Having a functioning website is an essential part of any small business. Whether you want to establish credibility, allow users to purchase products, or just want to be searchable online, having a website is the best way to truly elevate and grow your small business. More importantly, the success of your website relies massively on whatever web host you choose. That’s why you need to find out the best web hosts for small businesses!
Many web hosts are targeted at home users and don’t offer enough features for small businesses. When you’re planning to receive a large amount of traffic, or you expect your website to steadily grow, you’ll want a web host that can provide you with all the resources you need. Alternatively, you don’t want to be paying loads for features you don’t need, as your website won’t be expecting as many visitors compared to larger businesses. In the vast sea of web hosts, it can be difficult to pick just one for your website.
So, to help out, we’ve researched and narrowed down your choices to just three fantastic web hosts. These hosting providers are reliable, secure, and can provide you with all the resources you need to sustain and grow your small business’s website. Here are the best web hosts for small businesses in 2023!
The business features you need from a web host
There are some key features that need to be taken into consideration before choosing a web host for your small business. You don’t want to miss out on potential visitors or sales so it’s important for your website to be fast, secure, and reliable. Additionally, you’ll want a web host who can effectively support you with excellent customer service and plenty of automated features.
If your site is regularly down then you’ll be losing visitors and unintentionally damaging your brand. More importantly, if your website receives a sudden surge in traffic then you’ll want it to still stay up so you don’t lose any potential customers. You should be looking for a web host that provides an average of at least 99.9% uptime. It’s also best to opt for a web host that offers an uptime guarantee where you can expect to receive credit to your account if your website has more downtime than promised.
Speed is an incredibly important factor when it comes to business websites. Users typically like to dart between different websites and web pages to quickly find what they’re looking for. If your website is noticeably slower than others then you can’t expect users to wait around. So, choosing a web host that can provide both fast and consistent page loading speeds is absolutely vital. There are various websites available such as Bitcatcha that monitor the average speeds of popular web hosting providers, so you can see how your chosen web host compares to others in the market.
Running a business, big or small, can be incredibly time-consuming. Add in a website to the mix, and you have a whole lot of responsibility on your hands. For small business owners, we recommend that you choose a web host that provides plenty of automated features, so you can focus on the other important aspects of your business. An ideal web host will have automatic updates and automatic security protocols that can be performed in the background without any input needed from you. Even better, web hosting providers that have easy one-click installation are best for those who are inexperienced when it comes to web hosts.
If you plan to sell a product, then you should look for a web host that includes a SSL certificate. A SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate is especially vital for those who have an e-commerce website as it encrypts data between a customer’s browser and the web host to help secure passwords and credit card information.
You can even tell if a website has an SSL certificate by finding a small padlock icon located at the left of the URL at the top of your browser. Many web hosts offer a SSL certificate at an additional price but there are a handful of providers that include it for free in any plan. Be sure to check beforehand about your SSL certificate as it’s a must-have feature for small business websites.
Reliable customer support is a must, and it should be available to you at any time of the day. You never know when you could run into an issue that can affect your website’s performance or even completely crash it. So, you’ll want a web host that has 24/7 customer support available to assist you at all times. Many web hosts employ knowledgeable support members who can help you out with even complex queries.
A comprehensive knowledge base is an added bonus for those who would rather tackle issues themselves. You can usually access a web host’s knowledge base before becoming a paying customer, so it’s a good idea to check out some of their available guides, articles, and other resources beforehand.
Did you know that 71% of small businesses have a website? 17% of these businesses use their website to establish credibility and authority while 14% use it to simply be found in search engine result pages.
Our top recommended web hosts for small businesses
Based on the features listed above, we’ve selected the top 3 best web hosts for small businesses in 2021. These web hosts can help your website reach its full potential and allow you more time to concentrate on the other aspects of running your business.
Bluehost is a reliable, affordable, and easy-to-use web host that is highly suitable for small businesses, whether you’re looking for a simple website or a complex eCommerce store. With this web host, you can expect stable uptime, fast speeds, and plenty of additional features that will make managing your website a breeze.
Bluehost offers a specialized plan called WooCommerce that’s specifically designed to integrate with WordPress and aimed at businesses that plan to sell products through their website. With the WooCommerce plan, you’ll receive free SSL, unmetered bandwidth, a preinstalled store-front theme, and web traffic analytics. Bluehost also makes setting up your eCommerce store easy by providing you with one-click installation for tools and add-ons such as payment processors, shipping options, and calendar bookings.
If you’re not setting up an eCommerce site, then you can opt for one of Bluehost’s shared, VPS, or dedicated plans instead. We would recommend that smaller businesses with just one website opt for the basic shared plan. This plan provides you with 50 GB SSD Storage, free SSL, custom WordPress themes, and access to Bluehost’s innovative website builder. This tool makes creating and designing your website easier than ever using features such as live editing, quick-start templates, and custom CSS. This website builder tool is ideal for small businesses as it enables users to quickly design and build a functional website without needing any prior technical knowledge.
Bluehost has a very impressive uptime of 99.98% so you don’t have to worry about your website regularly going down. When it comes to loading speeds, this web host also delivers, and you can expect above-average page loading speeds for your website on a regular basis.
Bluehost also has excellent support available 24/7 via phone or live chat to answer any questions or assist with any issues you may run into when setting up or managing your website. Another option is to head to Bluehost’s extensive knowledge base which provides hundreds of detailed articles, tutorials, and FAQS. Additionally, if you’re unsure whether Bluehost is right for you, then you can make the most of their 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try out any plan and see for yourself whether this web host is suited to your website’s needs.
If you expect your website to be tech-heavy and require a lot of resources, then dedicated hosting is likely the best solution for you. If that’s the case, then we highly recommend HostGator for its superb dedicated hosting plans. For a range of features that can help you maintain your website, paired with a stable uptime and fast speeds, HostGator is the best choice for small businesses that are expected to grow steadily.
Although dedicated hosting is significantly more expensive than other solutions, it can help keep your website running smoothly at all times and gives you full control over any resources. After all, your website may drastically grow in a small amount of time and you’ll want to ensure that your host can support a large influx in traffic and more resource usage. For example, if you have an eCommerce site in mind, then each page will likely contain a lot of media content that still needs to be loaded in fast. Thankfully, HostGator can sufficiently support you no matter how large or quickly your website grows.
With HostGator’s dedicated plans, you get up to 30 GB of RAM, unmetered bandwidth, 1 TB SSD, DDoS protection, an IP-based firewall, and the choice of various control panels (cPanel, Plesk, WHM, Webmatrix). You can also choose between a fully-managed or semi-managed plan, depending on how much responsibility you’re willing to handle. Since you’ll have root access with a dedicated plan, you can take full control of your server and configure it in any way to suit your preferences. If dedicated hosting isn’t for you, then HostGator’s shared, WordPress, and VPS hosting plans are just as reliable and feature-rich.
If you’re planning on a smaller-scale website with no eCommerce website, then HostGator’s hatchling shared hosting plan will be better suited for you and your small business. With this plan, you can manage a single website and will get unmetered bandwidth, a free 1-year domain, free SSL, and one-click WordPress installation. All plans except for the dedicated plans come with a generous 45-day money-back guarantee so you can try out HostGator’s features before committing to an annual plan.
HostGator has a truly unbeatable uptime of 99.99%, which translates to less than just an hour of downtime per year. This web host also has a knowledgeable support team that is available 24/7 via phone or live chat. You can also find various video tutorials on HostGator’s website that will help guide you through setting up and managing the website for your small business.
A2 Hosting is great value for money and can sufficiently support your small business website with generous resources allowances and various automated features. Beginners will especially love how easy it is to set up their website with any of A2 Hosting’s shared, dedicated, VPS, or WordPress hosting plans.
With the startup shared hosting plan, you can manage one website and receive 100 GB SSD storage, free SSL, unlimited email accounts, and access to A2 Hosting’s custom website builder. This tool is a great addition and includes versatile features including an easy-to-use text editor, a template customizer, and even an eCommerce plugin, all of which can help you create your website with ease. This web host also takes security very seriously and includes various security features in all of its available plans. This includes 2FA, DDoS protection, a virus scanner, dual firewall, and auto-quarantine for infected files.
A2 Hosting offers plenty of exclusive WordPress hosting features that strive to secure users with the fastest and most secure WordPress setup possible. A2 Optimized is a plugin from A2 Hosting that provides auto-configuration for your website. This plugin takes care of installing and configuring various optimizations to help speed up page loading times and improve the overall performance of your website. You can visit the A2 Optimi zed page on the official WordPress website to see how this plugin can further benefit your website.
A2 Hosting has a solid uptime of 99.95% which roughly equals around 4.5 hours of downtime per year. If there are any issues then A2 Hosting’s ‘Guru Crew’ support team are here to help 24/7 through email, phone, or live chat. There is also a detailed knowledge base that you can head to if you want to resolve any problems yourself or just learn how you can develop and further improve your website. Overall, if you have a small business and you’re looking for an affordable hosting plan that still offers plenty of features, then look no further than A2 Hosting.
A final note
Want to learn more about web hosting after discovering the best web hosts for small businesses? Find out answers to common web hosting questions and learn about the different types of web hosting solutions!