Weave through the world of website hosting with our reviews of the top eight providers for small businesses.
Hosting refers to where your site lives on the internet. You wouldn’t move house without checking the property was affordable, big enough for your family’s needs, and structurally sound – would you?
Finding a hosting provider for your small business should be no different.
If you run a small business, getting the best web hosting is very important. Pick a second-rate provider and it will affect everything. From your site speed, to your revenue.
Worse still, if your website’s server goes down, you’re in big trouble. The latest stats show that server downtime costs an average of $7,908 per minute.
Your small business hosting needs to be reliable: time is money, and you lose dollars for every minute your site is down. It should also be fairly priced, and include the security certificates you need to provide a safe online experience for your users.
If you run a small business and are looking for a hosting provider, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll introduce you to the eight best web hosting services for small businesses.
We’ll look at price, guaranteed uptime, ease of use, and customer support.
Before we wrap up, we’ll give you a crash course in how to pick the best web hosting for your small business.
If you’re in a hurry, you can compare the key features of our top web hosting services using the chart below.
Best Web Hosting Providers for Small Business
- HostGator – Best Overall Hosting Provider
- InMotion – Ideal For Shared and VPS Hosting
- Bluehost – Great For WordPress Hosting
- 1&1 IONOS – Perfect For Cloud Hosting
- A2 Hosting – Customer Support Like No Other
- SiteGround – Really Reliable
- GoDaddy – Full Of Extra Features
- iPage – Budget Friendly Plans
Below, we’ve picked out the top four providers – HostGator, InMotion, Bluehost and 1&1 IONOS – and highlighted how they perform. This should give you a clear idea of where a provider’s strengths lie, and what’s most important to you.
There are thousands of web hosting providers out there. At times, it can all get a bit confusing. Luckily, we’re here to help you make sense of it all.
At Website Builder Expert, we conduct our own detailed research. We look at the areas most important to you – like features, performance, support, and value for money – and test hosting providers to really see what they’re made of.
Best Web Hosting for Small Business: Head-to-Head Comparison
Here, we’ve picked out some of the key features to look out for. These limits and figures are taken from a range of plans to show you the minimum and maximum capacity each provider offers:
|HostGator||99.99%||unlimited||1.5TB – unmetered||2GB – 30GB||$6.95 – 289|
|InMotion||99.97%||unlimited||4TB – 15TB||4GB – 64GB||$7.99 – 589.99|
|Bluehost||99.98%||50GB – unlimited||1TB – 15TB||2GB – 16GB||$7.99 – 209.99|
|1&1 IONOS||99.98%||100GB – 1TB||unmetered||1GB – 64GB||$8 – 140|
|A2 Hosting||99.95%||unlimited||2TB – 20TB||4GB – 16GB||$7.99 – 349.99|
|SiteGround||99.98%||10GB – 960GB||10TB||16GB – 64GB||$11.95 – 729|
|GoDaddy||99.97%||100GB – unlimited||unmetered||2GB – 32GB||$7.99 – 349.99|
|iPage||99.94%||unlimited||1TB – 15TB||1GB 16GB||$7.99 – 239.99|
Best For: Overall Hosting Services
HostGator is our top recommended hosting provider. It came out as the best overall hosting service from our research, and holds its rightful title as the best web hosting for small businesses. It’s a beginner-friendly, feature-rich service with an unrivalled uptime of 99.99%.
Pricing: $2.75/month – $289/month
Types of Hosting On Offer
Best For: Shared and VPS Hosting
While HostGator tops the charts, InMotion certainly makes a compelling case. Granted, it’s not the cheapest if you’re looking for basic shared hosting, but the security, support, and storage space on offer are excellent. It’s also got its own website builder, should you still need to build your business website.
Pricing: $6.39/month – $589.99/month
Types of Hosting On Offer
Best For: WordPress Specific Hosting
If you’re on a budget and need a host for your business’ WordPress site, look no further. With great uptime, free backups, and one-click WordPress installation, Bluehost has all the tools you need. Storage space is a bit tighter than some of its competitors, but there’s still plenty to love about Bluehost.
Pricing: $2.75/month – $209.99/month
Types of Hosting On Offer
4. 1&1 IONOS
Best For: Cloud Hosting
1&1 IONOS has amazing promotional deals ($1/month shared hosting for the first year!) but what really sets it apart is its help and support. Each customer is assigned their own personal consultant, who is on-hand to help with any issues or queries you may have.
Pricing: $1/month – $140/month
Types of Hosting On Offer
5. A2 Hosting
Best For: Customer Service
Most hosting works off a Linux server, but if you’re after Windows hosting, A2 has you covered. Windows hosting comes with the addition of a Plesk Onyx 17.8 control panel, free site migrations, and one-click installs across loads of CMSs – including WordPress.
Pricing: $3.92/month – $349.99/month
Types of Hosting On Offer
Best For: Reliability
SiteGround isn’t the cheapest option, but it does have clear strengths. Versatile across multiple CMSs with one-click installation, you’ll also get free email accounts and daily backups. The extra freebies balance out the rise in price, if you ask us.
Pricing: $3.95/month – $729/month
Types of Hosting On Offer
Best For: Extra Features
GoDaddy can be viewed as a jack of all trades. It’s the world’s largest domain registrar, while also providing a web hosting service and website builder. Its uptime is fantastic, and GoDaddy represents the best all-in-one service. If you need the works – domain, website and hosting – you’re in the right place.
Pricing: $7.99/month – $349.99/month
Types of Hosting On Offer
Best For: Cheap Plans
iPage can be seen as a mean, green hosting machine. It’s cheap, has one-click install for select CMSs, and is committed to reducing its carbon footprint. It’s also great if you’re just looking for a cheap hosting option. Be warned though, you may sacrifice speed for the price.
Pricing: $1.99/month – $239.99/month
Types of Hosting On Offer
Now you’ve got a taste for each web hosting provider, it’s time for the main course. Read on as we go into more detail about the top services, looking at each one’s features, and reviewing its pricing plans.
Snapping up its opponents in our best web hosting for small business contest is HostGator.
Based on factors including price, ease of use, range of hosting options, and support, HostGator scored a top mark of 92% in our comparative research.
It’s no surprise that 8 million domains are hosted with HostGator.
HostGator guarantees uptime of 99.9%. That means in the space of one year, your website will only be out of action for an hour or less.
This kind of reliability is why HostGator is the best small business hosting service. A nice touch is that if HostGator fails on this promise, it will refund you one month’s billing. It puts its money where its jaws are.
Downsides to HostGator include the lack of a free domain, while the cPanel interface looks a little dated. First-time users might also find the crowded layout confusing.
If you use WordPress, however, you won’t need to access the cPanel. HostGator’s own site administration is also not as sleek as Bluehost’s (number three on our list of best small business web hosters).
When it comes to HostGator’s plans, there’s plenty for you to get your teeth into. The three shared packages are:
- Hatchling – from $2.75/month. Entry-level, great value for money.
- Baby – from $3.95/month. Get more help growing your small business.
- Business – from $5.95/month. Best for fast-growing businesses. Unlock features including SSL certificates, a dedicated IP address, and VoIP phone service. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It protects data moving through your site (like customers’ bank details). Providers often charge over $100 for SSL certificates, so HostGator’s offer makes it great value for money compared to rivals like Arvixe. Your site’s URL will have a green padlock to show it’s secure.
All plans include unlimited emails (unusual for hosting services), one-click installation with WordPress and Drupal, and unmetered bandwidth (you’re not billed for how much you use).
HostGator’s pricing is very reasonable for the features you get. If you’re looking for affordable web hosting for small business, look no further!
If your business outgrows these basic plans, HostGator offers VPS, WordPress, and dedicated hosting packages.
Medium-to-large businesses should look at HostGator’s dedicated server packages, starting at $79/month. You get all the hardware to yourself, and can handle large volumes of traffic. Dedicated plans all include weekly backups – a reassuring safety net for your business.
VPS plans range from $19.95/month for the Snappy 2000 plan, to $29.95/month for Snappy 8000. As you scale up, you get more bandwidth, disk space, CPU and RAM. The last two are like the brain and brawn of your site –the more you get, the more powerful and fast your site becomes.
The best thing to do is start small, then transition through HostGator’s packages as you grow.
All in all, though, HostGator is the best all-around hosting service for small businesses.
InMotion presents a classic case of ‘getting what you pay for’. Sure, there’s no long-term cheap shared hosting, but what you’re getting is top-of-the-range features and excellent support.
InMotion is a U.S company with two dedicated data centers. These play host to thousands upon thousands of servers, ready to host your website and beam it across the world.
Even on its most basic plan, InMotion provides you with unlimited disk space and bandwidth. This is uncommon on lower-tiered pricing plans, and puts InMotion in a strong position when it comes to shared hosting options.
On top of that, you can say hello to a free SSL certificate and HTTPS. This means that when users are browsing your site, they can do so in the knowledge that it’s secure. This is represented by a little padlock icon that sits next to your URL.
Besides just being important to your customers and brand image, Google also reflects favorably on sites with proper security. It’s one of the many things that can help improve your website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – vital for any business.
You’ll also get access to great tools like InMotion’s website builder, which can help you build a small business site from scratch – without code! Other tools include free advertising credits, emails on any device, and visitor statistics.
When it comes to shared business hosting, InMotion offer three plans: Launch, Power and Pro.
- Launch – $3.99/month for a two year subscription or $4.99/month for one year.
- Power – $3.99/month for a two year subscription or $4.99/month for one year.
- Pro – $13.99/month for one year, $14.99/month for six months or $17.99/month for one month.
You’re probably thinking to yourself: ‘Why wouldn’t I go for the Power plan?’ It’s more features for the same money, right? Well, not quite. These figures are promotional prices, and stay active for the duration of your initial sign-up period.
The regular price of Launch is $7.99/month, while Power comes in at $9.99. That said, Power is InMotion’s most popular plan, and does represent great value for money.
If your company’s ambitions stretch beyond that of a shared server, InMotion also has some great VPS and dedicated hosting deals. VPS hosting ranges from $27.99/month to $144.99/month, depending on which of the three plans you opt for and for how long.
The same applies to dedicated hosting. For this, there are six plans, starting at $105.69/month, right the way through to $589.99/month. The main benefit of dedicated hosting is that you’re not dependent on other sites. If you need lots of storage space and multi-layer protection, it’s worth exploring.
Bluehost is one of the best web hosting services for small businesses. Why? Because it’s a great all-inclusive package.
It’s owned by Endurance International Group, the same company behind HostGator, and powers 2 million websites worldwide. That’s a lot of people who have happily made their virtual home with Bluehost.
One of the big reasons why Bluehost is so popular is its easy integration with WordPress. The one-click installation is a joy, and means even the least technical user can launch their site with both WordPress and Bluehost. Watch our video tutorial if you don’t believe us!
Bluehost uses cPanel as its site management system. The Utah-based company has done an excellent job adding simple, but useful customizations to the cPanel layout. Sections are very clearly laid out and the process is simple to follow. It strikes a great balance between simplicity for beginners, and having the functions needed for more advanced users.
At 99.98%, uptime with Bluehost is on a par with HostGator. This equates to less than two hours downtime in an entire year. Wondering, why not 100%? Well, it’s just not possible. Tech is a minefield; between hardware glitches and cyber attacks, no provider can guarantee 100% uptime.
Disk space, though, is more limited than with HostGator. What’s more servers can slow down if your website experiences a surge in traffic – for example, if you were running a paid social media campaign.
Bluehost’s hosting plan prices range from:
- Shared Hosting – $2.95 – $14.99
- Cloud Hosting – $6.95 – $15.95
- VPS Hosting – $19.99 – $59.99
- Dedicated Hosting – $79.99 – $209.99
Prices are similar to HostGator’s, although the more advanced the Bluehost plan, the wider the price gap to the equivalent HostGator package. Bear in mind that Bluehost offers hefty discounts on the first term cost, as well as a 30-day-money-back guarantee.
The best Bluehost plan for a new business just starting out is a shared hosting package.
Which Bluehost plan you need will depend on how much traffic you expect to receive. If you’re just running a basic blog on WordPress, the 50GB plan will be fine.
On the Plus plan, you get unlimited domains, email accounts and email storage. Bluehost also throws in an SSL certificate and spam support – all for under $11/month. That’s great value.
If your business expands rapidly, Bluehost’s Cloud and VPS plans are a great option. You can access faster load times, unlimited bandwidth, and more storage. Think of it like buying new clothes after you’ve had a growth-spurt.
While not quite as good as HostGator’s, Bluehost’s support is still excellent. Help boxes try to answer questions on the specific page you’re on.
Bluehost’s transparent pricing and simple setup make it a fantastic hosting choice for beginners.
1&1 IONOS brings German engineering to your website. Whether you want to take advantage of its website builder, or just the hosting services, you can be sure you’re in safe hands.
1&1 IONOS currently owns over 12 million domains around the globe. It is, in every sense, an international powerhouse.
The features you get are mostly industry standard. This includes things like a free domain, daily backups, an SSL certificate, and SSD storage.
What sets 1&1 IONOS apart is its unlimited traffic, and dedicated 24/7 support. When you sign up to one of 1&1 IONOS’ plans, you will receive your own personal consultant. They are there to supply you with the answers to your questions. They are highly trained and available via phone, email or live chat
One thing to bear in mind when considering 1&1 IONOS is the lack of storage on the basic shared plan. While other providers – such as InMotion – equip you with unlimited storage, with 1&1 IONOS, you’re limited to between 100-500GB.
If you need a website built, it can help with that too. 1&1 IONOS’ website builder, MyWebsite, is designed specifically for white-collar businesses. So if you’re looking to establish an online presence for your brand, it’s a great place to start.
Like most other shared hosting services, 1&1 IONOS splits its plans into three tiers: Business, Pro and Expert. All three have a sign-up deal of $1/month – this lasts for the first six months on Pro and Expert, and for a whole year on the Business plan. The renewal prices after that are as follows:
- Business: $8/month – hosts 1 website, 100GB of storage, 1GB SSD, 25 email accounts, free domain
- Pro: $10/month – hosts 5 websites, 250GB of storage, 1GB SSD, 100 email accounts, free domain, SiteLock protection
- Expert: $14/month – hosts 50 websites, 500GB of storage, 1GB SSD, 500 email accounts, free domain, SiteLock protection, CDN
VPS hosting runs over four plans, and ranges from $5-$30/month. If you need more SSD storage, VPS represents a massive step up from its shared offerings, with 50GB SSD even on its most basic VPS plan.
1&1 IONOS’ dedicated hosting is a little different. It works on a pay-as-you-use basis, meaning there’s no concrete final cost. There are caps, though, so don’t worry about ending the month with a bill the size of Everest!
A2 is the self-proclaimed ‘Guru Crew’. Its staff know web hosting inside and out and, after rigorous training, are on hand to support you 24/7.
The company was born in a shared office in Ann Arbor, Michigan and has since transformed into a worldwide hosting empire. Another of A2’s bold claims is that its hosting service is ‘20 times faster’ than its competitors.
A2 offers both Windows and Linux server hosting, both of which come with generous storage space, unmetered data transfer, and some sweet freebies – like an SSL certificate and daily backups.
What’s not free is your domain and the actual creation of your website – you’ll have to use a content management system (CMS) or website builder for that.
In terms of performance, A2 more than holds its own against the industry’s big hitters. It offers all major types of hosting, works off a cPannel dashboard, and has one-click installs for CMSs, like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.
Its uptime of 99.95% is by no means bad – in fact it’s pretty solid – but when compared to top-end competition, it falls a little short of the likes of HostGator and Bluehost.
- Shared Hosting: $7.99/month – $18.99/month
- VPS Hosting: $49.99/month – $99.99/month
- Dedicated Hosting: $169.99/month – $349.99/month
- WordPress Hosting: $7.99/month – $75.48/month
- Cloud Hosting: $5/month – $371/month
Across the board, these plans are relatively expensive. One major plus, though, is that A2 has an anytime money-back guarantee policy. That means if, for whatever reason, you’re not satisfied with the service you’re receiving, you can get a full refund whenever you please.
Its best service on the quality-cost scale has to be its managed WordPress hosting. All plans come with automatic WordPress updates for software and plugins, meaning you don’t need to lift a finger when WordPress makes changes.
More A2 Information:
Hosting over one million websites and counting, SiteGround has come a long way from its college dorm origins.
Founded in Bulgaria, it has risen through the hosting ranks and is considered by many as one of the very best hosting providers around.
SiteGround is one of only three providers personally recommended by WordPress for hosting. As far as references go, that’s pretty huge.
You can also get one-click installs and automated updates for other major CMSs, including Drupal and Joomla. There’s even WooCommerce specific hosting for WordPress ecommerce sites.
If you’re yet to create your website, you can build it on SiteGround’s free drag-and-drop website builder, and buy a domain.
Free SSL security and daily backups are standard on all plans, as is a cPannel dashboard and free email accounts. The 99.98% uptime is also far from shabby – it translates to your site being down for an average of just one minute per week.
- Shared Hosting: $3.95/month – $34.95/month
- Cloud Hosting: $80/month – $240/month
- Dedicated Hosting: $269/month – $729/month
- WordPress Hosting: $3.95/month – $34.95/month
We won’t beat around the bush, SiteGround is largely overpriced. Its dedicated hosting in particular is eye-watering, but on closer inspection, there are a few bargains.
Its WordPress hosting is incredibly cheap for the quality it provides. There’s also a 30 day money-back guarantee so you have a risk-free month to decide whether its the service for you or not.
SiteGround also offers enterprise hosting which you can design yourself. Because it’s a bespoke plan, though, there are no direct prices. To find out more, you’ll have to contact SiteGround directly for a quote.
GoDaddy is a worldwide brand that doesn’t skimp on advertising itself. You probably know the company as the lord of domains, but there’s so much more to GoDaddy than that.
Alongside domains, it also has a top-of-the-range website builder and offers a variety of hosting plans.
When it comes to web hosting, GoDaddy’s features are top class. Free backups, domains, and SSL security is a great start, and the resource limits on things like bandwith, storage, and RAM are all very impressive.
Its help and support isn’t bad – offering live chat and a phone service – however there’s not a system for raising tickets.
What makes GoDaddy special is the fact it’s an all-in-one solution. You can create your site from scratch, using its design assisted website builder that supports over 1,500 different industries, and purchase your domain name.
Having everything under one roof makes it easier to keep track of your bills. This is the main appeal of GoDaddy – if you’re just after web hosting, you’ll get a better deal elsewhere.
- Shared Hosting: $7.99/month – $24.99/month
- VPS Hosting: $29.99/month – $74.99/month
- Dedicated Hosting: $169.99/month – $349.99/month
- WordPress Hosting: $9.99/month – $34.99/month
While hosting features are GoDaddy’s forte, its pricing is pretty middle of the road. What’s worse is that GoDaddy doesn’t have a money-back guarantee – something all other top-rated providers offer.
iPage is one of the oldest hosting companies around. Initially established in 1998, it started selling hosting plans in 2002.
iPage is owned by Endurance group – who coincidentally also own HostGator and Bluehost – and has two data centers which host over one million sites worldwide.
We’ll level with you; iPage’s features aren’t anything to write home about. You do get free SSL security, but backups on its shared hosting plan – something that’s complimentary with most providers – are $100 extra. Each. Time.
It’s not all bad news, though. You can host unlimited email accounts with iPage, which is perfect for growing businesses, and you get your domain free for the first year.
The shared hosting monthly visitor limit is also a generous 500,000, so small businesses that get a lot of regular traffic or experience sudden surges should be fine.
The 99.94% uptime, while disappointing in comparison to other hosts, is also not a big issue. In truth, any provider that guarantees and uptime above 99.90% will be fine for a small business.
- Shared Hosting: $7.99/month
- VPS Hosting: $24.99/month – $99.99/month
- Dedicated Hosting: $149.99/month – $239.99/month
- WordPress Hosting: $7.49/month – $10.49/month
If cheap web hosting’s what you’re after, you’ve come to the right place. What iPage lacks in feature quality it makes up for in modest pricing.
In terms of shared hosting, don’t rub your eyes – iPage only offers one plan. And while this has its limitations, it’s good to know you don’t have to worry about upgrading your plan at any point. Well, unless you want to change what type of hosting you’re on.
You now know the eight best web hosting services for small businesses. We’ve also shown you who each hosting provider is best for.
At this point, it’s time to discuss how to pick the right provider for you in a bit more depth. After all, no two businesses are the same, right?
When considering a web hosting service, ask yourself:
- How tech-savvy are you? The less skilled you are with computers, the more support you might need. You’ll also benefit more from a simple hosting service.
- What’s your budget? This will depend on the size and scale of your business. If you’re a solo merchant or a small business of under five employees, a shared hosting plan will cater to your technical needs, and help you stay in budget.
- How much traffic do you expect to get? The rule of thumb is: the more traffic you receive, the better hosting plan you need. Established small businesses should look at dedicated servers, as they can expect to receive more website hits. This is also true if you’ve got a large marketing budget and plan to pay for visitors to your website.
Generally, if you’re a small business owner starting out for the first time, we recommend shared hosting. If you outgrow your shared plan, you can transition to a dedicated or VPS hosting package. It’s like moving to a bigger property to start a family after flat-sharing with friends.
Our top eight web hosting services for small businesses are based on our extensive research and experience. They’re the best starting point if you’re looking for a provider.
But these aren’t the only good hosting providers on the market.
Dreamhost, for example, is a cheap option for shared hosting that offers business-orientated features. Although it can’t compete overall (yet), Dreamhost offers a 97-day, money-back guarantee. This lets you try the service for over three months risk-free.
WP Engine is another which is specifically for WordPress websites. It’s a great option for companies with resources for a developer. It may be expensive, but if you’re a large business or a WordPress site owner, it could be right for you.
With so many hosting providers out there, it’s difficult to know where to start. But let’s begin with a recap of the final rankings.
Top eight hosting providers for small businesses
- HostGator – Best overall hosting provider
- InMotion – Best for shared and VPS hosting
- Bluehost – Best for WordPress specific hosting
- 1&1 IONOS – Best for cloud hosting
- A2 Hosting – Best for customer service
- SiteGround – Best for reliability
- GoDaddy – Best for extra features
- iPage – Best for cheap plans
All of our eight web hosters for small businesses are at the top of the market. HostGator, InMotion and Bluehost are all tightly packed in at the top when it comes to quality of plans and value for money.
Your decision really boils down to your own personal needs. You need to consider the size of your business’ site and how much resource you’ll need.
This should give you a clearer idea of what type of hosting you need and, from there, you can pick the best provider for that particular job.
Generally speaking, though, HostGator offers the most comprehensive all-around package. Its features are unrivaled and should have plenty of resource to handle your site as you grow from a small business into a large empire.
How much does small business web hosting cost?
Depending on the length of time you’re willing to commit for, web hosting can cost businesses as little as $1/month. Small businesses tend to opt for shared hosting packages which come at cheap promotional rates, with renewal costs varying from $5-30/month.
What are the most important hosting features for a small business to look for?
Aside from scanning uptime rates, you’ll also want to be clued up on the support and security on offer. One-click installation is another important feature, so if you need hosting for a certain CMS, make sure this is available.
What is the difference between shared, VPS and dedicated hosting?
Shared hosting is where you share a server with other websites. Dedicated hosting is where you have your own server which is more expensive and more powerful. VPS is a virtualized server that acts like a dedicated server, but in a shared server environment – a nice middle ground.
What is the cheapest way to host a business website?
1&1 IONOS offers the cheapest hosting packages. Its promotional deals mean you can host your website from just $1/month for the first year. After that, you’re looking at around $8/month for shared hosting, which is a price offered by multiple providers.
How often do you have to pay for web hosting?
Generally, there are two payment options: monthly or annually. Paying annually will usually shave a few bucks off the monthly fee as you’re committing to the provider for the year. On the flipside, you get more flexibility by paying monthly and it’s easier to switch providers down the line.
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