Web Hosting – As the world revolves, a new breed of technology embarks, making the business world more creative and innovative. Hence, choosing the right web hosting company is one of the most important decisions a small business owner will make. How you present yourself to the online world – how fast your site loads, if your site goes down – the most common problem and says a lot about your business to consumers. Wide arrays of several features to evaluate when choosing a web hosting company for enhanced security, storage, site speed and pricing. However, are also red flags to consider, such as site downtime and negative reviews. Not every web hosting company is right for your business. Learn what to look for in a hosting provider and how to know which one fits your needs.The catch, robusting your e-commerce entails a lot of research and concrete knowledge so it is very essential to look at these following recommendations.
Liquid Web and Nexcess have partnered up to offer WordPress and WooCommerce managed hosting services. The features of these plans include auto scaling and free access to premium plugins, such as Beaver Builder, WP Forms, iThemes Security Pro and Sync, and the Astra Pro theme. Plans can be tested for no cost for 14 days. Good news, there are no traffic limits or overage charges with Liquid Web’s hosting plans. In addition, they include free SSL certificates and site migrations. Customer support from Liquid Web is offered 24/7. Additionally, the company offers a 59-second response guarantee.
InMotion Web Hosting
InMotion Hosting, is considered as the best web hosting company for small business in 2020, is a comprehensive web hosting platform that provides wide choices of hosting services. It offers several hosting types, including shared, virtual private servers (VPS), dedicated servers, WordPress, managed and reseller hosting. It has features that can help you in creating your website. Also, it has multiple competitive plans you can choose from. If you are looking for a cost-effective plan for your small- or medium-sized business, consider one of its shared business plans. The storage of information and developing the data is more accessible. On the brighter side, it offers unlimited disk space, bandwidth, monthly transfers and email storage. Keep in mind, though, that unlimited does not mean infinite. Instead, InMotion establishes an average range, based on your plan, for you to operate within. InMotion Hosting provides users with malware protection, free SSL certificates and SSH access, among other security measures. And if you need help creating your website, you can use InMotion’s website builder. More than 400 free applications can be installed with one click.
InMotion is very accessible and handy. You can reach InMotion customer support by phone, live chat and Skype chat. There is also a support center on its website which features FAQs, product guides, tutorials and community support.
A2 Web Hosting
Personally, A2 Hosting is our choice as the most secure web hosting service. It offers multiple plans for shared, VPS, WordPress, reseller, cloud and dedicated server hosting.
Consequently, A2 Hosting has three shared hosting plans: Lite, Swift and Turbo plans. For new customers, A2 Hosting cuts the price of its plans 51%. The Lite plan costs $3.92 per month, the Swift plan costs $4.90 each month, and the Turbo plan costs $9.31 per month. Upon renewal, the rates increase and range from $7.99 to $18.99 per month. You can choose from a one-month, 12-month, 24-month and 36-month term. Some plans are eligible for free domain registration or transfer for the first year. After the first year, domain registration costs $14.95. Unlike its competitors, A2 Hosting has an anytime guarantee policy. If you cancel your subscription within the first 30 days, you are eligible for a full refund. If you cancel after the first 30 days, you may receive a prorated refund rounded up to the next full month you have left on your contract. On the other hand, efunds are not offered on partial months of service.
A2 Hosting offers exceptional security measures for its shared plans. Regardless of which plan you buy, you get 24/7 network monitoring, a free SSL certificate and free malware protection. A2 Hosting also provides KernelCare rebootless updates, brute force defense, reinforced DDoS protection, a dual firewall and Patchman-enhanced security tools. Each shared plan has unlimited storage and transfer, but as is the case with most hosting services, unlimited typically refers to an average usage range the company expects you to operate within. A2 Hosting patrons have access to cPanel and Softaculous, so they can easily build and manage their website.
Support: You can reach A2 by phone, live chat or submit an email ticket. The company also provides an online knowledgebase where you can find a wealth of information about hosting, developing and maintaining a website.
A2 Hosting is an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau and has an A rating.
1&1 IONOS Web Hosting
We recommend 1&1 IONOS as the best cloud hosting company. It provides the standard hosting options like shared, VPS, dedicated servers, WordPress and cloud hosting, as well as additional cloud solutions like cloud servers, cloud backup, and cloud apps.
However, 1&1 IONOS’ cloud hosting options are more advanced than competing cloud hosting services and are perfect for users who want to customize their scripting language, web server, and database for their online business.
Pricing: Cloud hosting is typically more expensive, but it comes with an increased level of scalability and customization. The Managed Cloud Hosting M plan costs $15 per month, the Managed Cloud Hosting L plan costs $25 per month, the Managed Cloud Hosting XL plan costs $35 per month, and the Managed Cloud Hosting XXL plan costs $65 per month. 1&1 IONOS includes a free domain for the first year. After that, there is a $15 registration fee for each subsequent year. Since cloud hosting is a pay-per-usage service, you can cancel your service at any time.
Features: 1&1 IONOS is transparent about what each of its cloud hosting plans include. Depending on the plan, you will be allotted between 1GB and 8GB of memory, between 50GB and 160GB of web space, between 4 and 16 databases, 10,000 subdomains and 10,000 email accounts. Each plan is fitted with automatic resource allocation, seamless resource scaling and data center selection. All sites are secured with a Wildcard SSL certificate and high-security SSD storage network (SAN). 1&1 IONOS has its own custom control panel and supports integrations with popular apps like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, TYPO3, PrestaShop and Magento.
Support: Customers have access to numerous online resources, including a support center, a startup guide, a digital guide and an online community. Customer support is available by phone. You can also request a callback rather than wait on hold.
Our short list of best pick contenders included 1&1 IONOS, A2 Hosting, Bluehost, DreamHost, GreenGeeks, HostGator, HostMonster, HostPapa, InMotion Hosting and SiteGround.
Dream Host Web Hosting
DreamHost is the best WordPress hosting service. It, too, offers shared, VPS, dedicated servers, cloud and WordPress hosting. However, its WordPress hosting features stand head and shoulders above those of its competitors. Its managed plans offer the best value for small business owners seeking affordable web hosting with advanced website-building tools.
Pricing: There are three managed WordPress hosting plans: DreamPress, DreamPress Plus and DreamPress Pro. Costs range from $16.95 to $71.95 per month, billed annually. With the first-time purchase of any DreamPress plan, your domain name is free for one year. After the first year, the domain name registration fee costs $12. DreamHost offers a 97-day money-back guarantee on select plans. (However, you will be charged the domain name registration fee for canceling or downgrading your plan.)
Features: DreamPress provides unmetered bandwidth, SSL certificates, daily backups, one-click restore, built-in caching and automatic WordPress updates. DreamHost is transparent about how many visitors each plan supports. DreamPress supports 100,000 monthly visitors, DreamPress Plus 300,000 monthly visitors and DreamPress Pro can accommodate one million monthly visitors. Each plan is scalable if you need a higher limit. SSD storage for each managed WordPress plan is listed at 30GB, 60GB and 120GB, respectively. DreamHost managed WordPress plans are fitted with a customized control panel to optimize efficiency and control over your website. You also have access to Jetpack and thousands of WordPress plugins with a single click.
Support: DreamHost has a searchable knowledgebase with FAQs, product support and related articles. You can contact customer support and request a callback, live chat or submit a ticket. DreamHost customer support is open 24/7.
DreamHost has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
How Much Do Web Hosting Services Cost?
Most companies offer several hosting plans that vary greatly in price. What you pay depends on the type of hosting (shared, VPS, dedicated, cloud, WordPress, etc.) you want and the plan you choose. Most plans are based on a monthly fee. You can pay month-to-month, annually, biannually or triennially. Most providers offer promotional pricing for the first term, or billing cycle, and then charge a higher rate for renewal.
Free domain registration is another perk many hosting providers offer for the first year of service. After the first year, they typically charge an annual fee of roughly $15.
The length of the contract you choose also affects the price. While some web hosting companies offer month-to-month plans, it’s usually cheaper to pay annually, biannually or triennially.
The best web hosting companies offer a free trial period, typically 30 days. Some, like Dreamhost, offer a longer free trial period, as long as 97 days. If you cancel within the specified time frame, you are granted a refund. However, most providers will still charge you a domain name registration fee, and they may not refund add-on features you may have purchased.
If you’re not sure which type of web hosting is right for you, here is a breakdown of the different service types, as well as the pros and cons of each:
Shared hosting: This plan is ideal for small- and medium-size businesses with blogs or basic websites. It provides many of the necessary website functions needed at a low cost, typically starting at less than $10 per month. However, because the service hosts your website on the same server along with other customers, it can sometimes go down, especially when there are high traffic spikes.
Managed hosting: This type of hosting is similar to shared hosting, but it has an added level of support. Providers manage your operating systems, hardware and applications. The most common form is managed WordPress hosting. WordPress hosting is more expensive than shared hosting, but it offers extensive features and website builder options, which can simplify the process of building your website.
Cloud hosting: With a cloud hosting plan, your website is hosted on multiple servers instead of just one. Some cloud hosting plans can be more technical, which, if you’re more tech savvy, can be good, because you are able to customize your website and scale your server and infrastructure. For basic sites with limited memory and CPU requirements, starting costs for cloud hosting are higher than shared web hosting but are less than VPS hosting. However, starting costs for managed cloud hosting can be extremely expensive.
Virtual private servers (VPS): With VPS, the provider divides a server into virtual services, which means each website is hosted like a dedicated server while still sharing a server with other websites. VPS hosting conservatively starts at $20 per month.
Dedicated servers: This is typically the most expensive type of hosting because it hosts your website on an individual server. It is extremely secure since you aren’t at the risk of sharing your server with questionable neighbors. It offers fast load times and is ideal for large businesses with high-traffic websites. Costs start at $100 per month.
Domain name registration: Many web hosting companies offer free domain registration or site transfer for the first year you subscribe with them. Each consecutive year typically costs between $10 and $15 thereafter to register your domain name.
What Features Should You Look for in a Web Hosting Service?
While price is certainly a key factor for small business owners, there are other features you’ll want to weigh when choosing a hosting provider.
Storage and bandwidth: The amount of storage and bandwidth you need depends on what you plan to have on your website. If you have (or plan to have) a lot of high-resolution images or list a huge inventory on your site, look for a plan with a lot of storage. Bandwidth determines how fast information travels to and from your site. Therefore, if you have high traffic, post videos or downloads on your website, seek plans with a higher amount of bandwidth. Pad your estimate with room for traffic spikes and growth. Also, be aware of “unlimited” plans. Unlimited never means infinite. You’ll see this term a lot when looking for hosting services. Most of the time, these plans base their claims on the average customer. If your website exceeds the allotted amount, you may have your service suspended, be charged extra or asked to move to another plan. Always check the terms for these limitations and ask the sales representative about the specifics of your plan.
Security: Security should be a top concern for small businesses, especially those that have an e-commerce website. Most reputable website hosts have SSL encryption, spam protection and some form of site backup. If you are running an e-commerce store or need extra security, however, look beyond these basics. For example, many hosting companies provide advanced encryption levels and other features, like DDoS protection and hack protection. These services are usually outlined in the more advanced plans. Even if you don’t have or need an e-commerce site, you should still get an SSL certificate.
Automatic backups and one-click restore: The best services offer regular backups and one-click restore. Daily backups mean that if your website is hacked or compromised because of an error, you can get back nearly all your information. It can be the difference between an hour-long outage and one that lasts days (or months) as you recreate content. Plus, it’s good for peace of mind.
Customer support: Whatever web hosting company you consider, be sure you can trust that it will respond to your needs quickly and that its reps are very knowledgeable. Most web and cloud hosting services can be reached quickly and offer multiple ways to contact them, such as live chat, phone support and email ticketing. Many also have a blog or online knowledgebase that can answer frequent web hosting questions.
What to Expect in the Web Hosting Industry in 2020
The web hosting industry is constantly evolving. It’s also very competitive, and as web hosting companies vie for new users, advanced features emerge for small business owners. These advancements include better security, increased site speed and personalized support offerings.
Here are some important trends to be aware of in 2020:
Security: Cybersecurity is an important aspect of any small business website. As more and more small businesses are targeted by cybercriminals, your web hosting company is the first line of defense. Especially with the implementation of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws, protection of sensitive information is becoming more important than ever. Most web hosting companies provide a minimum of an SSL certificate, site backups and SPAM protection for their hosting plans. However, look for a plan that offers more advanced security encryptions like DDoS protection and hack protection. Some plans offer extensive security features on all of their plans, while others only include them on their most expensive packages.
Better hardware: Storage capacity and traffic volume are two features that web hosting companies compete on. As technology advances, expect more hosting companies to implement solid-state disks (SSDs) for better storage and performance.
Methodology for Choosing the Best Web Host
To determine the best cloud and web hosting services for small business, we compiled a list of more than 40 web hosting companies. We considered companies we’ve reviewed in the past or found in our preliminary research. We added vendors we found on reputable news and review websites, as well as companies that contacted us asking us to consider their service.
We spent hours researching each provider (and its services) and considered the best vendors for different use case scenarios. We also posed as small business owners to test the company’s customer service and to learn information we couldn’t find online.