Best Small Businesses Web hosting: Quick Links
- SiteGround – Click here to get 60% Off
- WP Engine – Click here to get 2 months for free
- NameCheap (Domains) – Check Deals
In today’s day and age, it’s incredibly important as a Small Business Owner to be online so that your customers can find you. Most people nowadays aren’t looking at billboards they’re too busy staring at their phones.
If you are reading this article on the “Best Web Hosting for Small Businesses” you are already ahead of your competition as you realize that you need to be online but the moment you start googling “How to build a website” you are bombarded with soo much information that you don’t really know where to start.
Well, then you are at the right place!
Who the hell am I? I’m the head of organic growth at Foundr Magazine which is one of the world’s largest business and entrepreneurship digital magazines. We have featured a lot of the world’s biggest entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, Mark Cuban, Tim Ferriss on our podcast and magazine. However personally the first way I ever made an income was by building websites for cafes and restaurants.
With my experience working with small businesses I understand how dealing with the technical aspect of “getting online” can be soo overwhelming so I made a really in-depth guide with screenshots on “how to build a website without coding” that you can easily use to build a website for a small cafe/restaurant etc 🙂
When it comes to picking a web site host, you will rarely find a more topic that’s going to split an audience. It’s a massive problem as the industry of web hosting pays its affiliates (ie bloggers like me) a lot of money, that is why for example if you started Googling “best website hosting for small business” you start seeing Bluehost recommended in a lot of places.
Why is that?
Well, the reality is that Bluehost pays its affiliates a lot more than any other web hosting provider out there to recommend them.
Bluehost pays its affiliates at least 65$ per sale (sometimes up to $200) to recommend them while SiteGround the #1 choice I recommend here (and also use for this site) pays their affiliates only 50$ per sale.
So why am I telling you all of this and during the process also taking a pay cut? Well, I don’t need your money and I’d rather take the pay cut and sleep with a smile 🙂 than recommend something that isn’t the best product.
Most Affordable Web Hosting For Small Businesses
When you’re starting out and super strict on your budget it may seem like a great idea to go for a free blogger/WordPress website!
It’s worth investing a few bucks into owning your website, when was the last time you saw a successful hotel with a website like “hilton.freeblogs.com”(ew!) instead of their own domain name like “Hilton.com”, for example?
The domain name is not the worst of it!
- You don’t control your content – the platform you are using does. They have the right and could shut you down anytime, and for any reason. Seriously! Don’t believe me? Read this. Don’t let your business be under someone else’s control.
- The web address will look like something like this yourfreeblog.blogspot.com! Yikes.
I cringe every time I see a link to the small business website has a .wordpress or a .wix! I usually don’t even click through as the URL sends me vibes that the person isn’t really committed to their online presence!
Factors To Consider when Picking Small Business Web Hosting
- Speed: Speed is a very very important factor when it comes to websites. Your customers don’t want to wait! Not only for your users but search engines like Google consider speed as a factor so it’s a huge factor when it comes to picking your Website host. Also as the attention span of humans keep on decreasing, no one really wants to wait for sites to load anymore.
- Storage Space: Hosting a tiny cafe website with a few pictures vs an interactive site where you allow your customers to add data to the site will have very different storage needs. You will also have different storage space needs than if you are hosting videos (which isn’t recommended anyway). Most websites are a few GBs, this blog, for example, is less than 2 Gbs even when all the images are taken into consideration. However, if you are planning on running a photography blog you might need a little more space.
- Bandwidth: The ram and bandwidth of your website host will dictate how many requests/visitors your site can handle at a single time based on its structure. It’s not always the host’s fault, a bloated site with 100s of plugins and no caching will be slow even on the best host. An optimized site is a must if you want your site to load faster.
- Uptime: Nothing is worse than going to a website only to get a 404 error! Uptime is of great importance, you don’t want to use a host where the servers are always down. Downtime of the servers = loss of potential revenue. You lose visitors and potential customers if your site is down.
- Security: Security should is a highly important issue for each and every single website owner. If your website is hacked you can possibly lose all the data on your website, lose your ranking in Google, lose all your readers or just outright lose all the credibility you’ve built. So it’s important that your Website hosting company puts measures to make sure your servers are secure, from outside attackers as well as internal server attacks.
- Customer Support: There’s nothing worse than having a problem and the customer support takes days to get back to you! When picking your Small business host, be sure to test out their customer service. If they treat you horribly and make you wait before becoming a customer, what makes you think that will change after they have your money.
- Reviews: Is the sentiment on the internet about your host positive or does everyone have complains about your Small business host. It’s hard to know if people are incentivized to recommend a particular host instead of another, so be skeptical of every “Small business hosting review” including this one ?. Ask about host recommendations from your friends and business circle. Use a site like whosehostingthis.com to see the host of the blog you are getting recommendations (I once had a blog recommend me Bluehost but they themselves were hosted on SiteGround, Yeh IK :/)
Best Web Hosting For Small Businesses 2018
SiteGround – Click here to get 60% Off
SiteGround is the #1 rated WordPress host and even recommended by WordPress on their site. I personally host this site on SiteGround and will continue doing so for a really long time. The main things about SiteGround that attracted me personally, were the blazing fast speed, free SSL, the uptime and the great support.
In a poll held in the Facebook group of “WordPress Hosting” that consists of WordPress veterans and Developers SiteGround was the #1 rated host followed by Cloudways which is my recommendation for programmers reading this.
In a few seconds, you will realize SiteGround is the best choice for most small businesses. I personally host this site on SiteGround and will continue doing so for a really long time.
Pros of SiteGround Small Business Web Hosting
SiteGround’s speed technology is one of the biggest reasons I chose them. They use the latest NGINX servers, solid states drives (SSDs), PHP7, Cloudflare, and HTTP/2 enabled servers. In simple terms, it’s got the best tech for your site; hardware, and software wise!
I believe that time is the currency of life and I respect the time of each of my readers so I make sure that my site loads in a snap(literally)
As an SEO, most of my articles come on the first page of Google for many queries. Like my article on how I make money traveling comes on the first page of Google for “How to make money traveling”. Now that’s due to a ton of factors; Speed is one of them.
Google likes fast sites!
Wouldn’t it nice to come at the top if someone Googles *your city name* cafe?
Speed plays a role in that!
The average load time on SiteGround is 1.3 seconds which is miles ahead of the other website hosts at the same price!
The biggest issue I had with my previous host was that almost every month I used to get an email saying that my server is down, however ever since I switched over to SiteGround, that hasn’t been a worry or an issue.
If my site goes down it equates to a huge loss in revenue and hence I need uptime, uptime, uptime!!
SiteGround has amazing uptime technology, from Linux containers, proactive server monitoring, secure account isolation, and other things I can’t even understand. Doesn’t matter.. it just works and that’s all I care about!
Many Website hosts promise 99.99% but fail to deliver, unlike SiteGround who helps keep my site and businesses running.
- Customer Support
The one thing most SiteGround users rave about is their customer support, and looks like I’m going to be just another one! SiteGround has some of the best customer support I’ve ever come across in the Web hosting business.
As seen from the above picture, SiteGround is super quick to answer any tickets raised! It’s the fastest in the industry! Their average reply time is 8mins, however, in my experience, it’s rarely over 5 mins
When I began using SiteGround, after buying the hosting package, I contacted the support, messaged them my login details and in just a single day, without any downtime, they migrated my site over for free.
Also here’s something I’ve rarely been able to say but they’ve got some of the nicest people on the customer support team!
- Free Hosting Migration
SiteGround will migrate you for free if you’re currently hosted somewhere else. They did this for me as I shared in the customer support section, in less than a day and without any downtime! SiteGround’s technicians are absolutely amazing and have my full confidence to handle migrations.
SiteGround uses Linux containers and account isolation as I mentioned in the uptime section, this helps prevent other websites on your server from affecting yours, plus they’re always software ongoing patches and security monitoring.
Here are a few of the basic ways SiteGround protects your websites.
Also on the website side, SiteGround offers Free SSL from LetsEncryt! What’s that? Well, it’s a service that usually costs 59$ – 100$ on most hosts, that secures and encrypts the information transmitted between the browser and the user. Basically, it keeps my reader’s information safe from hackers!
SSL is also a factor in coming higher in Google search results, like speed! Google likes websites that are secured and for good reason, having SSL secures credit card numbers, emails, usernames and passwords, and other sensitive information from any computer between the user (you) and the website.
Cons of SiteGround WordPress Hosting
- No free domain
Many hosting companies now provide free domains to many of their new clients. This is a key selling point and gets a lot of new people in the door as they don’t have to pay extra for a domain. You don’t get a free domain with SiteGround, however, you can just spend a few extra bucks and get a domain. I don’t see the benefits of going with a shitty host just to save a couple of bucks, your website is your house on the internet and it’s worth investing in having a good foundation with a good host.
- Limited Bandwith
If you are a developer and you run a lot of CRON jobs, you will quickly find that you are using all the dedicated resources of your site and will be served with a resource usage warning. This is only an issue if you are trying to build web apps etc. However, for literally every single blog and small business on the internet, this isn’t really an issue.
- Cache Plugin
SiteGround default cache plugin isn’t that great, I personally prefer using W3 Total cache over it and would recommend you do the same.
Shared Hosting Choices: StartUp vs. GrowBig vs. GoGeek
There are 3 different choices when it comes to picking a shared hosting plan. StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek.
The major difference is that StartUp can only host one website, while the other plans allow unlimited sites. GrowBig includes more servers resources (faster site, yay!), even better and faster support (what!??) and 30 daily backups (instead of 1 with the StartUp plan). GoGeek, as the name suggests, is for developers and for much bigger sites and comes with even more server resources to handle the higher traffic!
Here’s the comparison chart comparing all the features of the different types of hosting!
Here’s a breakdown of each shared WordPress hosting plan:
StartUp – Cheapest plan at only $3.95/ month, it is sufficient to host a single website with very little traffic. It’s better than any other hosting plan at $3.95/ month available but lacks the additional server resources, high storage, priority support and the amazing backup tool you get with the other plans (though you do get a free daily backup). In my own experience of this plan, I’ve gotten 99% uptime and absolutely no internal server or other hosting errors.
- Hosts 1 website
- ~10,000 visits a month
- $3.95 a month
- All essential features
- 10 GB space
- Free SSL from Let’s Encrypt!
- Best suited for someone starting their first blog
GrowBig – At $5.95 a month, the GrowBig plan is the most popular one, and for good reason; it’s the best bang for your buck for anyone starting in the online business industry. It allows you to host multiple websites, has nearly 2x the server resources as compared to StartUp, Double the storage space, priority support, staging and includes 30 daily backups and the backup restoration tool.
There’s advanced caching if you use the SG CachePress plugin, but as I mentioned earlier I prefer using W3 Total Cache.
- Hosts Unlimited Websites
- ~25,000 visits a month
- $5.95 a month
- All essential features
- 20 GB space
- Priority support
- Backup & restoration service
- WordPress special cache
- 3 levels of SuperCacher
- Wildcard SSL certificate
- About 2x server and email resources
- Best bang for the buck for someone with multiple websites like me!
GoGeek – Considered Semi-dedicated, GoGeek is about 4x faster than normal shared hosting! At a fraction of the cost of a dedicated server at $11.95 a month. It’s perfect for people who have large sites but don’t want to spend the $75+/month for cloud hosting.
It includes everything in the GrowBig plan along with staging (for testing websites before launching), unlimited restores by SiteGround’s support team, and essential e-Commerce features like 1-year free Wildcard SSL and PCI compliance for credit card fraud protection. Other features are listed below.
- Hosts Unlimited Websites
- ~100,000 visits a month
- $11.95 a month
- All essential features
- 30 GB space
- Priority support
- About 4x server and email resources
- 1 click WordPress Staging
- Premium Backup & Restore
- SG-Git for repo creation
- Free PCI Compliance
- Pre-Installed Git
- Free Wildcard SSL certificate for a year
- Fastest Shared Hosting Plan available and mainly for people who run big websites
If you are a tiny business just starting up, I’d recommend going with the SiteGround StartUp Plan
If your business is growing, it’s better to go for GrowBig.
If you already run a website getting a lot of traffic, it might be worth it to switch to GoGeek.
WPEngine WordPress Hosting – Click here to get 2 months for free
What’s the difference between Managed WordPress Hosting vs Normal Website hosting? Well, you get a lot more features specific to your WordPress site so you can focus on content and let you host handle the rest.
If you are a small business owner who runs WordPress than it might be a good idea to with WPEngine as they handle a lot of things when it comes to WordPress
Features Offered by WPEngine’s Managed WordPress Hosting
- Automatic WordPress updates
- Automatic backups (daily/weekly based on the plan)
- Built-in speed optimization through caching and CDN networks
- Built-in security mechanisms optimized for WordPress
- Databases and Server settings optimized specifically for WordPress
- Support reps are well versed in all things WordPress
If you have an established WordPress Site with a large audience, WPEngine is your guy! At Foundr Magazine where I’m the SEO Marketing Manager, we use WPEngine and they have served us insanely well providing great support and features.
Pros of WPEngine’s Managed WordPress Hosting
- Included CDN: From the Professional plan onwards, WPEngine’s Managed WordPress Hosting comes with a CDN which helps your site load faster so you don’t have to go out and buy that separately.
- 24/7 Support: WPEngine provides 24 support through chat and email with reps with experience with WordPress, If you are on the professional plan or above you get 24/7 Phone support as well.
- Easy and Free Migration: If you currently host your site with another host, WPEngine makes it easy to migrate in an automated way with a simple plugin.
- Free SSL Certifications: You get free LetsEncrypt SSL with every single website hosted on WPEngine.
Cons of WPEngine’s Managed WordPress Hosting
- Disallowed Plugins: If you are someone who’s used to having complete control of everything like me, you won’t like the fact that certain plugins are blocked on WPEngine. Due to the nature of the servers, this is done to prevent those plugins from straining the database, interfering with caching, making too many HTTP requests etc.It’s not a big deal for 99.999% of people reading this. Here’s a full list of the disallowed plugins on WPEngine.
- Little Pricey: While you can get Shared hosting at about 5$ for a month, WPEngine’s hosting starts at 29$ but you can get the first 2 months free by clicking here. A cheaper alternative to the personal plan would be to go for SiteGround’s GoGeek plan for similarly sized sites.
Best Small Business Web Hosting in 2018
So what do you think of these Small Business Web Hosting providers? Do you think there is a better one out there? Let me below in the comments.