Change might be opposed but is inevitable. Digitalization has been sweeping through the wide earth with astonishing speed and as much as small businesses used to view it as necessity for the bigger enterprises, it is becoming evident that they need it as much as their counterparts. Web hosting as a part of digitalization ensures that these small business stand a chance competing with their larger, loaded rivals.
Before selecting a website hosting company it is important to do your homework. Most hosting company will have an outward appearance that might seem similar to the rest e.g. offers of unlimited disk space, disk space, cloud storage etc. However, appearances can be deceiving. In-depth study of most of these companies will reveal the truth and guide a business into choosing the right company.
We have made this work easier for you- the small business owner. So, you can rest assured that hosting will be simplified, the best will be listed below and you can spend your precious time running your business. After all, time is money right? Well, guess what? You are about to save a lot without spending a dime.
Factors to consider when selecting hosting for your business
Let’s face it, small businesses rarely have truckloads of money to throw away. You’ll want to cut cost as much as possible if your business is to turn in profit. The price of hosting should be one that the business can comfortably afford and also match the benefits accrued. No need to deal with expensive monthly rates if a company doesn’t have enough tools to make your site run efficiently.
Security is paramount to your data. I recently experienced the inconvenience of having a malware attack and all I can advise anyone is ‘If it doesn’t say anything about your security, show it the door’. You wouldn’t want a hosting that leaves cracks for all the ransomwares and malwares that are out there waiting for a chance to leap. Otherwise you will definitely be prone to paying ransoms and will suffer regular and painful periods of data loss.
Reliability is key to your business surviving and retaining customers. Close scrutiny should be paid to ensure the company’s percentage of being up and available exceeds 99%.
- Ease of setup
Most of your team will be people that are business-oriented with little or no technical knowledge in hosting. This is completely natural. After all, you are there to build a successful business, not be a techie. You should therefore save time and effort by choosing a company that has made setting up relatively easy from the user side.
- Customer support
As much as companies tend to tout their performance, issues will always sprout either from the hosting side or the customer might find execution of a certain task to be problematic from their side. Like I pointed out before, not all of us are techies. We more often than not will need help navigating through certain tasks.
A business will therefore require 24/7 customer support that has a high rate of success. Otherwise if customer support is only during business hours, the business will have to endure problems that crop up after hours until customer support is available.
Different companies incorporate different features in their products. A small business needs diverse features from large enterprises too. As a business owner or prospective businessman, you will have to make a clear list of what you expect your website to look like and what you want it to do. Such features as automation in email sending, availed disk space, loading speed and so on will determine how the site looks and responds. A business should also make room for future growth and expansion. Therefore hosting companies should not be chosen on how they fit now but also on how able they are to grow with you.
Now that we have gone through a few of the factors that influence choice when it comes to good hosting companies, let us go through the companies we see fit for your small business.
When it comes to hosting for small businesses, Bluehost leads the pack. Bluehost is a WordPress hosting company that is popular for its amazing features and fast speeda in spite of it being relatively cheap.
Bluehost Company was started in 1996 by Matt Heaton. Its foundation was mainly for hosting services that were more sufficient than the rest. From its founding to date, this company boasts hosting and empowering upwards of 2 million websites.
A company that is recommended by WordPress is expected to perform well. Well, Bluehost is on a list with 2 other companies that WordPress strongly recommends and it hasn’t disappointed the critics. The owner of this company, Endurance International Group, also own a few other companies that are on this list so quality wasn’t due to ‘beginners luck’; it is a campaign they don’t plan on relinquishing.
Here are the reasons why Bluehost is considered best for small businesses. We will start with the leading reason:
Like it was mentioned earlier, Bluehost Pricing compared to its performance is admittedly astonishingly cheap.
Small businesses with a smart sense for saving rely on shared hosting. Shared hosting, as compared to VPS and Dedicated Server is cheapest although with a few disadvantages such as slower speed as compared to the other two.
Shared Hosting and Shared WordPress Hosting at Bluehost cost $2.95/month starting price, and then includes a regular rate of renewal at $7.99 per month. This plan comes with an easy to use dashboard for customers and solution that is fully managed.
Their Woocommerce hosting plan goes at $6.95/month and a renewal price of $13.99/month.
VPS hosting plan is $18.99/month and renews at a monthly price of $29.99.
Their Managed WordPress hoisting price starts at $19.95 and renews at $29.99/month.
Their plan for Dedicated Hosting, which is the most expensive, is $79.99/month and renews at $119.99/month.
Bluehost can also easily be integrated with WordPress. It is easy to kick off with this platform due to its one-click installation and with as low as $3.95/month, you get 50GB website space and a free Domain for one year. This Basic plan incorporates such features as:
- Free SSL
- Secure WordPress installation
- Auto-updates from WordPress
- Access to their Marketplace
- Site Analytics Dashboard
- FTP Site Transfer
- And many more features. For more, visit www.bluehost.com.
A 30 days Money-Back Guarantee ensures that new customers that aren’t satisfied can leave with their money intact.
Security is prioritized by this company. Data and customers are protected by a SSL certificate that is absolutely free. This feature allows for encrypted data transfer.
Emails used on this platform are instantly recognized since they’re branded with the customer’s domain name therefore boosting the recognition for small businesses. These emails can also be accessed from any corner of the earth using Microsoft Office 365.
When it comes to support and troubleshooting, business owners are guaranteed 24/7 assistance. Therefore, any problem encountered even after business hours can be easily addressed by the company’s team.
And if you’re worried about their reliability, they have 99.98% uptime. This is a pretty compelling reason for any doubtful business owners if you ask me.
InMotion is considered ideal for Shared and VPS hosting. This company is based in the U.S and has two working data centers. It was established in 2001 and has gone on to outdo much younger companies that were expected to deliver better services than their older counterparts. As result, this company has managed to maintain more than 25,500 customers that can happily recommend it.
InMotion offers its Shared Hosting plan at $6.39 per month. This plan comes with unlimited disk space and bandwidth. The email accounts supported are also unlimited and they offer an extra free drag-and-drop site builder feature. On this plan, users also get WordPress, Joomia or PrestaShop installed for them during checkout. And the icing on this cake is they get a free domain name.
The Shared Plan has the following sub-categories: Launch at $6.39/month, Power at $8.49/month and Pro at $14.71/month.
Their VPS Hosting goes at $29.99 a month. With this plan, customers get Server Management and cloud infrastructure that can be relied on any time. Coupled with this, CPU cores are unlocked on this plan to unleash any site’s speed. Security on this plan is guaranteed with DDOs Attack Protection so the business doesn’t have to be worried about defense. Plus, they offer daily automatic backups for data. Speed is also optimize with free SSDs that give the users 20 times speed.
They have WordPress Plan that retails at $6.99/month with ultrafast WordPress performance. This includes Premium WordPress Toolkit and advanced security with Free SSL. The hosting platform builds clients’ websites for $99 in only 2 days. The websites they create for customers are known for quality since they are created by experts and they always work smoothly on any device be it desktop, tablet or mobile phone.
They also offer Dedicated Servers Plan at a monthly rate of $75.69. The Dedicated server’s plan incorporates 99.999% uptime, a number that can be considered perfect in hosting. Their server hardware on this plan is configurable and they top it all with cPanel and bare metal configurations.
If you doubt your security on this hosting platform, don’t. Their servers are secured with such tools as DDOs protection and Free SSL that were mentioned earlier. On top which, they also have hack protection and custom firewall to deter any ill-willed criminals.
If you are considering Dedicated Server for your business, then HostGator is highly recommended. This means that HostGator cannot be classified with the cheapest hosting companies but when it comes to value for money, HostGator will match every dime with great features and awe-inspiring uptime, 99.9%to be exact. And, for those that believe numbers can never lie, HostGator hosts 8 million domains. This is quite an impressive number.
For small businesses that cannot afford Dedicated Server, the advantage they get with this platform is that they can start small then grow while shifting through the various offers they have.
Seeing as we highly recommend this platform for Dedicated Server, let us see what they have to offer. Their Dedicated Hosting starts at a monthly price of $89.98. This plan has two options: Managed Solutions and Semi-managed Solutions. Managed Solution is best for users with little tech knowhow or those that don’t have time to deal with technicalities. This solution means that HostGator will help out with any technical issues or configurations through their support team. It also includes easy to understand and use tools like server optimization and backups. Semi-managed solutions are, however, quite different since their team doesn’t get that involved except in handling hardware, OS or issues that pertain to basic configuration. This solution requires a higher technical understanding which a business might have to hire a support team for if they are to run smoothly on this platform. Dedicated Hosting comes with: Value Server at $89.98/month, Power Server at $119.89/month and Enterprise Server at $139.99/month.
HostGator also has other plans. These are:
- Website Builder
This is the perfect for beginners and small businesses that are just starting. This plan sets off with Starter at $3.84/month. It includes a drag-and-drop feature that is easy to use with a friendly user interface. The templates availed on this plan are customizable ensuring that the websites suit the user’s need. A domain name is included for websites and performance is tracked by Website Analytics present. Security is ensured with a free SSL certificate.
Premium follows at $5.99 per month. This package has everything that Starter has and an additional Priority Support incorporated.
eCommerce is the last package on this plan. It starts at $9.22/month and has everything that Premium has plus an eCommerce functionality to spice things up.
- WordPress Hosting
This hosting has three plans in it. First is the starter plan at $5.95 per month. This plan gives the customers 1GB backups for data and a free SSL security. On top of which it allows for 100k visitors per month and includes a free domain
The standard plans comes second at $7.95. It includes twice the number of visitors per month and backups that Starter has plus all the other features in Starter.
Business Plan comes last at $9.95/month. It has 3GB for backup, allows visitors per month that number to 500k and includes free SSL certificate and domain.
For more, click HERE.
This hosting boasts the following plans
Snappy 2000 that retails at $19.95/month
Snappy 4000 at $29.95/month
Snappy 8000 at $39.95/ month
For more on this plan, click HERE.
iPage w established in 1998 and in 2002 they started an initiative on selling hosting plans. Endurance Group owns this platform just like they own HostGator and Bluehost. Its users number over a million.
iPage isn’t ideal for businesses that are feature-focused. They are known well for cheap prices instead. Other than a performance that claims 99.94% uptimes, the platform includes free SSL security and a free domain for the first year. On top of this quite limited list of advantages, users get unlimited email accounts for hosting. However, with iPage, small businesses don’t have to worry about large traffic numbers affecting the performance of their sites because they allow monthly visitors as many as 500,000 per month.
As this platform is known for pricing, let us have a detailed look at their pricing plans.
iPage avails a one size fit all for $1.99 per month, a price that is renewed regularly at $7.99 monthly. That’s it for pricing plans.
They have a policy of 30-day money back guarantee for anyone that might feel let down by what they have to offer so you won’t have to worry about wasting your money on them.
For more on iPage click HERE.
#5. A2 Hosting
A2 Hosting finds a place on our list due to their being best for Cloud Hosting. They offer unlimited SSD storage and transfer of data. This data is subject to automatic updates so the user doesn’t have to worry about loss of data. However their email accounts are limited to a mere 25 for the Lite package whereas most platforms offer unlimited email accounts.
If a customer feels like moving from other sites to this one, they can easily move and join a hosting service that claims they are 20 times faster than any other service out there. And if the same users feel like they have been cheated and want to leave A2 Hosting, they can get back their money anytime.
This platform claims an uptime of an impressive 99.95% and incorporates SSL security. However, they lack the enticing Free Domain Offer coupled with Website Creation. This two tasks will require the user to get a website builder or CMS (Content Management System).
The plans included in A2 Hosting are
- Lite that starts at$3.92 per month
- Swift that starts at $4.90 and is currently their most popular
- Turbo at $9.31 and is their fastest service at the moment
For more on these plans, click HERE.
When it comes to loaded features and domain registry, GoDaddy deserves a round of applause. GoDaddy has delved deep into domain territory by handing out tools for generating domains and adding another tool for domain search. This, plus excellent features include in their product, makes this platform well suited for small business.
Starting from scratch with GoDaddy has been conveniently made possible and easy by a usable website builder that is design assisted. On top of which security is catered for by SSL Certification and data loss solved by their backup plan.
Their main focus on emailing is helping their users get an email address that they can easily recall and one that the client’s customer can master with ease. Plus they offer extra opportunities for these clients to create a professional email address that creates a good impression on the customers that the clients deal with.
When it comes to reliability, GoDaddy hasn’t been left behind. Their uptime is 99.9% and ensure fast loading and processing. And in case the client experiences any difficulties, their technical support is available 24/7, with a toll for calls present on their website.
Their plans are included below:
This plan is as low as €2.97 per month and a renewal price of €5.99/month. It allows for 1 website with 100GB capacity for storage. On their first year, customers free Office 365 email and a free domain with their annual plan. The plan also comes with unmetered bandwidth.
Deluxe has a price of €4.99 per month. The plan is renewable at €7.99/month. It contains all the features in Economy plus additional unlimited capacity for storage, unlimited subdomains and unlimited websites.
Ultimate sells at €7.99/month and includes a renewal fee of €12.99/month. It has all the features that are present in Deluxe topped up with double power for processing and memory, and unlimited databases. Their customers get free Premium DNS and SSL Certificate with this plan.
The price for acquiring Maximum Plan is €9.99 plus €19.99 when users renew on a monthly basis. Complex sites and high resolution videos/photos are fully supported by this plan. On top of which, users get all the features in Ultimate plus double power and memory, and also double Maximum traffic on sites. SSL Certificate is also free for the full term.
For more info on GoDaddy, click HERE.
This is an excellent choice based on customer service. SiteGround has hosted more than 2 million sites to date. This is one of the web hosting sites that WordPress strongly recommends.
For people with little knowledge on the technical side of websites, SiteGround lets clients chose their website builder and avails any support the clients might need during launching. Migration on WordPress is also automated and their experts, who are highly qualified, offer assistance to anyone who wishes to transfer a site to this platform. For WordPress, they offer Managed WordPress including migrations that are automated, auto-updates and expert WordPress support. They have also recently incorporated Google Cloud to power their platform.
Security on SiteGround has been optimized. Their team of experts are always on their feet trying to identify any vulnerabilities and creating solutions to tackle them. Their Web Application Firewall has 300 custom tools included that work seamlessly to prevent interruption and damage caused by third-party software.
Customers also have 24/7 support geared towards advising and helping them solve any unexpected problems. They are available via either chat, phone or ticket for this. This platform is rated top based on their support and proficiency.
When it comes to pricing, however, this platform cannot be referred to as pocket-friendly when the prices are compared to what they are offering. Here is why, they have the following plans:
- Startup at $3.95 per month
- GrowBig at $5.95 per month
- Go Geek at $11.95 per month
For more on their pricing plans and the features offered, click HERE.