I am Damian, working exclusively online for almost a decade now. I operate several small businesses under different niche, covering lead generation sites, e-commerce stores, and currently working on establishing an Internet Marketing Company. There is just a lot of things that you can do online, good news for those who have the knack for it!
However, if you are still starting out, working your way up could be challenging. How I wish somebody helped and guided me when I was still a newbie in this field. Throughout the years, I have met a lot of people, both offline and online, who are equipped with amazing web marketing minds. As such, I have gathered some useful ideas, tips, resources, and even theories.
At the same time, I have also met individuals who are interested I starting their own small businesses online. Believe me, I have been asked a lot of questions, but identifying what is the best website host for small business is the most common one. For that reason, I have decided to come up with this guide to help you out, and eventually become successful entrepreneurs in the online world.
In its most basic sense, web hosting refers to a place where you store your website. As a business operating online, you have some files that you need to keep. These files need to go somewhere for storage.
This storage is what is called the server. A server is generally a computer that is equipped with special software which enables it to host the files of your website, serving them to the internet every time visitors enter your website.
However, most often, the very term ‘web hosting’ is used to refer to the actual company that offers their servers and computers where you can store your site, providing connectivity, thus giving access to your website files. As such, in this guide, each time the term ‘web hosting’ is used, I am referring to the services offered by a certain company.
If you have the knowledge, you could actually host your website using your personal computer. However, being a techie and an entrepreneur at the same time is often a rare combination. A lot of entry level businessmen may not have the needed technical knowledge to host their website.
This is the very reason why a lot take advantage of the services offered by web hosting companies. These companies rent servers to clients so that the files of their websites can be hosted there. If you are planning to start a small business soon, there is no doubt that selecting the best web hosting for small business is one of the most important things that you need to consider early on.
Since you own a small business, it is recommended for you to operate using either VPS or dedicated hosting.
VPS hosting is generally a good choice if you want to save money. It is not just affordable, but also sufficient as an option. By establishing your website with VPS hosting, your resources will not be shared with other sites ‘residing’ on the same server.
As a matter of fact, your website resides in a partitioned server, which means that it has its own storage, operating system, RAM, as well as data transfers monthly. With these resources, you can still expect to have a more stable, and smoother performance for your site. These days, you can get a dependable VPS hosting service for about $20 to $30 every month.
As another option, a dedicated server may cost you over $100 every month. To set expectations, it is not a cheap web hosting solution. However, along with the price are some advantages that you can expect.
For one, your website is hosted on a dedicated server. You are not sharing with anybody, so you can completely optimize the resources available.
With dedicated web hosting, you may also have to handle maintenance and the setting up of firewalls yourself. If you do not want to go through the hassle of doing everything on your own, you can also choose to have a managed server, which may cost you even more.
However, while the two above are the ones that are recommended for small businesses, it does not mean that they are the only types of web hosting solutions available for you. The following are included among the main types of packages that you can take advantage of:
Shared hosting is somewhat similar to that of renting a space in a big room being shared by everyone. Since it is shared, it is generally the cheapest option for web hosting. The main advantage of shared hosting is its cost. However, it may also give you a lack of control.
Shared hosting is also recommended to small businesses, but the only issue with this type of web hosting service is that if one of the websites residing on the same server starts receiving traffic, it may slow the performance of the other websites.
If you plan to take advantage of shared hosting, you may want to look into hosting providers that have upgraded the technology they are using in order to allocate resources to the website that need it at a particular time, without necessarily affecting the speed and performance of the others. For this option, you can expect to spend less than $10 per month.
This type of web hosting solution can be likened to owning your very own home, but with all the maintenance needs being taken care of by another individual. It is quite similar with dedicated hosting, but instead of renting the servers out of a hosting provider, you purchase the servers yourself.
Co-location facility is often availed of by large companies since they need to ensure that they will not experience any interruptions in power, making sure of appropriate climate control and internet connections.
With this web hosting solution, you have complete control over all aspects needed to run your business. With this option, you can expect to spend $200 a month, not including the actual cost of equipment.
Cloud hosting is considered as the newest web hosting model introduced these days. It works just like a traditional utility in a way that you only need to pay what you have used. It also automatically scales up and down.
Cloud hosting offers an edge, especially for applications and websites with traffic that is quite unpredictable. This means that if your website get a million of views today, but only get a thousand the next day, the pricing of cloud hosting will automatically scale up and down.
The main drawback of cloud hosting, however, is that because you do not have an actual server that is reserved especially for you, you may have to expect less control with this option compared to that of dedicated servers.
Most small businesses these days are fine with starting up using a shared hosting package. Then again, the drawbacks have been presented early on, and recommendations were also provided. Now, it is entirely up to you to make a choice on the type of web hosting that you need to select for your business.
If you expect a traffic coming from more than 500 visitors everyday to your website, then you may want to have a cloud hosting package instead. This is also true if you host a lot of video and images on your website.
In this modern day and age, having a website for an online business is no longer optional. As a matter of fact, a lot of businesses operating these days could not simply afford wasting a few minutes of virtual downtime where their website becomes inaccessible to their visitors.
This only means that selecting a dependable and best business web hosting company is a mission critical endeavor for entrepreneurs and business owners. Worse, this is easier said than done because there are literally hundreds of options available out there.
As such, how would you know whether a $10 a month hosting service is enough as compared to what you can get when you pay $100? The following are 7 tips coming from experts and business owners I have met in this industry:
At this point, it is very important to identify the type of support that you need. You would not want to experience a downtime in your site, or some email issues along the way. It is also important to be realistic in expecting that nobody can really prevent glitches from happening 100 percent.
However, if you find yourself in the middle of an issue, it brings peace of mind knowing that there is someone you can call for immediate assistance. This means searching for a website hosting provider that can offer 24/7 free support from a knowledgeable team who also speaks your language.
No doubt, having a backup is very important for any business. What will happen if you accidentally deleted a full blog directory for your site? Rather than wallowing in regret and disappointment, all you need to do is to call your host and request for a retrieval of the entries. Therefore, a good hosting service provider is one that offers automatic daily backup. You can also inquire about the disaster recovery plan of a host in order to make sure that everything is good to go.
In searching for a provider, you can also look into the availability of parking domains, and if it is easy to do so. Most businesses purchase their own .org, .com, as well as hyphened versions of their company domain names, service names, misspellings and others. It is generally more convenient and efficient when it comes to brand management to keep all of these in a single control panel, knowing that you will not lose ay traffic.
As a business owner, you would not want your customers to encounter a blank screen as they type your URL. Therefore, a hosting service provider should have a good reputation when it comes to aspects such as redundancy and uptime. If the server constantly experiences outages, your website will not be available. A 99% uptime guarantee is good option for this. As an extra, ensure that the server is also equipped with mirrored servers (multiple backup locations) so that if one is down, another one can do the job.
Some hosting facilities make it quite challenging to make some changes to your website. If you encounter one, it is best to avoid them. A good host can give you access to your own server, allowing you to create new accounts, make settings changes, and more. Keep in mind that most hosts offer this type of service, but others do not. It is very important on your part to have capability to login and check your email even while you are away from your desktop, as well as for emergencies such as email crashes.
True, you might be looking for a good host for your small business, but this does not mean that you can keep it the way it is. Why not take into consideration partnering it together with a service which also grows as your company gets bigger. This means that the host should have different packages available, offering various service tiers according to the number of visitors that you expect every month.
As your business takes off, you can expect more visitors entering your site. With a host that offers tiered services, you can upgrade your plan easily. You may also evaluate small business web hosting services based on the way in which they handle unexpected ‘spikes’ which may tear your available bandwidth down.
A blog is a staple among most business websites. This is on top of social media tools which are as equally necessary as well. Even though you do not write your own blog, you might be pushed to do so in the future. For that, it is important that the hosting service provider meets the requirements for the leading platform for blogging these days, WordPress. Not all hosts support this service, which means that you might want to inquire about this as well.
The following are the best web hosting companies for small businesses. I have summarized their features so that you can take a look and select the best one for your needs:
SiteGround hosting is a web hosting company that was established in 2004. This independent entity is based in Bulgaria, but are serving markets in an international level. The company describes itself as an organization that offers well-crafted, high-quality hosting solutions.
The spectrum of solutions offered range from shared Linux hosting, to dedicated servers and cloud hosting which are perfect for big, growing websites. At the same time, it can also be considered as a reliable web hosting for small business as it can cater to entry-level organizations that have hopes of growing eventually.
It would not be surprising if you have already heard the name “Bluehost” before. As a matter of fact, this company is a very popular brand in this industry. It is a company that was established in 1996, focusing primarily on providing shared hosting services.
The current management of Bluehost is now specializing in offering shared hosting services. Also, they are now starting to offer more types of web solutions including dedicated servers, VPS, as well as managed hosting. As it claims to offer hosting services to more than 2 million sites all over the world, it is considered as one of the top small business web hosting services.
Inmotion is a great option to choose especially if you are still creating a site for your business for the first time. One thing that makes it attractive to users is its claim that there are no charges involved when it comes to getting extra features, as well as uncommon requests.
What makes Inmotion unique is its “Max Speed Zone” feature, which enables you to select between the two data centers of Inmotion. Each of the servers are located in each coast, hosting all your website files. This arrangement makes it possible for faster content delivery.
Site5 is offers small business web hosting services and has earned a good reputation for being such. There are a lot of things to like about this company. For one, they have the experience, having served in the industry since 1999. They also offer a wide range of plans, making sure that you have the option according to your budget.
Another good thing about Site5 is that they have multi-admin services. Which means that you are allowed to have multiple websites, with each of them having their own control panel. They also offer a wide selection of server location, with 9 of them in the US, and the others spread in several other countries.
Dreamhost is a reliable, time-tested web hosting company which have been around for quite some time, having established a good reputation in the industry. It is also famous for its capability to offer sped hosting for sites of any category. Among the features that are unbeatable include unlimited bandwidth and storage, and affordable prices.
The company also offers almost 100% uptime. In fact, in its service for 10 years in the industry, the servers were only reported with a downtime of 28 times. During those times, users were assisted by good customer support.
Eleven2 offers the most appealing shared plans in this category. What users like about this web hosting company is that they offer some great coupons, which is perfect if you are looking for ways to get more savings.
You can also take advantage of a 60-day money back guarantee trial. This period is more than enough for you to test the services provided. Among the features you can expect from this company is cPanel availability. This is a control panel which is recognized widely by a lot of people, as it is very easy to use.
Hostgator is a web hosting company that is based in Houston. Under its wings are more than 9 million hosted names. They also take pride in their partnerships with big names such as Linux and Cisco.
What a lot of customers like about Hostgator is that the services are very friendly, especially for beginners. In fact, they come with a lot of tutorials, FAQ pages, as well as documents that offer details and explanations about certain topics. The service also comes with a 45-day money back guarantee, allowing you to check on the services and seeing if it is right for your business.
With all of the information I have presented in this guide, there is no doubt that you are now convinced of the need to take advantage of the services provided by the best web hosting for small business. This is true if you are determined to reach a wide range of target, including those who depend on the internet to get details about certain things.
As you have seen, there are a lot of small business web hosting services that you can choose from. The thing is, it is very important to understand that there is no single company that can be considered as the “best”. It all boils down to your actual needs and preferences. Take a look at some of the reviews of the best business web hosting options, and make a decision by comparing your needs to the features and services they offer.
Take some time in making your own research, and you will be able to make the best, and a well-informed decision later on.