Are you a startup or a small business, and are you confused about which web hosting to choose for your website? Then our budding star, this article is for you. We will tell you the six best web hosting for small businesses. By the end, you will be able to zero down to your ideal web hosting. You will also have a complete understanding of which factors make or break your decision.
We have done in-depth research to come up with the best hosting providers of 2021. But before we begin, it is essential to know which factors make a web hosting great. It is always better to make an informed choice.
Thus below are a few deciding factors. Once you know their implications, all the hosting services will make more sense.
Deciding Factors Of A Web Hosting: A Buyer’s Guide
#1: Site Uptime
The first factor in line is availability. The site should have a minimum of 99.95% uptime at least.
Most hosting providers guarantee at least 99.99% uptime, but that is not the reality. Most hosts do not count the downtime caused due to factors beyond control in the guarantee. This may be something like floods or cyclones etc. Also, the self-reported and third party reported data is not considered. And even if they cannot achieve this amount of uptime, they just discount your bill.
But certainly, that cannot suffice your needs. So, be careful while choosing your hosting provider.
#2: Customer Support
Customer Support is another lightly taken aspect. But it is a crucial point to keep in mind. What if something goes wrong. Let’s say you update your WordPress version, which you will eventually need to, and some bug comes up.
You will need to consult the customer support. However, the amount and type of support will depend on your plan. But still, there must be someone to turn to, which is where customer support becomes crucial.
#3: Site Speed
Well, site speed is a direct SEO factor. Plus, would you like a website that takes forever to load? You know you will get tired and press the back button.
The same goes for the visitors coming to your website. They, too, need your site to be ‘fast enough’ at least. Being a small business, you may not need a blazing fast experience, but a good enough experience is necessary.
#4: Migration Feature
This point is for those of us that already have a running website. If you want to change your host, you will need to migrate your website to the new one. And if you are the one that’s going to do it all, then do check if it has one-click migration.
Many providers give one-click migration for popular CMS like WordPress, Drupal, etc.
If you are going to do it yourself, it certainly is a hectic process, especially if you are not that tech-savvy.
This may not make or break your decision but definitely helps you with it.
Pricing, according to us, is a critical balance. You need to have a pre-decided budget. At the same time, you must keep in mind that most hosting plans come in between $10-$20 per month.
You need to study your needs and then weigh against price. A useful tip is to go for a promotional offer (that comes cheap). And once you are happy, go for an extended duration plan. It will cost you way less.
#6: Traffic Volume
In the end, everything narrows down to this one factor.
Suppose you have scant traffic, like 500 visitors per month. Do not worry; just go with any shared hosting you find economical. But still, be sure about the customer support quality.
If your traffic is less than 50,000, again, a shared hosting plan is a good choice. There is no need for fancy features. Still, it will do you right if you have backup services, SSL, and customer support to assist you.
But if your site is a huge one, then back up, security, scaling, speed, and many fancy premium features are something you would like to look into. A managed WordPress hosting is the way to go in this case.
So, now that we know the basics of hosting features. Let’s get to know the six best web hosting for small businesses.
Six Best Web Hosting For Small Businesses
- Bluehost- The Best Small Business Hosting
- InMotion- Best shared and VPS Hosting
- DreamHost- Best value for your bucks
- Hostinger- Best in the discounted range
- A2 Hosting- Best cloud and a fast shared hosting
- HostGator- Best for dedicated server and scalable shared hosting
Bluehost is the best web hosting for small businesses. It is what you call all the services under one roof. How? Let us explain.
It offers a great starters package for a new small business. But as you grow, they have all the options you can scale up into. They have VPS, dedicated hosting, managed WordPress hosting, etc.
Speaking of its customer support, it is responsive and available 24/7. We tried both Bluehost Knowledge Center as well as chat and found both of them fantastic.
Most other web hosts do not provide such prompt and knowledgable support.
And now talking about the uptime, it has an excellent 99.98% uptime, one of the best you would get anywhere. This stat means just 2 hours of downtime in a year!
It also has a one-click WordPress download. Most hosts provide this feature. But Bluehost provides a few added features in the cPanel, making your work easier.
Other than that, it offers an introductory discount, free domain name, and free SSL for newbies.
Price: $2.95 (introductory); $7.99 (normally)
Hostgator may not come cheap, but it definitely offers enough to counter the expenses.
Hostgator’s highlight is that it offers a staggering 99.9% uptime, which means that your website will be down for not more than an hour in one year. Don’t believe it? HostGator promises to refund a month’s billing if it fails to deliver on the promise.
HostGator also has a great help and support system. It is one of the few who include support in all the plans.
But a small downside is that HostGator does not include a few features in their starter package of $2.75/month. However, their higher package ‘Business’ costs $5.95 and offers a hefty range of features. Some of the business package features are free SSL certificates, dedicated IP Address, and VoIP phone service.
However, all plans include unmetered bandwidth, one-click installation of popular CMSs, and unlimited emails.
Other drawbacks include, it does not offer a free domain, and the cPanel is outdated. However, you won’t mostly need a cPanel if you are using WordPress. So, you need not worry about that. Lastly, they offer phone and live chat support and no email support. So it is a setback for those who prefer an email approach.
Other than these few points, HostGator is one of the best web hosting for small businesses.
Price: $2.75 – $5.95 (shared hosting)
#3: A2 Hosting
If its speed that you are after? A2 Hosting is your best bet. They are the best-trained support staff too.
A2 Hosting claims that they are “20 times faster” than their other competitors. And indeed, they are the fastest VPS, dedicated, and shared hosting.
Like other hostings, they are feature-rich too. They have both Linux and Windows servers. And they have ample storage space, unmetered data transfer, etc.
Speaking of security, they give free SSL and daily backups. And if you are planning to shift your site to A2 Hosting, do not worry, they have free site migration!
Also, they are so confident in their service that they offer anytime money-back guarantee.
But even they have some setbacks: like their uptime is decent but not the best. Their uptime is 99.95%, which is good but not the best.
Their staff, although highly trained, the overall support is not that good. However, their email support is incredible and will surely impress you.
Next, they do not include website builder and domain in their package. Keeping this in mind, they are a bit expensive.
But anyway, you can cut on costs heavily by going for their triannual plan. Do keep in mind that the payment is made upfront.
Price: $7.99 – $18.99
InMotion is another feature-packed web hosting. Fourth, in our reviews of the best web hosting for small businesses, it deserves it all.
You get a lot packed in its starting package for shared hosting. The most lucrative deal is unlimited bandwidth and storage, free SSL certificate, and HTTPS.
The primary benefits of HTTPS and SSL certificates are that it is a direct SEO factor. It assures the viewer that your site is safe.
Also, it has tools like a great, easy-to-use website builder. There is also a tool for viewing visitor statistics, emails on any device, and free advertising credits.
InMotion is also known for its VPS facilities. So, if you have grown big enough then, it has two plans, managed and self-managed, in the VPS category.
With all these great features, does it even has a downside? And yes, it does. We did not find the support over chat, email, and the phone satisfactory.
Otherwise, InMotion is a great hosting provider to go for.
Price: $2.49 – $12.49/month (Shared Hosting)
DreamHost is priced very attractively, keeping in mind the features offered. It is a WordPress recommended web host too.
The highlight of the host is its features. It offers a one-click WordPress install and free auto migration. Once you install or migrate, you have DreamHosts’s own version for a control panel. What we mean is they do not use cPanel. Instead, they have built their won version of it. And this version is much more intuitive and easy to use.
But this new control panel makes it harder to migrate from DreamHost.
Once you are up and running, they have generous storage of 50 GB so that you can use it freely. They also offer automatic daily backups, domain privacy, and automatic WordPress updates for security. These features are mostly not found in shared hosting.
The host also provides advanced features like shells access, etc.
And all of this comes at a reasonable starting price of $2.59. Like we said, great value for money.
And if you still do not like it, there is a 97-day money-back guarantee.
But why would you not like it? Well, there are some cons like the uptime is decent but not great. It doesn’t match Bluehost’s standards. Another issue is their support. Chat support is only during business hours, and support over the phone is available only after an additional $9.95.
Price: $2.59 – $4.95 (Shared)
Are you on a tight budget: choose Hostinger!
It is the lowest good web hosting and has monthly plans of as low as $0.99. Crazy, isn’t it? Although they do have their lackings, they still have a feature-rich profile. They also offer 40 GB storage, which is not as generous as DreamHost but always good.
Speaking of other features, they have one-click WordPress installation, weekly backups, free SSL, DNS management, and much more. And surprisingly, they offer all this in their cheapest shared hosting package.
Also, they have both Linux and Windows servers. Although most servers are Linux-based, however, there are some Windows VPS servers.
All of this packed in under a dollar, is a lucrative deal indeed.
But, there must be some drawbacks too. Their uptime is not something to rave about. They offer a 99.90% uptime, which is not that good. It means you will experience around 8 hours of downtime. The standard acceptable limit being 1-3 hours.
Also, they lack good quality support.
Price: $0.99 – $3.99 (shared)
So, above were the best web hosting for small businesses. All these hosts excel in providing shared hosting plans. Most of them offer other types of web hosting like cloud and dedicated servers too. So, it would be great once your website grows. Just scale up your hosting plan with the same host and save yourself from all the migration hassles.
So, talking about exactly which host you should finally choose, here is a small summary of the above text.
- Bluehost is easily the best with uptime, support, and features. They come at a moderate price. So, if you want it all at an OK price? Go for Bluehost.
- If you can pay a bit higher, and want even better uptime and want some other features like dedicated IP, etc. go for Hostgator. Also, be prepared to access support over only chat and phone. No email.
- Next is excellent speed and a price at the higher end of the spectrum. Yes, we are talking about A2 Hosting. Great for scaling up too. Good support, and finally, a more than OK uptime. All in all, they are a high-end host.
- Next is DreamHost. If you want value for money, this is the right choice. It offers excellent features. Their uptime is good but not up to the Bluehost’s level. Also, getting support is not easy.
- Lastly, Hostinger. If you are tight on budget, this is your best bet. It gives all the required services at under a dollar per month. It is an excellent option. Much better than going for a free web hosting.