Few consider the importance of an online presence while starting a business. Digital platforms are superb as advertising media. Contemporarily, they have become manifolds more effective than traditional media. Besides, if you are going to sell your products on the internet a well-made website is indispensable. Some factors to keep in mind while choosing the best web hosting for small businesses are:
- Affordability: When you are just starting out with a small business, you will likely be unable to spend a fortune on hosting a website. It is important to choose a web host that offers a slew of tools and facilities at a low price.
- Uptime: Uptime refers to the duration of time your site is going to be accessible. Try to not go for a cheap alternative unless it is a reputed one. Incompetent web hosts sometimes lure in customers with massive discounts and then provide a less than stellar experience. If no one can even see your site most of the time, the very point of making one becomes moot.
- Security: Data and identity theft has become rampant these days. So has the spread of viruses and malware. Security should be one of the prime considerations while building a website. SSL certificate is a must-have. Without it, Google will notify your visitors that “This site is not secure”. This will make customers less inclined to buy anything from you. Antivirus support is also imperative. The payments need to happen within a secure environment.
- Speed: SEO a big part of online marketing and the loading time of a website is explicitly related to that. A survey shows that if a page takes more than 3 seconds to load, about 40 percent of visitors leave. A sluggish website is a major turnoff for a potential buyer.
- Traffic: The least expensive plans offered by web hosts usually come with the caveat of limited bandwidth. For a small business, this might not be an issue. But the growth of your business would necessitate unlimited bandwidth if you don’t want your site to experience frequent downtime.
- Transparency: Some web hosts dishonestly incur additional costs that did not highlight in their campaign. One needs to carefully observe whether there are hidden charges or increasing renewal fees. Basically, you need to know exactly how much you are paying and what you are paying for.
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Top 10 Best Web Hosting for Small Businesses
One of the best web hosting for small businesses, Siteground is one of the more popular names in the field. With 15 years of experience behind, Siteground has proven itself to be a tried and true web hosting. It was launch by university friends Reneta Tsankova, Tenko Nikolav, and Nikolay Todorov. Today, their small venture has evolved into one of the leading hosting giants.
The headquarters of the company lies in Sofia, Bulgaria. It has a roster of 500 diligent employees across 4 data centers globally.
Siteground offers a host of features such as Cloudflare’s CDN, cPanel SSH service, with unlimited bandwidth. Comes with it, unlimited MySQL database.
Siteground offers 3 packages: “StartUp” at $3.95/month, GrowBig at $5.95/month and “GoGeek” at $11.95/month. The StartUp package is great for budding entrepreneurs, as 1 website with 10000 monthly visits is often enough when starting. When your business grows you can move to the GrowBig package which offers multiple websites and more webspace.
One element that has given Siteground an edge over others is their customer service. The customer service they provide is unrivaled. You will be able to contact them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even at the dead of night, the waiting time for contacting a support official is negligible. moreover, the site has its own proprietary live chat function that you can avail anytime. Upon sending an email ticket you will contact within 10 minutes. A 2018 survey states that Siteground have claimed over 97% customer satisfaction rate.
Their use of SuperCacher technology contributes greatly to maximizing website speed. They use HTTP/2 and NGINX servers as well. Files are stored in Solid State Drives which help a lot in decreasing loading time.
Siteground boasts of an incredibly high uptime. While most hostings promise 99% uptime, not all of them manage to maintain that. Even the cheapest packages of Siteground give you 99.99% uptime. It means your website will be offline once in a blue moon if it ever does at all.
Reportedly, a whopping total of 1,800,000 domains are being maintained by Siteground.
Next up on our list of the best web hosting for small businesses is InMotion. While starting a small business, you may feel insecure about going for no-name brands. Sometimes you just want to choose a solid hosting solution with years of experience behind them. Founded in 2001, InMotion hosting would be a perfect choice for you. They are all over social media, and that’s not only because of aggressive advertising. Over the years they have gathered a loyal fan base for their excellence in web hosting.
InMotion is set up in two data centers in Virginia and LA. With Linux and Unix based servers, today they hold about 300, 000 domains. Their uptime is impressive, although there is room for improvement.
Fast loading time is imperative for ranking a site. The way Google’s search engine works is that sites with less than 2 seconds of loading time are highly likely to be on the top. InMotion’s loading times averaged around 855 ms, which is quite good.
While most companies have some form of money returning policy, they are usually for 30 days. InMotion offers 90-Day Money Back Guarantee, which is quite unlike what we have seen so far. This illustrates the confidence they have in their service. For dedicated hosting however, the refund has to be claimed within 30 days. Their plans you can purchase are, “Launch” at $6.39/month, “Power” at $8.49/month and “Pro” at $14.71/month.
InMotion claims to have brilliant open-source networking. Connectivity with 310 apps is a testament to their claims. You can easily set up Google apps with the help of a three-step wizard. They have an expansive roster of plugins for sites like Drupal and WordPress as well. But here’s the most interesting part. Setting up an eShop plugin for your online business is a piece of cake. Their well-built site developer allows you to open up an eShop page to sell products directly. The servers are PCI-compliant, eliminating the huge hassle of setting a secured environment for payment.
Customer service offered by InMotion is praiseworthy. Tickets, live chat, and hotline are available. Contact upon raising an email ticket is almost instantaneous.
They employed the Smartwall Threat Defense System (TDS) for protection against DDoS. You have the option to buy SSL certificates which require an installation fee of $25 with the yearly charge of $99.99.
This Houston-based company has been in business for years. Many entrepreneurs today remember building their first site with Hostgator. Customer satisfaction may not have been perfect in their early days but over the years they have learned from the mistakes. Today the services they provide have reached above average standards. Their current uptime average around 99.98%.
Hostgator is quite suitable for small businesses. Their packages include the “Hatchling” plan( $2.75/month), the “Baby” plan ($3.95/month) and the “Business” plan ($5.95/month). Small entrepreneurs are encouraged to go for the “Business” plan as it comes with a free IP and a host of SEO tools. With their packages come free storage, a free SSL certificate and a free domain for the first year. You also get 45 days money back guarantee which is a bit more than what others offer. Not to mention, you get free advertising credits worth 200 bucks.
Migrating from other hosts is also easy and free of cost. Their site builder is empowered by cPanel which is the industry’s leading control panel. If you are intimidated by coding languages, fear not. A huge number of free templates are available for you to choose from. The site builder is novice-friendly. Installing apps is rapid and intuitive. If you do want to build your website yourself – SSH, MySQL and PHP access is available.
Hostgator takes pride in hosting 8 million domains over 400,000 satisfied customers. They actually secured a place in Forbes list of the fastest-growing organizations.
Some customers have expressed concern over the prices plummeting while renewing plans. Also, while affordable, they are not really up to the speed. There have been complaints about the slow loading time. Charging extra money for integrating basic tools is also something Hostgator needs to address. Regardless, they are a worthwhile investment for small businesses.
4. 1&1 Ionos
After their recent rebranding, 1&1 Hosting has become a formidable competitor in the market. It has all the tools up its arsenal needed for web hosting targeted for small businesses.
Their services are also geared towards inexperienced programmers. They give you complete packages to suit all your web hosting needs. The 3 plans for shared hosting are Business, essential and Expert with the price point of $1, $4 and $14 per month. These are promotional prices that increase after a certain period. As usual, you get a free domain with scalable tools and ample storage. moreover, the pricier packages let you host multiple websites.
The cloud hosting game of 1&1 is strong. At $0.014/hour you get entry-level cloud hosting with $0.486/hour being the highest cost. The charges max out at $10/month.
Email marketing plays a pivotal role in a small business. 1&1 Ionos provides designated e-mail marketing bundles. With the help of these, you can obtain overall statistics related to email traffic and more, at as low as $4 per month.
Next on this list of the best web hosting for small businesses is Namecheap. If the name doesn’t make it obvious already, Namecheap was a domain registration service. And perhaps they were the most popular one at that. Now they have expanded their business into bigger things. How well do they fare as a web hosting service? Let’s find out.
Split into three packages – “Stellar”, “Stellar Plus” and “Stellar Business” – Namecheap is a strong budget option. The packages are priced at $2.88/ month, $4.88/month and $8.88/month respectively. These also come with a free domain and free migration from other services. What’s unique about Namecheap is that they offer 3 websites even with their cheapest plan. While they do offer unlimited space, it is reserved for the 2 more expensive plans. Similar to most others in the industry, they deliver 30 day money back guarantee. If you are uncertain about your domain you can temporarily use .name and change it later. 50 my SQL databases are available along with 50 emails.
The data centers are set up in the USA and UK. Every two weeks the data are backed up to their servers. Positive SSL certificates are provided at an astoundingly low price of $2, Later on, you will have to spend $8.75 every year. Namecheap has WhoIsGuard support, which keeps your WhoIs information hidden. Great tool if you are worried about getting riddled with spam, or identity theft. Server speed is above average and has acceptable scores on benchmarking websites like Bitcatcha.
Namecheap has an extensive library of tutorials and Guides for the users. They are referred to as their “knowledge base”. They do well in addressing common issues. it has all the run of the mill customer service options. While it cannot be said that have a gold standard service, user reviews and generally positive.
Like many others, a classic cPanel toolkit takes care of their hosting. While not exactly beginner friendly it gets the job done. If you have been building websites for a while now, this will be a familiar sight. Software integration is done through Softaculous. You get access to 100 popular apps and plugins and can install them with just a click. Google App integration is also available.
If you are not on a tight budget, Squarespace might be a good option for you. While not the cheapest option on our list, Squarespace easily has one of the best site builders on our list. Coding prowess is not required at all. The templates Squarespace offers exude class. moreover, they are responsive and attractive, and function well on mobile too. The UI is uncomplicated and intuitive. Social media integration options are bountiful.
Their Personal and Business plans are priced at $16/month and $26/month respectively. If you want to set up an online store and sell from your site directly, you will have to spend a bit more.
Products can be sold physically or digitally. For digital purchases, after your customer has bought something they get a secure temporary link to download it.
Hostinger had humble beginnings. They started out in 2004 as a free site builder with the name “Hosting Media”. Come 2007 they changed their name to 000webhost.com while still providing the same services. Today this Lithuania-born company has evolved into a full-fledged hosting network. By 2017 they would have amassed 29 million subscribers. We are glad they did because they bring ridiculous value to the table.
Their packagers are organized as the “Single Plan” at $0.80/month, the Premium Plan at $2.15/month, and the Business Plan at $3.45/month. The cheapest offering is only this cheap if you sign up for 4 years, charging $1.45/month otherwise. It gives you 10GB storage, 100GB bandwidth in a single month, and one email address. The Premium Plan increases the storage and number of emails while removing the limit from the bandwidth used. They also throw in a free domain and free SSL certificates if you subscribe for more than a year. If you need more space to run your business site you can choose their Business Plan.
If shared hosting is unable to meet your needs, you can go for their VPS hosting options. They have 6 to choose from, with a variety of storage and processing power. Reseller hosting is an option too. It is a shame they don’t have dedicated hosting servers but their most expensive VPS option is more than enough to sustain a small business website.
Does tech jargon make your head spin? Would you much rather let the host build your site with your passive input? Hostinger has some good news for you. With little to no coding knowledge, you can still build a gripping website with their custom builder tool. They call it Zyro Builder and using it is a breeze. 196 interesting templates, drag and drop customization, effortless social media integration – Zyro Builder has it all. Unfortunately, more advanced means of editing are sparse and there is no blog integration.
The main selling point of Hostinger is speed. The servers are mind-numbingly fast. Uptime is praiseworthy too, with a record of about 99.7 %. Customer service is also pretty good, and its website features an expansive library of guides and FAQs. They are available in multiple languages.
Another of the best web hosting for small businesses, Shopify is a platform specifically curated towards online businesses. It is tailor-made for selling products and services online.
The simplified interface eliminates the need for any coding skills. Nor do you need to spend money after web developers. The custom interface is built to get your online store up and running within minutes. 1200 apps are available for integration. Many online platforms can connect to your sites, including big names such as Amazon and eBay. You get 10 free themes that can further customize in multiple ways. A huge gallery of paid themes is also available for purchase. Their content management system is robust. Care has been administering to providing appropriate SEO tools. Setting up titles and meta descriptions is painless. If you are more well-versed in site building, you can make edits or build your own site from scratch.
Shopify features an Abandoned Cart System which is an extremely nifty feature. A good number of people add products to their cart but forget to check out. This tool may help you retain a lot of potentially lost money.
The plans start from $29.00/month up to $299/month. The servers are not shared, which is why the prices seem a bit high. Compared to other dedicated web hosts they are very much worth the price. Long time subscribers will see the price drop by a good margin. Before deciding to purchase, you get to try out the services for free in a 14 day trial period. You can also opt for Shopify Lite at $9/month, which lets you sell through an external platform. All the Shopify servers comply with PCI.
Customer support is excellent. Issues are resolve in a swift manner.
The only entry on our list that has a free plan. Although a suspicious mind may move on to the next entry immediately, the free plan is extremely good for what it is. The free website is a good stepping stone to bigger things. For advertising a small business which might not attract a hoard of visitors at first, the free plan will get your job done.
If needs be, you can upgrade to their premium plans anytime. The prices start from about $4/month all the way to $24/month. They also have eCommerce focus plans all of which are reasonably price. All of the packages offer the essential features following industry standards.
The design potential the Wix site builder holds is unparalleled. The number of custom templates is well over 500. They also give you 40 Instagram-inspired image filters.
A familiar name among the web hosts available – Bluehost is affordable, secure, and reliable, and comes with a myriad of useful features.
While they do not support monthly subscriptions, the yearly subscriptions actually save you a lot of money. The offerings get even more lucrative if you sign up for 2 or 3 years. The basic plans come at the prices of $2.95 and $5.45. You get free domains, unlimited storage and bandwidth, and free SSL certificates. You can also go for their Pro package costing $13.95, which carries the neat features of dedicated IP and backup facilities.
Bluehost uses Weebly as their website builder and has an FTP based file manager. For additional apps and plugins, they have the Mojo Marketplace.
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Deciding which web host to choose for a small business can be arduous, as the competition is fierce. The key factor is to remember that different websites warrant different approaches to site-building. Carefully reviewing the plans and the features offer is paramount to selecting an appropriate web host.