A great web host for your website should have stable uptime / speed performance, reasonable pricing, and features (built-in POS, email host, etc) that ease up or help your business to grow. At the top of my list – InMotion Hosting, is the best web host for most small business owners.
In this article, We will compare top business hosting services and dive into the details for some of the popular ones.
Finding the best web hosting for small business is quite straightforward.
The best approach to this is to find the best match for what you want.
Business websites can be unique in many ways and you do not always need the best of everything.
What another website owner may find to complain about, you may discover to be an ideal fit for your needs.
Some web hosts might be good in certain areas – such as speed and latest technology; while others might focus on providing a stable server and cheaper rate.
Studies have consistently shown that faster page loading speed will in a better conversion rate. As web hosting is one of the critical factors in your business website speed – it’s important to select a web host that helps your site load quickly
As a business owner myself – I truly understand why businesses are often cautious and picky about their web host. You need to stick with the right service at the right price and right quality.
The “best” web host may not be the best choice.
We will now dig in to each of these business hosting services. To make my reviews relevant and helpful, I will put in extra focus on features that are important to business, such as hosting performance, business-friendly features, after-sales support, and value for money.
InMotion Hosting offers SSD-based Shared Business Hosting on their servers located at the East and the West Coast of United States. You have the option to choose one of them.
Shared plans are basically budget-friendly which includes one free domain name and one free SSL certificate. They also offer advanced hosting plans such as VPS Hosting and Dedicated Server Hosting for websites in need of more CPU resources.
Regardless of the plan, their server uptime is mostly above 99.95% with good latency in the US.
InMotion Hosting service is backed up by all three methods of support (live chat, phone and email ticket). Contacting via phone call is the quickest way to get your problem solved professionally.
Plans & Pricing *
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Tip: Which InMotion plan is good for small / medium business?
For new and small businesses – Start with InMotion Power Hosting Plan – at $5.99/mo, customers can host up to 6 domains with free SSL for all domains and all essential e-commerce features ready.
Upgrade to VPS-1000HA-S or VPS-2000HA-S later as your business grows.
Hostinger is relative new but it has the cheapest hosting services in our list. Start at as low as $0.80/month, Hostinger Single allows users to host one website and one email account with 100 GB bandwidth. and upgrade to higher plans (known as “Premium” and “Business”) later.
Hostinger premium plan – “Business” is cheaper than the market average (signup at $3.45/mo) and comes with various premium features including MariaDB (for a secured database), SSH Access (for better security), free SSL, auto daily backup, and pre-optimized servers for site speed.
Hostinger Plans & Pricing *
* Exclusive discount.
Tip: Which Hostinger plan to go with?
If all you need is a simple static website to showcase your business (a flyer website), then look no further – Hostinger is your answer. The $0.80/mo Single Plan is the cheapest (but reliable) business hosting solution you can ever get.
Bear in mind, however, that you get what you pay for – some useful features, such as auto backup, unlimited cron job, and free SSL, are available only in Premium or Business plans. I would recommend you to go (or upgrade later) with Hostinger Business if you are serious about your business.
Established in 2008, AltusHost has been one of the popular names among Europe hosting users for almost two decades. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company provides topnotch customer support and server locations in Bulgaria, the Netherlands, and Sweden.
With numerous hosting plans (VPS, Reseller, Colocation) available and business hosting as low as €4.95 per month, AltusHost offers an affordable and highly scalable solution for businesses who are looking for premium hosting based outside of the United States.
Tip: Which Altushost plan to go with?
AltusHost Biz 20 plans feature 20 GB SSD storage, 2 GB RAM, free daily backup, free Let’s Encrypt SSL, and a premium website builder – which I believe is good enough for any new small business website. For upgrades and larger business websites – their KVM based VPS hosting plans are powerful and reasonable priced.
Founded by Michael Lavrik and John Quaglieri, InterServer is a New Jersey-based company that’s been in the game since 1999.
Initially launching as a virtual hosting account re-seller, the hosting provider has grown over the past 17 years and now operates two data centers in New Jersey and is in the process of expanding to additional locations.
The best thing about InterServer is their solid server performance, guaranteed email delivery, and locked-in signup price. The company pledge that they will never increase their price during renewal and keep their server usage under 50% utilization for sudden traffic spikes. Also, the new Guaranteed Email Delivery feature ensure important business emails you sent will not be trapped in recipients’ junk box.
Tip: Which InterServer hosting plan is business-friendly?
Interserver Standard Shared Hosting Plan is good enough for any new, or small businesses. Priced at $5/mo ($4/mo if you subscribe 3 years), you’ll get all essential business hosting features plus automatic virus scanner, machine learning firewall, in-house caching, and guaranteed email delivery.
Although Shopify functions as a website builder it is technically more inclined towards those seeking to build an online store. This makes it very much in-sync with many businesses today which are competing in the digital space.
The ease of use that a website builder can bring towards building an eCommerce store cannot be underestimated. Most small businesses would not have the in-house competency to do this and outsourcing it would likely cost much more than what you could achieve with Shopify.
Aside from that you can also integrate your Shopify site with your retail POS system and make use of add-ons to manage inventory. This will let you move past the physical versus retail divide and provide a truly integrated experience to customers
In retrospect, Shopify might not be right for everyone but there is no denying that it has a specific focus – and that is to help you sell. To me it seems the ideal partner for many businesses, especially since all their plans include eCommerce functionality.
Tip: Which Shopify plan to go with?
Shopify Basic is a good starting for most small-to-medium businesses.
Shopify is, to be honest, pricier than most other site builders in the market. However it is also very much dedicated to the eCommerce scene and that can be a big plus for businesses, especially given their POS integration feature. The pricing structure is simple though and you just need to align your business needs to the right one.
Let’s get to know some of the must-have features in a good business hosting.
Budget is always a big issue for small businesses. So, most owners will consider the overall cost of building a website (which include web hosting cost) in the first place. However, because of the importance for business reputation, pricing may have to take a back seat to other factors when it comes to web hosting.
There are a number of factors that you need to consider when calculating the cost of a website, and all of them can vary wildly, depending on how complex or simple your needs are.
A basic fundamental for a web host is to have good server reliability. It’s important that your business website consistently has a fast and stable server and network.
If your website goes down even for a minute, you might lose out on a lot of customers and potential sales for your business.
There are certain qualities that you need to check when looking at server performance. The two major ones are the Time-To-First-Byte (TTFB) and speed. A fast server is needed if you want to provide the best user experience to your visitors and improve your overall ranking in search engines.
HostScore.net in September 2019. Our system tracks hosting speed from 10 locations. This image shows the 30 days response time for GreenGeeks shared hosting service
Another major quality to check is their uptime. Uptime rates are a good indication of how reliable a server is in keeping your website online. Generally, a 99.95% uptime rate is considered the minimum nowadays and it’s recommended to avoid any web hosts that provide less than that.
Your business will grow, so your web host must be able to cope with it. For starters – always start small with an affordable shared hosting and upgrade (ie. to VPS or cloud hosting) when your business takes off.
Businesses that start off (especially small businesses) seldom need to pay for expensive top-of-the-line hosting right off the bat. It would be far more prudent to move from plan to plan progressively as your needs evolve.
From cheap shared hosting to colocation server management – InterServer offers cost-efficient ways to host small and gigantic business websites
There are multiple factors that can generate trust for online websites. An SSL certificate is one of them and has become an increasingly important factor today.
This is important to take note of because there are various types of SSL and some of them can be quite expensive. SSL certificates are especially important to business sites that deal with customer data or financial information.
You can install, manage, and update Let’s Encrypt SSL easily (at no additional cost) with GreenGeeks built-in SSL control panel. To access, cPanel > Security > Manage SSL.
It will be definitely hard to sleep if you have a good amount of money at stake. Automated backup services will ensure you that whatever happens, you won’t lose your website.
Different hosts have different backup capabilities and processes so this is something important to take note of. Most hosts will offer basic backups for free, but for a business site I would recommend investing in additional capabilities and also keeping an updated copy offline as well!
Web hosting is basically space and the capacity to allow traffic to reach your website. It’s like the plot of land that you build your hose on. However, there are hosts that can help make your life much easier in your quest to build a website.
Most small businesses won’t have dedicated IT staff and having to outsource web design can get expensive. Today, many web hosts are including website builders into their packages so customers can build basic sites more easily.
Create a website easily with WordPress or Weebly at SiteGround. These sitebuilders are pre-installed in all SiteGround shared hosting plans
Save money in web design – Wix offers hundreds of professional designed templates in various categories
Again, this goes back to what additional functionality you need for your site. Being able to sell online can be a big plus for businesses.
If you’re looking to build a site that has eCommerce capabilities, you need to take into consideration other factors such as inventory management, payment processing, shipping processing, flexible shipping and tax rates, customer segmenting, dropshipping integrations, and much more.
Shopify has the best eCommerce solutions in market. The store builder comes in 50+ languages, integrates with over 100 payment gateways and dozens of dropshipping apps, and offers advanced inventory management capabilities
Running a website is hard work and odds are you’re going to face some troubles down the road. When that happens, you’re going to have to revert to customer support to help you out.
A web hosting company with great customer support should have fast response times when it comes to handling customer inquiries. They should also have a number of technical experts on hand to handle any problems or situations that a customer might face.
Having multiple support channel is also a good sign of a comprehensive customer support. Be sure to check if the web host offers contact via live chat, Skype, email, and phone call.
Security should be a top concern for most businesses, especially those that are running an eCommerce website. Most reputable website hosts are PCI/DSS compliant, have sFTP access and protection against DDoS attacks.
Other security features that are great to have include: Auto malware scanning, built-in network monitoring tools, firewalls, and in-house security expert support.
So there you have it, the web hosting services that we think will perfectly suit the needs of any small-to-medium business owners for their website.
But of course, in order for you to choose the right web host, you need to know the needs of your business first. As I’ve mentioned earlier, smaller business websites tend to have peculiar needs and identifying them will go a long in choosing the perfect web host for you.
Some other points that you need to consider before choosing your web host are:
The more you understand your business and its needs, the better and easier it will be to choose the right web host.
Last but not least, you should always remember that there is never a one-fix-all solution for your website. It’s all about finding the right balance of good features in a web host while still fulfilling the needs of your website.