I still remember the first time I wanted to look for the best web hosting for small business: I saw all those offers from different companies on the internet and I had no idea which one to choose. I spent a lot of time deciding on one, and the truth is that in the end I did not choose very well.
Some concepts, such as databases, bandwidth, inode limits or FTP accounts, were not clear to me at all. And he also had no idea how good the different hosts were or which ones were reliable.
Luckily, after messing up a couple of times, I found a couple of web hosting companies that I was happy with.
To help you choose better than I did, I have compiled a guide to help you through to choose the best web hosting for small business
What is hosting?
But, first of all, if you are one of those who wonder what hosting is; basically it is the server (computer connected to the internet) where all the information on your website is stored, from where users download it. If you use a website builder (such as Wix or Weebly), they provide it for you, but if you build your website with a content manager such as WordPress, you will have to find your own life (that is, hosting).
There are four main types :
- shared web hosting
- Virtual (VPS)
- on the cloud.
The cheapest, and the one used by most personal projects and small companies, is the shared one (eg this same website), where your website will be hosted on the server with others.
We live in an agile and connected world, where people discover products and services by searching the internet in an instant. Thus, entrepreneurs and owners of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) need to appear online if they want to take off and be in the digital conversation .
Thus, digital brands know that the basis of any online presence is their own domain and website, but above all an excellent web hosting service, which is the online storage space where they are made available to users. of a website the videos, images, documents and other files that make up the value proposition.
For this reason, in this article we give you 5 elements to choose the hosting for SMEs that adapts to the budget and the future growth needs of these companies.
The best web hosting for small business: what you need to know
For you to understand in a simpler way how hosting for small business works, imagine it as renting a space or premises in a shopping center.
Web hosting servers are like the building where these commercial spaces are rented. And each space is the web hosting service where all the information of a website will be stored (if you see it as a “brick and mortar” store, it would be the place with the shelves, warehouse and cash registers).
And just as different businesses coexist in a shopping center, hosting servers can host several websites and online stores at the same time, and at the same time they can give space to email servers, apps and virtual information “clouds” to share and download documents.
It should be noted that the better the performance of the server where you host your site, the greater the benefits you will receive as a “tenant”, whether it be more online storage space, faster loading speed and fewer technical problems.
And just as we talk about stores in a shopping center, when we talk about websites, access to these spaces is public and any user with an Internet connection can enter to see what they offer. Of course, with the big difference that the internet never closes!
To give you a refresher on web hosting goals, there are 3 things you need to know:
- When you hire a hosting provider, the said company gives you access to its technology and resources (CPU, memory, bandwidth, security measures, among others) so that your site is always in perfect working order.
- Your website data is stored on servers, that is, very powerful computers designed to store a large amount of data and have it accessible every day of the year and from anywhere in the world.
- There are different types of hosting that meet the resource needs of each website. But a good hosting company should offer you a solution with scalable capabilities to serve a higher volume of visitors and handle more information as your business grows.
With a fresh memory of knowledge, let’s move on to the practical tips to choose an ideal web hosting service for small business.
The Best Web Hosting For Small Business
On the market, there are several hosts trying to establish themselves. However, they do not all deserve the same interest. Here are some hosts selected on the list of the most recommendable for their reliability and good reputation.
SiteGround came to be on the 22nd of March, 2004 in Sofia, Bulgaria, but since then they have convinced many webmasters to host their website with them. In fact, they host more than 2,000,000 domain names worldwide.
SiteGround has offices around the world and also has complete support team to give attention to the user in English. It has servers spread around the world and you can choose between 3 European data centers, and in other parts of the planet such as the US or Asia.
What we like: Well, the customer service is one of the best we’ve tried. In our speed and availability tests , they were one of the hosts that offered the best performance, partially thanks to the fact that they use SSD disks. Their system has a caching plugin optimized for WordPress.
Advanced hosting features like staging environments or Git repositories. Its system is easy to use and you will quickly get used to its backend. Another advantage is that they do not measure the traffic that your website can receive, so they do not limit it. Although it is quite common among hosting services, SitGround comes with a free SSL certificate for all your sites.
What they should improve: Although their price is adjusted for the quality they offer, this web hosting may not be for all pockets. If you decide to buy a monthly hosting plan, you will have to pay an installation fee.
Who is SiteGround for?
Suitable for those users who are looking for 24-hour (and efficient) customer service to contact by email, phone and live chat. According to our tests and trials, it’s the best hosting in terms of performance that we have tested. It is also suitable if you are looking for advanced features for web development such as test environments.
GoDaddy plays in another league, it is among the largest hosting services and digital services on the planet. More than 18 million customers and thousands of workers form one of the largest conglomerates in the online world.
But of course, this is not a guarantee of anything, and as we will see below it is not a suitable option for most. They are an expensive service that offers mediocre performance, but let me tell you about it in more detail.
What we like: It’s great that they are so generous with web space, almost all of their plans offer unlimited web hosting. They also do not measure the traffic that your website will be able to receive and their performance is not all bad.
What they should improve: It is quite expensive when renewing, other providers offer similar products at a better price. It comes with a limit on the databases you can create and that also limits the number of websites you can have. It does not include a system to automatically create backups.
Who is GoDaddy for?
It’s ideal for someone who’s on a budget, looking for hosting with plenty of space and doesn’t mind having a site without automatic backups, or if you’re looking for Windows-based hosting.
DreamHost is one of the ‘oldest’ web hosts on the market, having launched in 1996 in Los Angeles. They currently have more than 1.5 million customers. In addition, they are one of the hosting sites recommended by the WordPress community itself.
What we like: It is a very cheap service and also offers very good loading speed and uptime. On the other hand, its interface is easy to follow and it has interesting functions such as backup options.
What they should improve: It only has servers in the US so the loading speed may not be ideal if your audience is in Europe. It has 24-hour support via ticket (email), but the chat is not available 24 hours a day.
Who is DreamHost for?
It is a very cheap shared hosting, but it offers a lot of quality. It is ideal for serious projects on a tight budget who don’t mind having their website hosted in America.
Infomaniak, a Swiss company, is also a leader in website hosting. It offers tailor-made hosting that takes into account all the requirements of the site owner. It provides its professional SSL certificates and thus guarantees the security of the sites. Hosting solutions are renowned for their good performance, but the price of certain offers can sometimes seem high. Swiss quality has a cost!
What we like: Ideal for SMEs and demanding individuals, Infomaniak is the best option for more than 80% of Web hosting for businesses. It allows you to install the most common applications with a single click and enjoy professional WordPress themes for free.
Infomaniak offers a powerful and scalable turnkey solution. Its attractive rate is possible thanks to the rational exploitation of the hardware resources of the same server for several websites.
What they should improve: The available technologies on Infomaniak are previously defined, which can be worked on.
Who is Infomaniak for?
Infomaniak allows you to create your own package. The basic package contains 100 GB of disk space, 25 email accounts, 20 domains and unlimited databases. However, you can customize this and change disk space, email accounts and a variety of websites to your liking. Since you can change these values, the appropriate price change is updated in real time, so you know exactly how much to pay for your specific needs!
The knowledge section at Infomaniak contains more than a thousand articles with information about all the products and services on offer.
How to choose web hosting for small businesses?
- Value for money.
- Diversity of complementary products and services.
- Plan flexibility.
- Technical support and customer service.
- Type of website or content manager.
1. Value for money
Sometimes people think that “the most expensive is the best”. And this can be true in some subjects, but in the case of web hosting it is a bit different.
But beware! This does not mean that hiring cheap web hosting is the most logical solution because, if hosting is for our business, surely we are going to want the best for our business… or not?
Therefore, it is worth doing a little research and evaluating the relationship between quality and price, since it may be convenient to pay a little more for a small business hosting plan that offers better technical support, resources and services that help small businesses grow.
2. Diversity of complementary products and services
If our business is just getting off the ground, it stands to reason that web hosting needs are completely different than a company whose digital presence is much stronger.
For example, GoDaddy’s WordPress Hosting with WooCommerce plan is dedicated to online stores that use this specialized e-commerce platform, with extensive product catalogs and that receive thousands of visits per month. But if you’re selling consulting services, you probably don’t need as many resources.
Thus, the ideal is to be able to count on a company that not only provides you with web hosting services, but also has the appropriate tools to promote your SME and improve your digital presence.
In addition, it is much more comfortable to have products such as personalized mail, domains, security and web hosting with the same company. This will not only save the accountant of your SME from headaches when doing the billing, but also the webmaster when requesting technical support from the hosting provider.
3. Flexibility of plans
When choosing a hosting provider for SMEs, the ideal is to reach a good agreement. What do we mean by this?
In Latin America, web hosting services have grown exponentially in recent years. Thus, hosting companies (national or foreign) usually have offers for hiring the first year that provide entrepreneurs with some benefit or a discount to start their path in the digital world.
Therefore, look for SME hosting packages with the necessary resources for your site such as professional email, web page creator, security certificates and domain names, depending on the budget and the needs of your company.
4. Technical support and customer service
As we mentioned above, there are local and international hosting providers that, as in any industry, have their advantages and disadvantages.
And on the subject of customer service in Nigeria, it sometimes happens that some web hosting companies do not have direct service lines, which can be a problem because it is very likely that at some point the owners of SMEs need help and technical support.
Therefore, when contracting these services, you must be clear that customer service is in English and with experts in each area, whether it is web hosting, domains or online security.
5. Type of website or content manager
Just as no two SMEs are the same, each page will have its own requirements in terms of web hosting.
As an illustration, here are 3 examples of the type of SME hosting that you should choose, depending on the website you need to implement:
A. Informative website
It is a web page with no other function than to show information to the public about the SME or entrepreneurship. The design is usually simple, with few sections and basic functions such as: contact form to request quotes, social network buttons, physical location, etc.
In these cases the best is a Shared Hosting. It is the cheapest web hosting that exists and, above all, it is the one to start any project that does not require a lot of web traffic.
Without a doubt, an e-commerce website with a wide catalog of products requires more online storage space (simply for product photos), as well as optimized web hosting and security resources to support high user and transaction traffic.
For this reason, the WordPress Hosting service has a plan with WooCommerce (the most popular online store engine in the world) that, in addition to exclusive design templates by industry, offers you all the features you need to sell online (such as shopping cart of purchase, shipping methods, SSL certificate, etc.).
C. Informative website with more traffic or with more lines of business
When an SME gains market presence and demand grows, it begins to generate more sales and expand its services, it can also expand the capabilities of its web hosting to offer more features and adapt to a higher flow of visitors.
However, this does not necessarily mean that the company has to move to a high-end hosting range – such as a dedicated server for SMEs, or virtual VPS hosting – or hire a team of web development professionals… both very expensive options. .
In these cases, the most convenient thing is to change to a Business Hosting, which offers an interface and operation similar to shared, but with dedicated resources and much more power, for a little more monthly rent. It is the ideal option for SMEs and entrepreneurs who are about to take the next step in their business.
Make a list with the 5 elements of hosting for SMEs, evaluate which one suits you and choose without haste. The correct decision will be the one that, instead of generating unnecessary problems and expenses, will help your business grow online.