Do you need web hosting for your small business? Some web hosts provide a higher-class of services specifically for small businesses. Since it’s hard to determine what the best small business web hosting companies are on your own, we’ve done the hard work and selected the cream of the crop.
The Top 10 Small Business Web Hosts
So you’ve decided to launch a new business. Or perhaps you’re managing a growing business and need to upgrade the website.
No matter what kind of business you’re running, you’re going to need reliable business web hosting, a fast website, and a web host with customer support you can depend on.
The last thing you need when you’re trying to grow your business is a slow website that’s always down, and a customer support team that seems like it’s always on break when you need it.
On the positive side, there are many quality web hosts that cater specifically to small business. Many of the larger web hosts have “small business” packages, and there are also many web hosts that focus solely on business hosting. Here are the 10 best web hosts to consider when evaluating a web host for small business.
[table id=15 /]
Features of the Best Small Business Web Hosts
Choosing a small business web host can be a challenging and lengthy process. To help speed your decision, we’ve identified the key features you consider focus when evaluating a new web host. Note that price is not something we focus on specifically. There are many outstanding web hosts with small business packages for less than $30/month, so you’re almost sure to find one that suits your budget.
A reliable web host will have a 99.9% uptime guarantee. This means they guarantee your website will be available 99.9% of the time during a given month. In our review section, we note any web hosts who may have a questionable track record when it comes to reliability. Buy and large, however, web hosts with a spotty record didn’t make the list.
A focus on service and support are highly important in a small business web host. You want to be able to focus on running your business, not troubleshooting problems with your web host. A good web host will have multiple ways you can contact customer support (phone, email, chat), and they may also have response time guarantees. Check reviews of web hosts on this site and webmaster forums. The most common types of complaints about web hosts center on customer service and support.
You only have a second or two to catch the attention of a potential customer on the web. Therefore, the pages of your website must load quickly – page after page, throughout a visitor’s stay on your site. Speed can also play a role in how well your pages rank in Google. Slower sites are getting penalized, while faster sites are getting rewarded with better ranking. We’re seeing a trend toward benchmarking for web hosting speed, which will you help compare hosts and make a more informed decision.
Backup & Restore
If your site has been compromised in some way, you need to make sure it can be restored and you can be up and running quickly with continued business operations. Beware that not all web hosts automatically back up your files and databases. Good business web hosts provide daily, weekly, and in some cases monthly backups. We note a few in our reviews that go the extra mile and store backups in a remote location, so that you’re protected in the case of a major catastrophe at the main hosting facility.
If you’re planning to host an e-commerce site, where customers can purchase products or services directly from your website, you’ll need SSL (Secure Sockets Layer, which provides security for customer info transmitted from your website), and a dedicated IP address to go along with that. Most small business hosts provide SSL and a dedicated IP address as part of the monthly package price. For others, it’s an add-on.
Will you need a LAMP based platform (LAMP stands for Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP), or Windows? This is a crucial distinction, since a website will be designed to run primarily on one platform or another. If you don’t know, ask your developer. Make sure that the web host you choose supports your platform of choice.
Email is the communications lifeblood of any small business. All of these web hosts support email, and many of them support an unlimited number of email accounts on the domain you’ll be hosting. Most of them support browser based access to your email, which means you’ll be able to access your email from any computer that’s connected to the Internet. A few hosts go beyond this and offer spam protection for your email (via services such as Postini) as part of the monthly fee. We think this service is well worth it, as it will save headaches for you and your employees down the road.
Many of these web hosts offer at least one free domain as part of the monthly hosting fee. Some of them offer up to three free domains. They will also transfer your domain from another host, should you choose to go this route.
The Top 10 Small Business Web Hosts In-Depth
A familiar name in web hosting, with an excellent reputation for customer service, HostGator Business Plan web hosting has earned top honors in our small business web hosting category. The Business Plan features dedicated IP address, private SSL, free toll-free phone number, and anonymous FTP, along with all the basics – unlimited domains, unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited emails, cPanel hosting, Fantastico scrip installers, and more.
InMotion Small Business Starter is a full-featured yet affordable small business web hosting package with unlimited FTP accounts and subdomains, SpeedZone speed accelerator, Spam Safe email, and 200 MySQL databases. Data backup is included standard.
Arvixe Business Class web hosting features a dedicated IP address, hosting for up to 6 domains, and a Windows based ASP.NET hosting option at $27/mo.
#4 – BlueHost
BlueHost offers just one hosting package, but it’s so robust that we decided to include it in our list of best small business web hosts. It features SSH access and support time under 30 seconds, along with unlimited storage, bandwidth, and email addresses. You have to be comfortable doing your own backups, though, because BlueHost doesn’t offer daily or weekly backups of your website.
JustHost JustPlan Premium is a business focused plan offering live support in cPanel, SSL, Paypal support, Spam Assasin email spam filter, 1-click installs, a free domain name, and more. A dedicated IP address is available at an additional cost.
WebHostingBuzz Business Basic features 100 GB storage, 1000 GB monthly bandwidth, and unlimited domains, as well as a free dedicated IP address. SSH access, unlimited FTP accounts, daily backups, and cPanel control panel are all standard.
LunarPages Business Web Hosting
has put together an attractive business hosting package that includes thee free domain names, dedicated IP address, and three months unlimited desktop backup. Also standard are SSL certificate and support for PHP, PERL, Python, Ruby on Rails, and SSI (Server Side Includes).
OneWeb Hosting Small Business Starter offers daily backups, clustered hosting, and Spam Secure email spam software. Their business hosting oriented data center features redundant SCSI RAID storage, daily data and system backups, clustered hosting technology, and Cisco ASA Security Firewalls.
Yahoo! Small Business web hosting offers shared SSL, 1000 email addresses, SpamGuard plus email spam filter, and templates that can be tailored for your business.
#10 – FatCow
This progressive web host takes an a-la-carte approach to business hosting. Add ons to the basic web hosting package include backups ($12.95/yr) and SSL ($59.95/yr). The business hosting plan also comes standard with email newsletter templates – handy if you’re planning to do emailing as a small business.