Best Web Hosting for Small Businesses

Best Web Hosting for Small Businesses

Why a Good Business Hosting Matters?

Business websites often tend to have slightly different requirements when it comes to web hosting. Although inexperienced business owners may view web hosting to be similar, the very nature of businesses increase requirements for hosting.

This is true even when it comes to running very simple, static websites. As a business your brand and reputation are on the line. Your choice of web host can affect the reliability of the site, which is essentially your digital presence.

From another aspect, the performance of your web host can also affect your website performance, brand and even more importantly, your potential to convert web traffic into paying customers. Slow websites have been shown to lower customer conversion and affect sales.

According to Skill.co studies, 47% of customers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. Web pages that load in 2.4 seconds enjoy conversion rate of 1.9%

There are other factors at play as well but the general rule here is that web hosting for business need to be of a higher caliber. This doesn’t always mean paying a premium though as there are often good fits depending on your exact requirements.

Best Web Hosting Providers for Business Websites

The following are seven hosting companies we recommend to small and medium business owners.

1. InMotion Hosting

Website: https://www.inmotionhosting.com/

InMotion hosting has been in the web hosting business since 2009 and has a solid reputation. It also has a very wide range of products and service that will fit any size of business. This host is a good example of the ideal business host since there is the potential to scale with them as your business grows.

The service has been shown to be reliable and offers robust performance that is great for business hosting. For small business sites, there are many freebies available such as site migration services, free domain name with all plans, free SSL certificate, choice of various website builders, and you even get free advertising credits. 

The one factor which might be a small limitation is that all their servers are based in the US. Small businesses which are targeting localized traffic in other countries won’t have the option to choose a data center that’s close to their target market.

Tip: InMotion Hosting is recommended for Small to medium businesses, Business blogs, Localized businesses in the US or Canada, Agencies.

InMotion Hosting Ratings & Performance

HostScore
77.50
Response Time
250.41ms
Uptime
100.00%


Visit InMotion

2. SiteGround

Website: https://www.siteground.com/

SiteGround is one of the most recognized names in the web hosting sphere. It has proven itself to offer products and services that are excellent in terms of both performance and reliability. There are a broad range of plans available here and they also offer free site migration if you’re moving an existing website.

Their reputation is added to through working with top names in other fields. This includes Sucuri which powers some of their security solutions and Weebly, one of the top names among website building tools. All of this comes together in a final solution that gets internally monitored for uptime and automated backup and restore facilities.

SiteGround also offers some tools for web developers but their global data center presence over five locations is a major plus. Do keep in mind though that web hosting plan renewal fees can get a tiny bit pricey here.

Tip: SiteGround is recommended for small to medium businesses, agencies, and web developers.

SiteGround Ratings & Performance

HostScore
79.56
Response Time
278.85ms
Uptime
99.95%

Visit SiteGround

3. GreenGeeks

Website: https://www.greengeeks.com/

In a world that’s driven by commerce and industrialization, GreenGeeks is like a force of nature on the landscape. Their entire premise was to build a business that gives back to the environment as much as it takes. The trend is increasing among many businesses to look towards green hosting and working with GreenGeeks is one way to do just that.

All web hosting here is backed by them returning three times the amount of energy used by their servers in the form of renewable energy credits. Of course, they also have great features which include free domain names, SSD storage, HTTP/2 enabled servers, automated backups, and even free site migration. One of the most notable features though, is that the free SSL certificate they provide is a Wildcard SSL. 

GreenGeeks is also very developer-centric and can be a good option for development houses or businesses who have their own tech guy and want to build a special site for themselves. A slight blemish is present in their slight lackluster customer support.

Tip: GreenGeeks is highly recommended for small to medium businesses who want to run an eco-friendly website and reduce their carbon footprint.

GreenGeeks Ratings & Performance

HostScore
77.00
Response Time
234.43ms
Uptime
99.99%


Visit GreenGeeks

4. Wix Site Builder

Website: https://www.wix.com/

Wix is a little different from the average web hosting company because it markets itself around its true strength. It was built from bottom up as a website building tool, which means that you sign up with them and use them to build an entirely new site from scratch.

The service is very much aligned towards businesses which need a website and don’t want to have to spend a ton of money to hire an agency or development house to do it for them. The Wix interface is so simply that even those with little or no technical skills at all can quickly build a top-notch site.

The presence of an extensive app market means that you can add on almost any features you want to your site with no pain. Of course, it can be hard to move away from all of that if you need to and some features (or apps) do come at an additional cost.

Tip: For small-to-medium businessess with no existing site – Wix can be a good starting point. Note that, however, it’s impossible to move your Wix website away.

Wix Ratings & Performance

HostScore
77.00
Response Time
205.70ms
Uptime
100.00%


Visit Wix

5. Digital Ocean

Website: https://www.digitalocean.com/

Like the nature of Wix in the sense that it’s quite specialized, Digital Ocean offers ultra-reliable cloud-based web hosting services. It is well known for offering extremely developer-centric environments and an extremely modular way of doing things.

Everything about Digital Ocean simply screams ‘configurable’ and you can choose to set up any account with them to your exact liking. This is all controlled from a centralized dashboard that gives you excellent control over however many projects you split your account into.

Of course, the downside of all this is that it can get quite expensive depending on your needs. You will also have to be quite skilled technically to even consider setting up an account with them, not to mention even working in the environment on a long-term basis.

Tip: Configuring your hosting at Digital Ocean can be a little tricky. They are only recommended for experienced web developers or businesses with specialized server requirements.

Digital Ocean Ratings & Performance

HostScore
83.00
Response Time
69.88ms
Uptime
100.00%


Visit Digital Ocean

6. HostPapa

Website: https://www.hostpapa.com/

HostPapa is a Canada-based web hosting business and offers a very good range of plans for businesses of almost any size. It has been around for some time now and has proven to have a solid track record both in terms of reputation. Like GreenGeeks they are also eco-friendly and offset power consumption with green energy sources. 

Plans here come with free domain names, SSL certificates, and site migration. You will also be able to use any web applications you might need thanks to a convenient one-click script installer. Business that don’t already have an existing site can work with their drag and drop interface website builder that comes with many free, ready-to-use templates.

Their wide range of services means an easy upgrade path of sites that scale up. A slight concern is their inconsistent uptime on occasion, and they do renew at fees that are relatively high.

Tip: HostPapa is suitable for US and Canada-based businesses.

HostPapa Ratings & Performance

HostScore
73.51
Response Time
273.79ms
Uptime
99.76%


Visit HostPapa

7. AltusHost

Website: https://www.altushost.com/

In terms of being a relative niche, AltusHost is also quite unique since it strongly serves a very centralized area – Europe. It has been a strong presence in high infrastructure EU countries such as the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Aside from that it also has a good range of hosting products that are both affordable and of strong quality. For businesses this is good in both directions, both bottom line as well as scalability. Hosting with AltusHost comes with daily backups, free SSL certificates, site migration services, as well as access to a website builder.

One thing to note is that they have varying money-back guarantee period that reduce as you go up the product scale. For example, shared hosting accounts get a 45-day money back guarantee, which drops to 14 days for VPS and none for dedicated hosting.

Tip: Altushost is highly recommended for EU-centric businesses.


Visit AltusHost


What Makes A Good Business Web Hosting?

When we talk about business web hosting in this article there is an emphasis or corporate style websites rather than for retail businesses. Retail businesses have their own unique needs that are addressed separately in our article on Best Hosting for Online Stores.

Even omitting online stores, there are still a wide range of business types and sizes. Most larger businesses will have their own technical support teams to manage websites and hosting for them, so this guide will focus on the small to medium segment.

Features to look for in a business hosting include:

Range of Hosting Types – From Shared to Dedicated Servers

There is often a greater onus on businesses to maintain the reliability of their websites even if it doesn’t support a mission critical function. For businesses, websites represent their digital brand and the performance and stability of the site reflects upon them. 

For this reason, some businesses may opt for more expensive but better-quality plans such a Cloud/VPS hosting or even perhaps their own dedicated server. Ideally, look for a web host that can offer a broad range of option for you to choose from.

E-Mail

Communications are one of the core aspects of a business having an online presence and email is an absolute necessity.

It allows easy communications with customers and even internally. Ideally, find a web host that includes email services with your hosting or at the very least can handle email hosting

Easy DIY Web Design Tool

For businesses which may be looking to restrict investment in their web presence, finding a web host which comes with rapid web design features can be invaluable. Some may include basic website building tools, but others offer access to top-notch website builders such as Weebly.

Another option would be to go for a host that is built around a dedicated website building tool such as Wix. These offer businesses the capability to quickly build and launch fantastic looking sites.

Server Location

Even though the Internet is essentially border-less, some businesses may still need to target local customers. For example, if you were a locksmith serving only a specific geographic area due to travel constraints, you might opt for a business web host with a data center relatively near your area. 

Businesses who are looking to target international traffic would be better off looking for a host that has a data center in a more centralized geographic area.

Reputation of Host

Although not technically a feature, business will want to host their site with a reputable service provider. Remember that you are relying on your host to keep your website and customer information safe. Opt for a host that’s been in the business for some time and has a well-known reputation. 

This will save you from potential issues which might crop up with fly-by-night companies. If your host disappears or goes out of business, all you files are likely to go with them as well!

Wide Range of Options for Business Hosting

The business web hosting landscape is a highly competitive playing field which means only good things for customers. Web hosts who are in this market must be at the top of their game in order to catch any part of the market share.

For customers this means that no matter your needs, it is very likely that you will find a business web hosting provider that fits your exact needs, be it extreme performance, high scalability, or even help you target a very specific market location.

The seven hosts on this list are the cream of the crop and can handle almost anything you need. All you have to do is fit your needs with what they have and you can jump on board fairly quickly.

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Author Profile

Timothy Shim is a writer, editor, and tech geek. Starting his career in the field of Information Technology, he rapidly found his way into print and has since worked with International, regional and domestic media titles including ComputerWorld, PC.com, Business Today, and The Asian Banker. His expertise lies in the field of technology from both consumer as well as enterprise points of view.