It’s not too often you have a chance to read about the best web hosting for small businesses. After all, the focus if usually on blogs that generate a ton of traffic, growing online businesses, or large eCommerce shops.
But sometimes, small online businesses are good just as they as are – small. And just because they’re small doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a high-quality web hosting provider to help them succeed. That’s why today, we’re going to take a look at what small businesses need in a web host and the best web hosting for small businesses.
So, let’s take a look.
What to Look for in Web Hosting for Small Businesses
No matter how small your website is, you need to use a reliable web host to store your site’s files and deliver your site’s content to site visitors. Google is not going cut you any breaks when it comes to ranking your site in search results just because you’re not an enterprise level site.
Here are the quick things you need to look for in a web host for your small business:
- Affordable pricing
- Shared hosting plans
- Free domain names
- Built-in speed tools or speed optimizations
- One-click CMS installations and website builders
All of these things will help those with small online businesses get up and running quickly and cheaply, regardless of skill level.
If you’re not sure what kind of hosting you need for your small business, check out this detailed guide to the different types of web hosting.
Now let’s take a look at some more things to look for in web hosting for small businesses.
Choosing a web host that is reliable should be a high on your list of priorities. Downtime ruins the user experience, digs into conversions and sales, and hurts your site’s SEO.
Pingdom does a great job of tracking the most relevant web hosting providers in the market in terms of uptime and speed. As you can see below, Bluehost maintains exceptional server uptimes.
You’ll want to choose a web host that takes website uptime serious. It’s a web host’s job to keep its servers up and running and your website online as often as possible. Of course, things will happen, even to the smallest of online business websites. But you’re going to want to use a web host that maintains its servers and handles downtime quickly.
Perhaps most important of all is to look for a web host that offers at least a 99% uptime guarantee, complete with compensation for any downtime.
2. Website Backups
It’s not just big websites that need to back up their site’s files. Hackers, server crashes, and user error can all wreak havoc on a live website, no matter how big or small.
The web host you use for your small business should have some sort of site back up feature. It’s especially helpful if your web host has the following site backup features:
- Automatic weekly or monthly site backups
- Backups stored in secure off-site locations
- One-click restore options from your hosting account
Of course, you can always perform manual or even automated site backups yourself. But having an extra copy on hand at all times just in case you can’t access your website is important for minimizing downtime, even for small businesses.
3. Multiple Datacenters
You may not think that a web host having multiple data centers is important for a small business, but it is.
The farther away your web host’s server is, the longer it will take for your site’s content to render for visitors. And while many small businesses have a local following, there’s always a chance that people from all over the country, or even the globe, are accessing your online business.
Having multiple data centers, like SiteGround does, will help offset any delays due to geographic location.
Another thing that will help complement a web host’s data centers is a content delivery network, or CDN.
A CDN is a network of servers spread throughout the world, all having a copy of your site on them. Then, whenever a site visitor accesses your site, the CDN determines the visitor’s location and delivers your site’s content from the nearest server. This reduces latency and increases load times.
4. eCommerce Functionality
The problem with some web hosts that cater to small businesses is that the servers are not set up to accommodate online shops. This means there’s probably no SSL certificates (free or premium), dedicated IPs, or even PCI compliance.
If the web host you’re using doesn’t have what you need to run your small business, should you be selling products or services (or plan to in the future), you could find yourself needing to migrate to an entirely different web host when it comes time to open up shop.
Here are some more eCommerce features to look for in you’re in the market for web hosting for small businesses:
- Web Application Firewall (WAF)
- Automatic backups
- Support for eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce
- One-click eCommerce platform set ups
- Help setting up payment gateways
- Auto-scaling during peak performances
- Unlimited bandwidth and file storage
- 24/7 support via multiple channels (live chat, email, tickets, phone)
Now let’s take a look at some of the best web hosting for small businesses and what they have to offer.
A2 Hosting is a comprehensive hosting provider that cares about its customers, no matter how small their business may be. Not to mention, hosting plans come with impressive features like anytime money back guarantees, green hosting, and built-in speed tools for boosting your load times and your site’s SEO.
Other features designed for small businesses include:
- Free Cloudflare CDN services
- Unlimited storage and bandwidth
- 24/7 support via phone, live chat, and tickets
- Multiple datacenters
- 99.9% uptime guarantee
- Free SSL certificates
Price: Starting at $2.99/month
Bluehost is not only a great option for small business owners, it’s an officially recognized web host from WordPress.org. In other words, if you use Bluehost, you know you can trust the services you receive and have nothing but a seamless experience.
Some of Bluehost’s best features for small businesses include:
- One-click WordPress installations
- Free domain name for the first year
- Unmetered bandwidth and storage
- Round the clock support via live chat, email, or phone
- Built-in security measures
- Exceptional server uptime
Price: Starting at $2.95/month
SiteGround is a top rated web host that works for websites of all sizes, even the small ones. Its hosting plans are optimized for the WordPress content management system, come in at affordable prices, and offer plenty of great features that will help you small business succeed like:
- Multiple datacenter options
- Free daily site backups on all hosting plans
- Free SSL certificates
- 24/7/365 support
- Auto-update option for things like the WordPress core, plugins, and themes
- Fast loading times and 99.99% uptime guarantee
- Easy upgrade options if your business grows
Price: Starting at $3.95/month
And there you have it! You now know how to find the best web hosting for small businesses. It’s not enough to pick a web host that super cheap and hope for the best since your business is small. No matter how much traffic your site receives, how many customers finalize transactions, or how many products you sell, you need a reliable web host that will give you the same attention as any enterprise company conducting business online.
Are you ready to launch your own small business? Then be sure to read all about how to build a website for cheap (or even free!).
Are you a small business using a great web host for small businesses? If so, we’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!