analytics can reveal a lot of potential improvements to your business website that will boost user engagement and efficiency.
Another prime way to boost your business online includes mastering search engine optimization (SEO). The higher your company’s online presence ranks in the likes of Google, Bing, and Yahoo, the more people will come to your site. From there, you’ll have more visitors to convert to customers, more people to sign up for your mailing lists, and more people to tell others about your business.
With so many hosting providers out there, it’s difficult to know where to start. But we’ll take a look at some of the best web hosting services out there for startups, entrepreneurs, and small businesses.
Chosen as Overall best website hosting for Small Business
Bluehost is our top recommended hosting provider. It came out as the best overall small business hosting service from our research and is also our top recommended provider for WordPress websites. With comprehensive features and excellent customer service, it provides great value for money for small, startup businesses.
Chosen as best for: Shared and VPS Hosting
While Bluehost tops the charts, InMotion certainly makes a compelling case. Granted, it’s not the cheapest if you’re looking for basic shared hosting, but the security, support, and storage space on offer are excellent. It’s also got its website builder, should you still need to build your business website.
Chosen as best for Dedicated Hosting
HostGator comes in at third in our list. It’s a beginner-friendly, feature-rich service with an unrivaled uptime of 99.99%. In particular, we rate its dedicated server hosting. Like InMotion, HostGator also has its website builder called Gator.
Chosen as best for Budget-Friendly Plans
iPage can be seen as a mean, green hosting machine. It’s cheap, has one-click install for select CMSs, and is committed to reducing its carbon footprint. It’s also great if you’re just looking for a cheap hosting option. Be warned though, you may sacrifice speed for the price.
5. A2 Hosting
Chosen as best for Cloud Hosting
A2 Hosting came top in our research for cloud hosting. It’s also one of the few hosts to offer Windows hosting (not just Linux). Windows hosting comes with the addition of a Plesk Onyx 17.8 control panel, free site migrations, and one-click installs across loads of CMSs – including WordPress.
Chosen as best for Extra Features
GoDaddy can be viewed as a jack of all trades. It’s the world’s largest domain registrar, while also providing a web design hosting services and website builder (probably the best website builder for small business looking for something pretty basic). Its uptime is fantastic, and GoDaddy represents the best all-in-one service. If you need the works – domain, website, and hosting – you’re in the right place.
Chosen as best for Customer Service
SiteGround isn’t the cheapest option, but it does have clear strengths. Versatile across multiple CMSs with one-click installation, you’ll also get free email accounts and daily backups. Its customer service is also second to none, offering 24/7 phone and live chat support and a comprehensive knowledge center.
Ultimately, the decision to choose the best web hosting for small business owners lies in the understanding of the needs of the business and talking about those needs with numerous service providers before making your final choice.