Website is a virtual headquarters for any business. It is not just a point of sale but also the portfolio and online presence for small businesses.
For most businesses such as e-commerce, their website is only what matters, what contributes to the user experience and sales conversions.
And the fundamental decision you need to take in order to have a fully-functional website, is deciding the web hosting provider.
When you really go online to swim these waters, you will find various options such as shared hosting, dedicated hosting, VPS hosting and many more.
Well, not to worry, as we dive deep in reviewing the best web hosting providers out there to even consider.
Also, a comprehensive guide on how you can decide to select the best web hosting for your small business in 2021.
How To Choose The Best Web Hosting For Your Small Business?
Being a business owner, you know how choosing a location for a retail store or an office is significant for the success of the business.
It matters a lot when it comes to bringing more clientel, giving more commercial advantage, proximity factors and more foot traffic.
Choosing the type of web hosting for your small business website isn’t any different than that.
It also affects the website traffic, the efficiency of your online business presence, the speed of the website and overall user experience as well.
So you need to first decide the type of web hosting you want to choose before you go into what web hosting provider fits for your small business.
The type of web hosting as well as the website provider you choose also going to affect the conversion rate of your visitors to the customers.
If you are just starting out and have your hands tied in much higher investments in your business, shared hosting is all about affordablity.
Or you might want to gradually increase your involvement in business websites.
There are various situations where shared hosting comes as the best web hosting type to begin with.
It is a type of web hosting where multiple websites are hosted on the same server.
So since all the websites on the server are sharing the space, hence you don’t have to pay much for it.
This certainly looks cost-effective and the best to go with but not ideal at all if your website has a high number of website traffic or gets a spike in traffic levels.
Shared hosting is an ideal choice for those small businesses who want to have a business presence online.
Also, for those who have a low level of website traffic at a time, it works perfectly.
VPS Hosting stands for Virtual Private Server Hosting. It is certainly more expensive than the shared hosting.
This kind of hosting type is best for your business if you just have a bit more regular traffic coming your way on the website.
VPS also perfectly handles sudden spike in your traffic and even overloading of traffic at a time.
VPS hosting actually works like a dedicated hosting server where technically it is still more of shared hosting type.
You get a higher level of customization, efficiency, better performance and traffic capacity with VPS hosting.
Dedicated Server Hosting
This clearly sounds to the almighty hosting provider! Dedicated server hosting allows your website to have its own dedicated or private server.
Evidently, this is going to make your website perform extremely faster and more efficiently than previous hosting types – shared and VPS.
Dedicated server hosting is perfect for small businesses that are growing rapidly and require their website to function at optimal level to escalate.
This is also an ideal choice for websites selling online to make user-interaction more efficient and smoother.
In general, Dedicated hosting server is for those website who expects large amount of traffic over a long period of timeo or consistently.
Dedicated server hosting gives you ultimate control over your website in terms of customization, security, performance and almost everything.
You cannot just manage your website but also the server which resolves most of the problems related to the website
Well, Cloud hosting is a result of the recent advancement in cloud storage technology.
It is quite a newer option as compared to the shared, VPS and dedicated server hosting types.
Cloud hosting allows different servers to work together and act like a one large server where your website will be hosted.
If you are a small business that is rapidly growing and getting more and more traffic, cloud hosting is an ideal choice to upgrade your hosting type for.
Cloud hosting type can help your business grow their cloud space, website traffic capacity and helps in the expansion.
This kind of hosting type is usually pay-by-use, so you are supposed to pay for only the cloud space you are using at the particular point of the time.
Managed Hosting type is one of the common web hosting solutions you see websites depending upon.
It simply means the service providers will manage the hosting and the server where your website is hosted.
They will manage all the tasks related to it such as maintenance, security, operations and everything else, so you don’t have to bother about it.
Such hosting type is perfect for those small businesses who do not have or want to hire a dedicated team member to technically handle or manage this aspect of the server.
Managed wordpress hosting is something you see almost everywhere with small businesses. It is kind of the easiest and most popular option amongst the business owners.
Factors You Need To Look For Deciding The Best Hosting Provider
Site Uptime is the most certainly the very first thing you look for when comparing the potential web hosting provider for your small busines website.
Uptime simply means the amount of time your website keeps up and accessible for your users or potential customers.
If your website isn’t up, you simply lose the audience and don’t make any money for the down time.
Even more than that, it is about the “trust” and “reliablity” your users or potential customer put into your brand.
It is disappointing and unprofessional in the eye of a visitor when they find your website not up or inaccessible.
So, the very first thing you look for in a web hosting provider company is how much uptime they are promising or guarantee.
The less uptime, the better, so aim for getting uptime near to 99.9 per cent.
However, there is not much of guarantee of the uptime claimed. Guarantee – for companies will mean they are going to discount you on the bill when there is unplanned downtime.
So you do an extensive research on finding the exact or maximum possible uptime you can get from the web hosting provider.
What kind of traffic volume the web hosting company and plan is capable of handling ?
Also, what traffic volume are you getting to your website? You need to examine the factors from both fronts.
If you are getting 200-300 visitors every month, any basic hosting plan would be good enough.
On the other side, as you grow, you need to change your hosting plan, so make sure you understand what hosting plan suits your website traffic volume.
There are other concerns such as whether you have a CDN for your content or not. Are you constantly updating PHP on the server?
If you have a website that gets an occasional spike of traffic, you have a hosting plan that can handle such volume at the moment.
Network & Server Speed
Server performance and speed is something you also need to determine before buying the hosting plan.
This can be a bit technical to apprehend but with some minor observation, you can optimize your selection for the best performance.
You need to check the TTFB and speed of the server and network.
Faster network helps businesses to provide best user experience and boost overall search engine rankings as well.
Website speed is the second-most important factor you need to look for, if not the first already.
Site speed also impacts the ranking of the website. It promotes the conversion on your website.
The loading speed as well as the general speed of a website determines the user-expereince and satisfaction as well.
Make sure when you are choosing the web hosting provider, inspect what their instance on providing the speed and efficiency on the particular plan.
Remember, there is a huge possibility that their shared plan is not good but the dedicated plan is extremely fast, and even vice versa.
So you better investigate what is the actual performance of the specific plan you intend to buy from a particular web hosting company.
Customer forums, detailed reviews, customer testimonials and other resources can really help getting a fair idea.
Also, the speed also depends upon what you are going to do on your company website.
So, for simple business presence or blogs, you wouldn’t want to go over with it only increasing your budget.
But for e-commerce websites, it is critical that your website is extremely fast, so you won’t lose money every second latency drops.
Migration is the transfer of your website hosting from one provider to another. And this might not sound as essential as other factors but it will be.
You would need to migrate one day for plenty of reasons, and if you haven’t chosen a web hosting service that facilitates easy migration, it is going to be disastrous.
You need to look for hosting providers that offer you the ability to easily, quickly and efficiently migrate your website.
WordPress websites are even so hassling and troublesom to migrate. It requires you to first create a new wordpress on a new host.
Then, you export the data from the older website and import it to the new wordpress.
Further you have to customize everything again like plugins and theme settings as well.
So it is better to look for hosting providers that offer one-click migration with known content management systems like WordPress.
First of all, spending more than you actually should be isn’t a smart decision, and for small business or entrepreneurs, it can hurt your financial health.
Also, you should’t overpay for the hosting plan that you don’t require.
On other hand, you should also look for the fact to not underpay for a minor quality.
To meet the right price, you need to understand your specific requirements.
Once you know exactly what hosting plan suits your requirements such as website traffic volume, you can aim for the budget price in the range.
The golden rule with the price is if it is too good to be true, then it is indeed bad. So steer away from extra cheap hosting plans or packages.
Many or just the most of small business owners are not too strong on technical grounds or it is too much to task.
Also, they aren’t supposed to worry about constantly finding solutions for website-related issues instead of focusing on their product.
At that time, customer support is all you need! They are like saviours at the time of a website crisis for your business.
So it is important that you inquire about customer support, its efficiency for problem solving and their availability as well.
Don’t get too impressed by the reviews or testimonials on their own website as they aren’t always real.
The best way to find out is a free trial customer support. Dig deep and try to understand how prospective companies deal with their customers.
Get with them on the phone and live chat to see how they react.
Also, research through the forums and complaints online regarding all the prospective hosting providers.
You need to know how responsible and knowledgable the customer service are and how easy it is to reach them as well.
Best Web Hosting For Small Businesses
BigScoots is a winner when it comes to the best web hosting services for small businesses.
It has been an expert’s choice and leading competitor in multiple tests amongst others.
You get this often as the topmost highly recommended hosting provider for not just small businesses but for enterprises as well.
It comes with their comprehensive features, efficient tools and extraordinary customer assistance, overall a great value for money for a small business.
One of the primary reasons for its popularity is the plethora of features it provides to their customers.
And what makes Bigscoots really stand out from the competition is their easy and compatibility level of interaction with WordPress.
You can get ready a wordpress website with just one-click installation without being too technical about it.
Their customer and tech support are available 24 X 7 to guide you, and even mostly just solves the problem for you remotely.
There are other features such as :
- Free SSL Certificate
- Unmetered Bandwidth
- cPanel Control Panel
The control panel Bigscoots offers is where you can customize, manage and control everything.
It is as simple as it can be even for a novice to adapt easily without sacrificing any advanced options or detailed features required.
However, there is a limitation of disk space you get with this hosting at their basic plan as compared to their compeittiors.
And, that can really bother you if your website experiences a surge of traffic suddenly. The website might crash or slow down due to slow servers.
One of the primary concerns about a hosting provider you must look for is its uptime.
Fortunately, with Bigscoots, it offers 99.8%, something that stands along with what Hostgator offers.
The uptime is really impressive and makes the whole deal convincing for a small business.
Because 99.8% uptime means less than two hours of downtime for an entire year. However, 100% uptime is never guaranteed, not that it is possible to as well.
Customer support and assistance makes hosting provider services top-notch.
Whether you are a bit experienced with websites or totally new to it, you are definitely going to need hosting provider help and support at some time.
A bad support and assistance means you are consistently trying to get one of their tech support teams online for hours at the time of a website crisis or setting up at an early stage.
On other hand, Bigscoots focuses on their customer support by exceeding the expectation by 9%.
It means, they are available 24 x 7 to help you with any query and technical changes you want.
They are also capable of simply getting solutions or fixing remotely without you needing to lift even a finger.
Their live chat support is always available along with the contact numbers.
Bigscoots hosting plan pricing are :
- Shared Hosting – Starts from $2.95/mo
- WordPress Hosting – Starts from $2.95/ mo
- VPS Hosting – Starts from $18.99/mo
- Dedicated Hosting – Starts from $79.99/mo
- WooCommerce Hosting – Starts from $12.95
You are also going to get a free domain with their shared hosting package. It can be a good start for your small business to choose their Shared hosting plan.
Their shared hosting plan which cost you $2.95 per month gives you features like
- Free SSL certification
- Free domain
- One-click wordpres installation,
- Unmetered Bandwidth
- 50 GB Storage
- 24/7 Tech/Customer Support & Live chat
Apart from that, their wordpress hosting plan is also quite affordable, especially if you are more focussed to use WordPress.com as a platform with their respective tools and features.
If you are looking forward to starting selling online, do consider their WooCommerce hosting package.
It comes with pre-built storefront themes and features that makes it so much easy for you to establish your e-commece store in jiffy.
HostaGator is another popular name you hear a lot when it comes to the best web hosting providers for small businesses.
The best part about Hostgator being really user-friendly and easy to understand. That’s what makes them perfect for beginners or newbies.
Even for anyone who prefers more simplicity, HostGator does have an appeal to give in. Apart from that, they do have an impressive portfolio of features with an uptime of 99.99%.
They have various types of hosting plans and hosting types as well such as VPS, shared, reseller, cloud and dedicated.
Hostagator won’t impress you as much as Bigscoots when it comes to the features of their basic plan.
However, they do have some really helpful features to begin with at very affordable price :
- Unmetered Bandwidth
- One-Click WordPress Installation
- Unlimited Storage
- Free SSL
- 24X 7 Help & Support + Live Chat
What really makes Hostagator stand out for small businesses is their ability to integrate seamlessly with Constant Contact, a powerful email marketing software.
So basically, you will get Constant Contact tools or features for free, only for the first three months though.
Hostagator promises their customer base an uptime of 99.99% where 100% uptime is straightaway impossible.
Many consider it too good to be true whereas this is basically as good as it gets. And considering 99.99% uptime means less than an hour of downtime per year.
Hostgator is quite promising with their help and support. It is not as excellent as you find in Bigscoots, but quite decent.
The experiences with Hostgator mostly have been impressive. And they actually exceed the set expectations and get better.
Hostgator support systems are pretty intact and knowledgeable. They are very capable of handling technical difficulties and resolving them remotely as well.
The live chat is also impressive and informative, but sometimes you have to wait longer than you expect to get the response.
Hostgator plans are really affordable and beginner- friendly, something a small business can invest even when they do not really want to get full in for the time being.
- Hatchling – Starts from $2.75 per month
- Baby – Starts from $3.95 per month
- Business – Starts from $5.95 per month
A Hatchling plan is great value for money if you are at the entry-level or want to go with the least investment possible.
If you want to do more to grow your website or small business faster, the baby plan is something you would want to go for.
Business plan is simply for the small businesses who already know what they are doing and growing fast.
Hostgator also offers VPS, WordPress and dedicated hosting plan and packages as well if your business outgrows these hosting plans.
SiteGround has their own reputation when it comes to top web hosting providers to choose from.
They are actually one of the top rated web hosting companies in the world according to various surveys.
SiteGround’s wordpress hosting plans are really efficient and optimized to run WordPress websites easily at an affordable price.
One of the highlights about Siteground hosting is that it allows users to choose their data centre from the available list.
Siteground offers an auto update feature to WordPress websites where it autoamatially updates the versions, plugins, theme and everything else.
Their basic shared plan offers :
- Free domain
- 10GB of disk space
- Free email accounts
- Free SSL
Siteground is not very generous with their features at the shared or basic plans.
It encourages you to either go for their next-level plans or gradually upgrade as your business grows.
Their Growbig hosting plan is certainly the best affordable hosting plan they offer considering the features you get.
- Unlimited websites
- 20 GB of disk space
- Suitable for 25,000 monthly visits
- Free email accounts
- Priority Support system
- Free SSL
They have their data centres to choose from :
- London, UK
- Chicago, IL
- Milano, Italy
- Frankfurt, DE
- Sydney, Australia
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- IOWA, USA
- Startup Plan – Starts from $6.99 per month
- GrowBig Plan – Starts from $9.99 per month
- GoGeek Plan – Starts from $14.99 per month
InMotion is one of the worthy alternatives of all the popular web hosting providers you usually hear a alot.
To begin with, Inmotion doesn’t give tough competition through lowering their prices, so they are not the cheapest, if you are going with that.
What they really ace in, is their overall web hosting package with excellent storage space, support and efficiency.
For people who aren’t confident about creating websites, they offer their own website builder which makes website building so easy even for dummies.
They have differen type of hosting plans such as shared, cloud, VPS, WordPress, reseller and dedicated as well.
If you compare the features they are offering to others, they are really competitive.
Inmotion offers features in their most basic plan called Lite Share plan :
- Free SSL
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Free email account @ your own domain
- 24x 7 support & Live Chat
If you choose their launch shared plan, you can host two websites and get 10 email addresses with it.
Now, that’s a really good offer in terms of price for value, particularly in their basic or first two hosting plans.
To be honest one of the primary reasons why a small business will be more keen to get this hosting plan, is their website builder.
Small business owners with no knowledge of wordpress or website designing, and especially the coding can just go and design their website easily.
InMotion doesn’t disappoint when it comes to promising Uptime. Their uptime rating is 99.97% that boils down to less than three hours of downtime per year.
Well, certainly not the best as compared to their competitors but still not disappointing at all.
Tech and customer support from Inmotion is highly trained and always on their toes to help you out.
However, apparently they got low to their expectation by 13% after the recent test of their tech support.
There are some concerns about their emails to be a bit more salsey to sound even if they are quick to respond.
On other hand, there are instances where to get to their representative on live chat, a customer had to wait for quite some time.
- Lite Plan – $2.49 per month
- Launch Plan – $3.9 per month ( 2-year subscription)
- Power Plan – $3.99 per month ( 2-year subscription)
- Pro Plan – $12.99 per month
You can say, the VPS and dedicated hosting plans with InMotion are better than their earlier basic shared plans.
So if you are a small business aiming to either expand for dedicated or VPS hosting or already onto it, InMotion is most likely oneo of the best options to consider.
You get the best deal here saving some real cost on VPS or dedicated hosting as compared to other hosting providers.
They offer special discounts for six-month or a year-based subscription that you can check out.
Hostinger is one of the cheapest hosting providers out there in the market. And don’t discredit the brand efficiency on the basis of their affordability!
That’s what really set Hostinger apart from all of their competition. It offers impeccable hosting services without compromising the quality, performance or features.
In short, Hostinger is the most value for money hosting provider option you can go for without much hesitation.
Their discounted pricing beats the competition pricing quite dramatically. To be precise, their discounted pricing starts from $0.99 per month.
Hostinger offers all known kinds of web hosting types such as VPS, shared, WordPress and cloud hosting.
You may assume being at the lower end of the price, they must have been very restricted with their features range, but not true at all!
They provide a good range and amount of features with their shared plan itself.
So it doesn’t lack in this particular section when you compare it to even the best or the most expensive web hosting provider in this list as well.
Their feature-rich shared plan includes :
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- 100 GB Storage
- Get upto 100 email accounts @ your domain
- Free daily backups
- 24 x 7 Support & Live Chat
Surely, Hostinger offers a wide spectrum of features but what you need to understand is they do not offer dedicated hosting.
So in the case if you are looking forward to upgrading your company website or want hosting for a growing website, Hostinger isn’t a really good choice.
You better explore the dedicated or VPS hosting plans of HostGator with the closs affordable price there.
However, Hostinger does tackle this issue with their very affordable VPS hosting plan and generous Cloud hosting plan at $29.95 per month and $37 per month respectively.
Hostinger promises an uptime guarantee of 99.90% which, let’s admit, not the best you are getting in the market but still workable.
Especially with the pricing at the lowest possible, this can work for many small businesses, mostly who are looking for a simple website to have an online presence.
Other than that, the uptime is certainly the disappointing aspect of this Hostinger even if you let go of no upgrade to a dedicated server plan.
Usually, you would want the downtime time not less than one to three hours per year for your website.
And with Hostinger, it is getting to around eight hours per year which is not acceptable for growing a small business website.
Hostinger nails the pricing and somewhat fails the uptime, support is something they fall in the middle of.
They do offer a range of help and support facilations to their customer base such as email, support tickets, searchable knowledge base, forums and 24/7 live chat.
As per the consumers, they are pretty much good with their support over live chat, email or support tickets.
Another special mention here must be their support team to be multi-lingual so that’s really helpful for people all around the world.
But the drawback really takes away a lot as they don’t have phone support yet.
Since, there was too much boasting about the low and affordable price offered from Hostinger, let’s look at the hosting plans offered here :
- Shared Plan – Starts from $0.99 per month
- WordPress Plan – Starts from $2.15 per month
- VPS Plan – Starts from $3.95 per month
- Cloud Plan – Starts from $37 per month
A2 Hosting is known for their lightning-speed hosting services and perfect for cloud hosting for small businesses and even large enterprises.
They are amongst the very few of the best hosting providers to offer windows hosting and not just the linux one.
With A2 Hosting, users get Plesk Onyx 17.8 control panel, all the one-click CMS installations, free site migration and impeccable customer support.
Like other hosting providers, they also offer shared, cloud, dedicated, VPS and wordpress hosting plans.
A2 Hosting comes with all required features that you can look forward to an ideal web hosting company :
- Unlimited email accounts
- Free SSL
- Unlimited Storage ( 100 GB)
Their cloud plans are even better with some specific unique features making them the best ones in the industry for this
- 2- 4 TB data transfer
- Root access
- 150-2450 GB Storage
Simply, whether it is their unique set of features or hosting plan, they are the best for cloud hosting for small businesses.
So if your business requires cloud hosting, just simply go for A2 Hosting for the best performance.
A2 Hosting offers 99.95% of uptime which is really good when you compare it with the competition.
However, it is still lower than what Hostgator or Bluehost offers you with their uptime.
Still, it is quite impressive when it only translates to less than 4.5 hours of downtime per year.
A2 Hosting offers you a wide range of help and support to their customers through different mediums.
You can reach out to them through global phone lines or talk to their representatives on live chat.
There are also tickets that you can raise to get a dedicated support person to help you out in specific matters.
Apart from this, they also offer a searchable knowledge base where you find the solution easily.
A2 Customer service team are called the “Guru Crew” available to help you 24/6 with their experienced and knowledgeable team.
However, still there are some falling short with their support system when tested.
What they really nail is their email support which always responds on time and is really impressive and dedicated to resolve an issue of any kind.
- Shared Hosting – Starts from $2.99 per month
- VPS Hosting – Starts from $49.99 per month
- WordPress Hosting – Starts from $7.99 per month
- Dedicated Hosting – Starts from $169.99 per month
- Cloud Hosting – Starts from $5 per month