Best Web Hosting For Small Business (2017 Reviews)
Let’s face it, owning a business that's without a website just isn’t acceptable in 2017. Even your brick and mortar business needs an online presence. If people want to find out more about your business, they're definitely going to look you up on Google, and if your business doesn’t show up anywhere in these places, then your potential customers won’t show up either. And that's not good business at all.
So, whether your business is small, medium-sized or large, the bottom line is it needs a website (if it doesn’t have one yet). Our focus today though is on small businesses, and if you consider your business to be one, then you're in the right place. Your search for a suitable web host ends here!
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There are different types of web hosting available for small businesses, and most are considered a form of shared web hosting. Shared web hosting means that there isn't just one dedicated server for one website, rather multiple websites have their own section in the server. The small business is ultimately renting space from the hosting company which allows the small business owner to step away from having to deal with the maintenance and hardware fees that accrue when you're having your site hosted on one dedicated server.
Why is Web Hosting Important for Small Business?
Websites are an extremely effective way for small businesses to engage with their customers while also allowing them the ability to reach new customers.
If you choose the wrong web hosting company then you can potentially lose revenue, SEO ranking can suffer, and your site could be subject to security and malware attacks. For these reasons, it's important to find a reliable web host that's safe and accessible and offers great customer support.
What is Cloud Hosting?
A subset of hosted platforms include something called Cloud Computing. Cloud Computing is simply the practice of using a network of remote services that are hosted on the internet to enable the user to store, manage, and process data instead of having to use a local server or just a personal computer.
Cloud computing is done entirely on the internet, so there's no need to buy additional software, the charges for using the service are mainly based on usage. Cloud computing allows a small business to create new apps and services, store, backup and recover data, host websites and blogs, stream audio and video, deliver software on demand, and analyze data for patterns and make predictions.
There are many benefits to using Cloud Computing to grow your small business including lower costs and expense, higher speeds, works on a global scale, increases productivity and performance, and can be more reliable than other networks.
Choosing the Right Web Host for your Small Business
Websites are becoming an essential element of business. The website is the place that customers, and potential customers, can go to and learn about the services and products you're providing. E-commerce tools with a well-designed interface and reliability can go a long way to providing easy access to your business. The website you use could offer customers the first impression of your business.
Free Versus Paid Web Hosting
When you're deciding between a free or paid web hosting service, there are several considerations to take into account.
Storage, upgrades, domain names, ads, and support are critical components. If you go with a free hosting service, then you'll more than likely not receive great customer support to help you with the site, and if you have your own domain name, you'll probably not be able to take it with you and use it with free hosting services.
Another downfall to free hosting services are the ads that may be placed on your website. Free services need to find money somewhere, and they do this by including ads on the website that you'll have no control over; this could also mean that you cannot include any of your own ads because they can interfere with the ads the host has chosen to display for monetary gain. Therefore, you won't make any money based on the traffic your site is seeing.
If you decide later that it's time to move to a paid hosting service because you have outgrown the free service, you may not be able to transfer your website to a new host. There's also a chance that you won't be able to redirect traffic from your old site on the free host to your new paid site.
The Importance of Technical Support for Web Hosting
Technical support oversees managing the site and ensures that there's no downtime, loss of income, or loss of credibility for your small business site. Technical support should be available for you twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week so that there's no chance of downtime. Technical support is in place to correct any errors before they cause massive problems for your business site. They're responsible for making sure that your site runs properly at all times. A web hosting service that you pay for will typically offer you a great amount of technical support so that there is one less thing that the small business owner has to worry about on a daily basis.
Technical support is a team of people that understand the problems that arise and know how to fix them promptly.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is often talked about and is a great resource if you are a small business owner that's looking to expand. WordPress Hosting offers regular updates to improve the user’s experience, speed optimization to help avoid slow loading sites, and backup so that you won't lose everything you've been working on.
These are all important because WordPress will test all new updates prior to their upgrades to ensure that everything, including the plugins, are working properly and up to date. The best part is you don’t even have to worry about updating your blog because they'll take care of it and manage it for you.
Speed optimization is important because slower loading speeds can drastically reduce the amount of traffic that visits the site. When visitors click on a website, they're looking for fast loading times and less wait. CDN, otherwise known as Content Delivery Networks, are included in your WordPress package, so there's no additional cost for speed optimization.
Finally, the biggest advantage to using WordPress sites is the backup feature. As a small business owner, you may spend a lot of time on your site making improvements, and if you have an inadequate or unreliable host running the site, there's a chance you could lose everything if something were to go wrong. With WordPress, you can quickly and effectively restore the page to its previous working state.
If you do decide to go with WordPress for your business site, make sure to bookmark this video which explains how to make a small business WordPress website:
Of course, we all want to know what's the best web hosting site for small business but before we list each of them for your sake, here’s a comparison table that briefly shows you what to expect from each.
|HOSTING COMPANY||BEST PLAN FOR BUSINESS||RATING|
|Media Temple||VPS hosting|
If not the most popular, Host Gator definitely is the most reputable web host option for small businesses. Offering affordable prices and great features, the hosting plans are more than adequate for small business.
There are three offerings from Host Gator: The Hatchling, the Baby, and the Business Plan. For a small business, the Business plan is the best option since it offers all the features a business requires to run efficiently.
- Unlimited disk storage
- Unlimited domain hosting
- Unmetered bandwidth
- MySQL database
- Free private SSL and IP
- Website builder
- 45-day money back guarantee
The Cons of Using Host Gator
- Purchasing a domain through Host Gator can be expensive
- Host Gator has gained in popularity and currently services millions of sites - this could negatively affect the performance of your site
- Host Gator’s monthly fees tend to be a bit higher than other hosting services
- Customer wait times are often extended, especially during peak hours. If you need immediate assistance, it might not be available
With Host Gator, you can expect excellent customer support and reliable speeds. The price is fair for startups, and it's considered one of the cheapest web hosts. Great uptimes and load times are in store as well. Installing WordPress is a breeze and can be done even by beginners. The cPanel offers the sites users ease of use.
InMotion is a gem for small businesses. The company has deliberately set about establishing themselves as the brand for the nerds and geeks. As a result, many businesses find that they love InMotion because they offer the advanced features and great hosting options.
The site has four web hosting plans: business, VPS, dedicated and reseller hosting. The best option for a small business is the top selling Power shared business hosting plan. In the same category (shared business plan) are the Launch which caters for all skill levels and Pro which is geared towards developers and growing businesses.
- Free Solid State Drives (SSD)
- Free data backups (for sites under 10GB in size)
- Flexible coding options using MySQL, Ruby, PHP, and PostgreSQL
- Softaculuous one-click installation script
- Free domain
- Website builder (BoldGrid)
- Outstanding customer support
- Unlimited bandwidth and disk space
Widely recommended as the best web host for small business and start-ups, InMotion hosting is no doubt a high-end performance web host. They offer efficient services in addition to excellent customer support. You can expect fast and reliable load times as well as 100% guaranteed uptimes courtesy of the SSD servers. They use the cPanel which makes it easy for you to manage your site. Furthermore, they're secure making it ideal for e-commerce.
Cons of Using InMotion
- You have to first navigate through the Account Management Panel to get to the cPanel interface. It's this Admin Backend where InMotion places the majority of their ads
- The cheaper and more affordable plans they offer can only host a few websites. However, for a small business that may only be utilizing one website to begin with, it should not be a problem until they decide to expand to several websites
As a top tier web host, SiteGround is well known in the industry for using technology to create an outstanding platform for its users. It's a WordPress partner and one of the most popular web hosts due to its reliability and performance.
SiteGround offers several exceptional plans ranging from shared to cloud hosting. As a starting point, small businesses will benefit the most from the Grow Big hosting plan found within the shared hosting. This plan has several features that make it ideal for startups and small businesses.
- 20GB web space
- Multiple websites
- Priority customer
- Free daily backups
- 30 back copies available
- SSD drives
- Free SSL certificate
- Firewall security rules
Cons of Using SiteGround
- SiteGround caps their web space at between 19GB and 30GB
- To receive managed hosting service features you must purchase the GrowBig or GoGeek plans. However, the GrowBig plan will most likely be beneficial for a small business owner to start with
Well known as a tech-savvy web host, you can expect some well-enhanced features (apart from all the above) that'll optimize your website. All the plans are powered by SSD drives which guarantee increased operations output and input.
The site also boasts using NGINX web server technology across all plans to boost the speed of loading static content on all the websites. For even more increased speed on applications like WordPress and Joomla, the site has built their own caching mechanism to speed up the loading of dynamic content on the site. They're among the first to use the newest network protocol - HTTP/2 which increases the speed with which your website is loaded onto the browser.
DreamHost has been in the business of web hosting for more than two decades. From just being a work of four undergrad students from Claremont, California’s Harvey Mudd University, DreamHost has cut out a niche for themselves with small businesses by offering consistent and reliable services.
DreamHost offers shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting. Of the three options, VPS hosting remains ideal for a small business because it offers the advanced features of a dedicated plan for a fraction of the cost.
- 100% uptime guarantee (with a guarantee to compensate clients with one day of free service for every hour of service interruption)
- 97-day money back guarantee
- One-click software installer
- Excellent customer support
- Full Root and shell access
- Unlimited data monthly transfers
- Free domain name
Cons of Using DreamHost
- Security is always a concern when using any web hosting service, and DreamHost has been compromised several times in past years
- They cannot guarantee 100% uptime. It has been reported that they do have the occasional downtime which can negatively affect your site
- The Control cpanel is not user-friendly and can be difficult to navigate
- DreamHost can cause your website to become slow
With such a generous money back guarantee before signing up, DreamHost offers you enough time to sample their offering before committing to their services. The company uses SSD servers, so you're assured of fast speed and stability. Although they use a custom-made panel instead of the cPanel, it comes with significantly advanced domain management features and has been simplified for beginners.
WordPress-endorsed, popular and reputable, BlueHost is yet another great web host offering the best web hosting for small business especially those intending to scale their website in future. They offer one of the cheapest upgrade plans in the web hosting industry.
The shared hosting plan offered by BlueHost is three tiered. Featuring the basic, plus and prime hosting plans, the small business has a wide array of features to choose from. As a starting point, small businesses would benefit most from the Prime hosting plan within the shared hosting.
- Unlimited resources (bandwidth, storage, websites, etc.)
- Free domain
- WordPress hosting
- E-commerce integration
- Cloud Integration
- Excellent customer support
- Open source hosting
The Cons of Using BlueHost
- Customer support has slow response times
- The prices may be affordable, but can be more expensive than other hosting services
- They currently only offer Linux servers
Powering over 2 million websites, BlueHost is an industry leader with a competitive package for small businesses. You can expect reliable speeds and load times for your website. Also, your site is secure as they scan your website on a daily basis for any malware. You also have the option of cloud integration which offers you more advanced features. The web host is great for beginners as it uses the cPanel that's easy to use in managing your sites and also allows e-commerce integration.
Site 5 easily earns a place among the best web hosts for small business because it is a top of the range web host that has a reputation for providing business owners with outstanding web hosting services. Offering great customer support for over the 16 years that they've been in existence, the site is synonymous with successful business websites.
Hosting plans for Site5 are made with businesses in mind. The three offerings which include HostBasic, HostPro and HostPro+Turbo have great features and resources available to make your business thrive. The best fit for a small business when starting out is the HostPro.
- Unlimited resources
- Shared SSL certificates
- Many server locations (US, India, UK, Sydney, Canada, Romania, Singapore, and Netherlands)
- Free site migration
- Disaster recovery backups
- Excellent customer support
Cons of Using Site5
- Below average reported Uptimes
- Their pricing plans can be misleading and more expensive than their competitors. There's no month to month plan that's offered
While they don't have SSD technology, they've been consistent in being reliable and giving their users great load times on their websites. Having many servers strewn in different locations worldwide make them efficient in delivering excellent speed. They also offer free migration without experiencing major downtime.
Overall, Site5 is a gem for small businesses as it gives it's users the SSL certificate that encrypts the sensitive transactional information between your website and the customer’s browser keeping both parties secure. Also, the price is very pocket-friendly.
GreenGeeks is gradually rising up in the ranks of the web hosting industry and is considered one of the most professional and reliable web hosting service providers in the market today. GreenGeeks is not only environmentally friendly, but they have also structured their pricing to stay the same as other companies that aren't involved in the initiative.
GreenGeeks offers shared, reseller, VPS, and dedicated hosting. For a small business looking to grow, the shared hosting plan is ideal.
- Green energy
- Enhanced cPanel
- guaranteed 99.99% uptime
- excellent customer support
- unlimited domains on one account
- secure IMAP/POP3 email accounts
- free site migration
- Free domain name registration or transfer
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Free daily backups
The Cons of Using GreenGeeks
- There is no backup or backup wizard feature available
GreenGeeks has a reputation for having some of the best uptimes in the web hosting industry; this is in addition to excellent speed and reliability owed to the world-class SSD technology, dual Quad Core frontend servers and optimized web and database server.
As one of the most reputable and well-respected players in the industry, Media Temple has a range of options to choose from, no matter which level of business you're currently sitting.
Media Temple offers one of the best options for small businesses with their VPS hosting service. They're best suited for digital media companies, e-commerce resellers, and other businesses.
- SSD drives
- Quick Setup Wizard
- 30 - day file backup and restoration
- DDoS and Intrusion Protection
- Excellent customer support
- Managed App catalog with auto updates
- Ease of use
- GIT integration
The Cons of Using Media Temple
- Slow WordPress hosting
- Reports of constant downtime and slow speeds
Not only are they tech savvy, but they're also social media savvy as well. They use the platform to gauge public opinion on their services and the industry in general. You can expect instant scaling for all types and sizes of website. They offer fast and reliable service that uses the SSD technology and are world renown for their award-winning customer support.
A2 hosting is among the very web hosts that provides the best web hosting service for small business. Being a reputable hosting service provider that's dedicated to giving a leg up to the amateur as well as feature-filled experience to the tech savvy, A2 Hosting offers several plans at a reasonable price. In fact, they regularly have discounted specials that are open to everyone and come in handy for small businesses.
Most small businesses start off on the shared hosting offered by A2 Hosting. With three tiers on the shared hosting platforms, the site has tried to accommodate everyone. However, the best offering for small businesses and start-ups to build up from is the Turbo hosting plan.
- Free account migration
- Anytime money back guarantee
- Unlimited websites, databases, and storage
- Free SSD drives
- Customer support (featuring the award-winning Guru crew support)
- Fair pricing
- A2 site accelerator
The Cons of Using A2 Hosting
- There are always different advertised deals, so it makes it difficult to figure out the actual price when there are no more deals available
- They restrict their turbo speed boosting options only to be used for higher paid plans
Of all the best web hosting companies for small businesses we’ve looked at so far, A2 Hosting takes pride in being an award-winning web host. It's clear that the company is an excellent choice for your hosting foundation. They're considered to be one of the best web hosting services, not just for small businesses but startups, due to their unlimited resource policy and the turbo feature.
With an excellent track record of reliable and optimized speed thanks to their SSD and the turbo server web hosting service, they can provide up to 20 times faster service and your website will benefit from excellent load times. 97% of their clients have always recommended them to their friends.
Boasting one of the easiest sign-up processes in the industry, GoDaddy counts among the biggest web hosting platform currently on the market. As a web host for small businesses, it packs a lot of perks.
The plans offered by GoDaddy include Economy, Deluxe, and Ultimate. For the small business that’s starting out, the best fit in the shared hosting platform would be the Deluxe Hosting Plan as it offers more resources, without breaking the bank.
- Free domain name
- Free webmail services
- Website builder
- Unlimited bandwidth, websites, and storage
- MySQL databases
- Free marketing tools
- 30-day money back guarantee
The Cons of Using GoDaddy
- They limit your databases, email addresses, and memory unless you purchase the Ultimate Plan
- Restrictive on overall data usage
Apart from offering web hosting, they also offer domain registration. As the biggest domain registrar, GoDaddy offers a small business a double prong solution to their needs. They provide reliable speeds and great uptimes as well. Their customer support is also extremely professional and efficient.
When looking for the best web hosting for small business, always look at the performance and reputation of the web host. While many out there pass themselves off as professionals, user reviews will always tell you who is reliable and who isn’t.
Take HostGator, for instance, their user reviews speak of their reliability and excellent performance in web hosting. So as a small business, HostGator is sure to live up to your hosting expectations.
Before spending all of your budget on a web hosting service, cloud host, or any e-commerce website, evaluate the needs of the business and determine which service would be the most affordable, the most reliable and dependent, and the one that'll help you raise your rank on search engines. The higher up on a search engine you are, the more traffic your website will populate.
Overall, as you sample our selection of the best web hosting sites for small businesses, we hope that during your search, you and your business will be at a better place to find what suits you best. Good luck.