While the day will likely never come when we buy everything online (gasoline and puppies may prove especially problematical), there’s no denying that eCommerce has created significant changes in our shopping habits. Now it seems that everyone and their cousin Fred has an online store. Maybe you do too. If so, more power to you.
Are you happy with your business web host?
You should take just as much care in choosing a host for your website as you would choosing a brick-and-mortar retail location. Your website is your storefront. To develop and maintain a strong online presence – and grab a piece of that ever-expanding pie – requires a reliable, reputable hosting solution.
Factors like uptime and page-loading speed make a difference to potential customers. One bad experience with a poorly-performing website and they won’t likely be back. Keep reading to see our recommendations for the 10 best web hosting services for small business in 2018.
How to Use this Guide
We know that not all small businesses are the same. So that’s why we’ve chosen the top host for each kind of business. That way you can find the a host that works EXACTLY for your purposes. Hope it helps!
1. Siteground – Best Overall Small Business Hosting (Great Pricing, Speed, 24/7 Support)
Starting at $3.95 per month
Average uptime of 99.95%
Average load time of 475ms
- FREE site transfer or new setup with 1-click install
- FREE automated daily backup, CDN, email, SSL
- 24/7 support; no wait time on phone or chat
- Recommended by WordPress as best host
- 99.9% uptime
A good web host is money in the bank and that’s what SiteGround endeavors to be. An all around awesome performer in the hosting industry with an easy-to-use feature set that combines with excellent uptime and reliability to make sure you spend more time growing your business and less time mired in technical details.
Where SiteGround diverges from the mainstream in business philosophy is in a dedication to ground-up software coding that doesn’t rely on someone else’s work. Need a custom solution that isn’t an exact replica of what other companies shovel out to the masses? SiteGround might be your best choice. And on the off chance things don’t go perfectly, expect world-class customer service and technical support.
Pros: Off-the-shelf backups with unique improvements that speed up your website considerably and demand fewer resources.
Cons: Occasional plan limitations of features other companies include for free.
2. iPage – Most Affordable Small Business Hosting
- Easy setup and reliability since 1998
- FREE domain and Google marketing credits included
- Unlimited disk, bandwidth, and emails
- FREE site builder and shopping cart
- 75% off today (was $8.99/month)
Of course you want free hosting. We all want free hosting. What you have to realize is that a completely free web host will either be out of business tomorrow or will nickel and dime you to death with upsells. What you can look for is an ultra cheap host that is worth a small investment – in the case of iPage, less than $2/month.
What can you expect for that modest outlay? How about a free domain, website builder, ecommerce options, and technical support when you need it?
Web newbies and veterans alike will find much to love about the value iPage brings to the table. While the task of ranking web hosts is sometimes a frustrating apples-to-oranges process, one thing is clear. iPages is among the best budget options to be found.
Pros: Unlimited everything for the same low price.
Cons: iPage has their own control panel. The lack of the familiar cPanel dashboard might be initially frustrating for those used to it.
4. iPage – Email Hosting for Small Business
- FREE site transfers, 1-year domain registration
- Unlimited emails, disk space, domains
- Email forwarding, WebMail autoresponders included
- SEO tools and $300 in ad credits
- FREE site builder and online store
For many online entrepreneurs, the most important feature of a web host is how well it supports the list-building process associated withof email marketing. iPage shines in this area, offering an array of email options that might even preclude the necessity of paying for a third-party vendor like MailChimp or Aweber. If you want to do it with email, iPage probably supports it.
While this might not be the perfect option for a high-level, sophisticated web marketer, if you’re just starting out and don’t need much more than a simple wordpress website, the $2/month price tag could be an excellent investment in your online business.
Pros: Offers a full security suite and promises to answer support calls in less than two minutes.
Cons: There have been rumors from customers that iPage sometimes suffers from slow websites and too much downtime – likely a product of too much shared hosting.
5. Wix – Free Website Builder With Hosting
- No coding needed complete drag-and-drop sophisticated site builder
- Lots of high-quality templates
- Thriving app market for enhanced website functionality
- eCommerce is dead simple
- Literally build website at zero cost
The Wix platform has come a long way in a short time. If you haven’t visited the place in a while, expect to find a refined site builder that makes it easy for even inexperienced developers to re-size and precisely position images, text, video, and more. Best of all, everything stays right where you put it and – oh, by the way – did we mention you don’t have to touch a single piece of code?
Whether your ultimate goal is a simple blog website or a fully functional online store, Wix can get you there. As a truly free web host, it probably doesn’t surprise you that the basic plan comes with ads, but you can upgrade to have them removed for $10/month and that includes a free year’s domain registration. Wix is also a great choice for anyone looking for the best website builder.
Pros: Maybe the cheapest way to get a quality online presence – fast.
Cons: Some believe the enclosed SEO ecosystem is not a favorite with Google. Only offers a 14-day refund period.
6. InMotion Hosting – Blog Hosting for Small Business
- FREE domain, site transfer, WordPress installed
- Unlimited WordPress sites on one account
- Unlimited bandwidth, FREE backups, SSL
- Easy wizard for integrating Google apps
- SPAM Safe email protection
Blogs continue to be one of the most popular iterations of websites, and hosting these communication tools is where InMotion stands out. While online stores are great, they often fall woefully short when it comes time to build your brand through a personal blog. Most blogs don’t need heavy-duty hosting but should provide enough features to make sure you look professional.
To see how serious InMotion is about blogging, look back up to that features list. WordPress comes PREINSTALLED, which, if you’re keeping score at home, is one fewer step than all the others bragging about 1-click installation. Just saying, if it’s a WordPress blog you seek, this company will get you one pronto.
Pros: Have we mentioned it enough? WordPress is preinstalled. Outstanding onboarding process for new customers.
Cons: To get the best pricing you have to pay for a year in advance.
7. InMotion Hosting – Small Business VPS Cloud Hosting
- 50% off first month, other first year discounts
- FREE SSDs and SSL certificate
- FREE server management for patches/updates
- FREE cPanel
- Cloud infrastructure for real-time redundancy
InMotion Hosting shows up for the second time on our Top 10 list, this time in the category of VPS cloud hosting. Shared hosting is fine in the beginning. It’s cheaper and works for the reduced resource demand of a new website/business. But once you reach a certain level of traffic (around 3,000 to 4,000 monthly), the weaknesses of this pooled hosting model begin to make themselves known.
That’s when you start to think about a Virtual Private Server (VPS). The best of the best among those that offer VPS web hosting also take advantage of the hot new technologies associated with cloud hosting. For our money, InMotion offers the most impressive VPS plans you’re likely to find. All plans run on Linux with a free cPanel license included, plus Web Hosting Management software in the event you want to resell some of your unused space.
Pros: Offers an outstanding 90-day money back guarantee, track record for excellent support, and choice of datacenters from around the globe.
Cons: Difficult to find much to complain about with InMotion, though one caveat is that the highest level of features are not all available with the lowest level plans.
8. Liquid Web – Small Business Dedicated Server
- FREE incoming bandwidth; choice of operating system
- Auto-migrations, backups, 24/7 Sonar Monitoring
- Custom configurations with SSDs; instant provisioning
- Load Balancer, Storm Block, Object Storage add-ons
- Right now priced at $96.75/month (normally $129)
Eventually the resource demands (traffic) of your website might outgrow even VPS hosting and require an upgrade to a dedicated server. As you might expect, this type of hosting setup comes at an even higher price point that VPS, but you can rest easy at night knowing you have done your part to provide the best infrastructure possible for your website.
When it comes to managed dedicated hosting, we don’t hesitate to suggest you take a look at Liquid Web. These guys and gals maintain three U.S. based datacenters, employ more than 50 developers, and offer three levels of hosting plans – fully, core, or self-managed. When you partner with Liquid Web for a dedicated server, you know you’re getting top of the line hardware, software, and as much or as little technical support as you need.
Pros: Guaranteed 100% uptime.
Cons: Rapid company growth seems to have stretched the technical support staff a little thin, resulting in some being put to work before receiving adequate training.
9. Siteground – Small Business Video Hosting
- Official hosting partner of Joomla
- FREE Joomla site transfer or 1-click install
- FREE staging area for your Joomla site
- Auto-updates to Joomla core and plugins
- Impressive speed and security
It might be the understatement of the century to say that video is popular. It’s downright addicting. The numbers are staggering. One study claims 80% of all internet traffic will be video by 2019. YouTube, the granddaddy of video sites, says mobile video consumption grows by 100% annually. If you have plans to incorporate video into your website, that makes you a smart cookie. Now you need to make sure you have a web host able to smoothly handle all those huge files.
Siteground reviewers consistently give this web hosting company top marks all down the line, and we’re no different. From custom software solutions to a full range of hosting features to excellent customer service, this company should always be on your short list of web hosts able to handle heavy video loads without a performance drop-off.
Pros: Promises and delivers excellent page-loading speed.
Cons: Pricing might be a little higher than the deep discounters, but then again, you get what you pay for.
10. InMotion Hosting – Best Reseller Hosting
- SSD reseller hosting with FREE cPanel/WHM access
- FREE dedicated IP and site backups
- Loads of email features
- Easily manage reseller domains with FREE eNom license
- Organize reseller web hosting with WHMCS
By now, any entrepreneurial-minded individual has probably realized that reselling web hosting packages could be a business in itself. Basically you buy either a VPS or dedicated hosting account and sublease the space you don’t need.
InMotion has recognized the appeal of reselling and tweaked its web hosting offerings accordingly, making it easier than ever to start your own hosting business on the side or as a full-time business.
Pros: Almost a turn-key level of software and features available for anyone who wants to take advantage of the reselling market.
Cons: You have to wade through a sometimes annoying number of advertisements in the account management area before getting to the cPanel link.
The Bottom Line
Congratulations on readers who made it to the end of the article, and kudos to the web hosts on our list! No matter where you are in the business growth cycle, there’s at least one host here that should fit your needs. The secret to online success is scalability.
Perhaps more than anything else, you need a web host who can easily adapt to your increased need for resources and features. If you held us down and tickled us until we confessed, we’d say that HostGator just might be the single best web host to handle a business at any stage of growth, from rank rookie to hardened tycoon.