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Selecting a Web Hosting Provider for Your Small Business

Today, almost every small business operating needs a website to connect with clients and differentiate itself from competitors.

Consider your needs in terms of speed, storage, security, and customer support when picking a hosting provider, as well as whether the price is reasonable for your budget.

These requirements determine the scope and parameters of the website hosting that you purchase. Small, single-page websites like personal web pages can use free web hosting providers. A business may need to spend more money on a more comprehensive package for a complicated website, one that includes database support, application development platforms, and security elements to ensure data protection.

To help you identify the provider that best suits your needs, we have chosen and rated a variety of industry giants in the website hosting space.

Configurations for Hosting

There are 3 primary setups for website hosting services:

shared VPS dedicated

The decision you make should take into account both your budget and the needs of your small business.

Hosting your website on a shared web host, where it will be housed on a company’s server together with hundreds of other sites, is the most cost-effective choice. The drawback is that because so many websites share bandwidth and storage, you can experience some lag time.

If your business expands, you can upgrade with a scalable hosting package.

A Virtual Private Server (VPS), a server with its own allotted resources inside a bigger server, would be the next step up from a shared host. The performance of your website won’t be impacted by other websites even though all the websites hosted on the server share the same physical system because each VPS website has its own virtual compartment. The realm of real estate is a frequent source of comparisons between shared and VPS hosting.

Using a shared host is similar to renting an apartment building with a single landlord, where everyone uses the same community amenities like the gym or pool, whereas a VPS is similar to a condominium where each individual has their own home but still shares the common areas. Similar to the argument over whether to live in an apartment or a condo, a VPS will cost more. People typically switch from shared to VPS when they require greater speed to handle a spike in traffic and more control over their web hosting.

Dedicated hosting, the next level up, gives you a private area (or home, to continue with the previous analogy). There are no other websites running on the server, therefore there won’t be any performance issues brought on by them. In order to retain speed and performance when your traffic grows into tens of thousands of daily visits, migrating to a dedicated server is a wise idea. However, unless you pay extra for a managed server, you will be in charge of controlling the firewall and doing maintenance.

Pricing of Web Hosting Plans

Big companies often have the resources to spend a lot of money on web hosting, but this isn’t always the case for smaller companies.

The least expensive choice is a shared web host, which can cost as little as $1.99 per month but lacks the speed and dependability of VPS and dedicated servers. Better performance comes at a cost; most dedicated servers cost over $100, while VPS hosting costs between $20 and $100 per month.

For instance, a normal VPS plan on Bluehost costs $19.99 per month, but the “ultimate” plan, which comes with four times as much storage, costs $59.99. The VPS options for iPage are priced on a sliding scale, from basic ($19.99) to “business” ($47.99), which includes three times the bandwidth and more than double the storage.

Liquidweb provides more expensive hosting services, with their most affordable plan costing $38.25 per month for a 2GB VPS with “fully managed” hosting. A “professional-grade VPS hosting” with Media Temple will cost you more than the majority of the competition, with rates starting at $55 per month.

Things start to rise with dedicated servers. The least expensive dedicated server on HostGator starts at $119.00/month, while the “enterprise” option, which offers additional features, costs $149.00/month. The least expensive choice on Liquidweb is a fully-managed dedicated server, which costs $199 per month. A2 Hosting is the most reasonably priced of our featured website hosting services, with dedicated hosting available for purchase at $99.59 a month.

Always keep an eye out for unforeseen expenses. In order to take advantage of a fantastic deal offered online, some providers may try to lock you into a multi-year plan or charge you extra to connect you with a free website builder. Search online for the greatest website host for you as you take your time.

Features That Are Business-Related

The last thing you want to worry about when creating a website for your company is running out of data. Look for options that allow for unlimited data transfers and secure them using an SSL. Customers will be able to securely make purchases on your website thanks to this, and you’ll have the peace of mind you need to concentrate on managing your company.

Some providers additionally provide unrestricted bandwidth, domain names, and email storage in addition to providing free data backups. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a standard tool used by web hosts today to assist clients find your business in search results. Flexibility is also crucial, and many providers let users select the operating system they want to run.

Uptime Statistics

Site uptime and how well the website host manages to keep the sites they host up and running are important considerations to take into account so that clients can find you and your company.

Along with HostGator and A2 Hosting, who both guarantee it, iPage brags about its 99.9% uptime. Although Web.com is renowned for its high uptime, its 99.9% uptime guarantee only applies to UNIX users. Our top-rated server, Bluehost, no longer guarantees a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and users have complained about page loading issues. High uptime rates are shared by our other reviewed hosts, but they do not provide assurances.

Needs for Small vs. High-Traffic Business Websites

To ensure that they can handle the load, high-traffic websites—with hundreds of thousands of views per month—need to be on either a VPS or a dedicated server.

There is less need to spend money on a more expensive dedicated hosting package or VPS if your website receives little traffic. A shared website server is certainly more practical and cost-effective for sites like this.

Customer Service & Technical Support

When choosing your website host, smooth, competent, and responsive customer care should be a requirement. You never know when you might encounter a website issue that necessitates the help of an expert.

The customer service at Media Temple is among the best in the business. The business provides live chat, email, and phone service around-the-clock. Additionally, the Media Temple Twitter account can be used to contact customer service. A2 Hosting’s customer assistance is above average, despite the fact that it has received our lowest overall rating.

The “Guru Crew” is the name of the A2 support staff, and they are always on call through phone or live chat. Additionally, Bluehost, iPage, and HostGator provide email, live chat, and phone support around the clock. Although Web.com doesn’t offer live chat, its phone number and email are regarded as trustworthy. Although Liquidweb does not offer the same guarantees as another website hosting, our experience has proved it to be dependable.

Conclusion

Knowing who you are and what you need is essential when searching for a web host. It makes little sense to spend a lot of money on a high-octane dedicated server that would be better suited to a site with much more traffic if you are a small firm with moderate traffic.

If your company is larger and you anticipate more traffic, it is well worth your money to invest in a host that can both provide the bandwidth you require and the highest level of uptime so you don’t lose customers by being offline.

Customer service and usability should be your top priorities if you’re just starting off with website management. Read our reviews to determine which websites are the simplest for beginners to use and which you believe will cause the fewest problems. To give a host a few test drives before committing, look for one that offers a trial period or a money-back guarantee.

As always, take your time choosing the best host for you by reading each of our in-depth reviews before you sign on the dotted line.

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