In the age of the Internet, every business, small or big, needs a website, and if you are a small business owner, it becomes more important for you to have a website to reach more new clients. If you are planning to start a website, then you need web hosting providers to host your website data. In this article, you will find the reason why you need web hosting providers and the top 10 best web hosting companies.
Why Do You Need Web Hosting Providers?
The main job of web hosting providers is to get your website live on the internet so that people can access it.
For this purpose, web hosting providers will give you three main things:
- Domain: The domain is your website’s address that people type in their browser to go to your website. Your hosting provider will let you choose a domain name for your website and let you know if it’s already taken.
- Server: The server is the machine that hosts your website live on the internet. It’s also responsible for supporting the traffic coming into your website. Your hosting provider will ‘host’ your website on one of their servers, so people can access it through the internet.
- Storage Space: Your website will have text, images, videos and other media files along with the code. Your hosting provider will give you dedicated space, where you can store all of your website’s code and media files.
This is the basic functionality every single web hosting provider offers. A domain (which is like a street address), a server (a place where your website can live and people can come to visit) and a storage space (room for your website’s files). In addition to these three basic functionalities, web hosting providers offer additional features as well. In the next section, we’ll take a look at what these different features are, so it is easy for you to decide which hosting plan you need for your website.
What Is Web Hosting?
Website hosting is a service to store a website’s data on the internet, allowing others to access it. Simply put, when you host your website, you’re paying for space on a server somewhere, which enables your data to be stored and retrieved by your visitors. Users can create and store website content on a web host server so it can be viewed online via a web browser. If you imagine a website plus all its content as a store, a web host simply provides the physical space to display the store’s products—in this case, the website content including the text, images, videos and anything else that make up the site’s content.
There are different styles of free hosting available to reflect the needs of different websites. Web hosting plans range from shared hosting with multiple sites sharing a single server to dedicated hosting, in which one customer uses an entire server’s space and bandwidth.
Types of Web Hosting
A number of different kinds of services can fall under the umbrella of “web hosting.” These can include fully hosted services like WordPress hosting platforms, which provide users with a simple site based on the host’s templates and a domain name that’s a subdomain of the host. There’s also a type of hosting called reseller hosting, in which users set up a hosting account with a provider that allows them to sell hosting space to others. Cloud hosting, too, is often called a type of web hosting, with pay as you go services and access to all site data from multiple locations. But cloud architecture supports multiple types of web hosting, particularly the shared hosting that many people use to launch their first site. These hosting types are best compared via three factors:
- The type of technology used.
- How much management from the user is involved?
- Extra services on offer such as backups.
All of the hosting types mentioned so far require a certain degree of self-management. Even on shared hosting, when someone might take over handling all your server admin, it’s still your job to take care of managing your own site. If you have a self-managed E-commerce or WordPress website, you will be responsible for these types of things:
- Installation of your website
- Taking care of software updates
- Security protection against hackers and malware as well as blocking space and brute force attacks
- Monitoring themes, web design and assessing plugins for malicious content or new security exploits
- Site backups
- If taking member details for site registration, protecting their personal information
- If accepting online transactions, you must protect users card information
If not all of the above tasks are taken care of as part of the managed hosting service. Managed hosting is also typically heavily optimized for speed and performance. To get it to this degree yourself would take a lot of setup tweaking and expertise. You’d need a VPS or dedicated server. Another reason companies may go with a managed host for their website is because they strive to provide the highest standards of quality customer support.
Some important factors To Consider Before Choosing Any Web Hosting Providers
- Uptime Guarantee: If your site goes down, it hurts your traffic and your reputation. Uptime should be a minimum of 99.94%.
- Money-Back Guarantee
- Help and Customer Support: The hosting company you choose should have expert support that responds quickly when you need help.
- Speed and Performance: You need hosting for your website that loads quickly, or you’ll lose readers and search engine rankings.
- Pricing Compared to Hosting Features
Many web hosts offer limited features in their starter packages and then expand the offerings (sometimes tremendously) for higher-tier plans. Read the small print to make sure the plan you are selecting offers what you need. If you need a site builder application to design your website, make sure that the low-cost web host you are picking actually comes with a site builder. Many of them require you to pay for the builder as a separate add-on. Website builders usually don’t cost a lot of money, but if you can find a web host that includes one for free, that’s money in your pocket. And, if it’s integrated with your hosting service, you’re more likely to have a smooth, supported experience.
So without wasting any more of your time, here are the 10 best web hosting providers for small business, let’s have a look.
Top 10 Best Web Hosting Providers
If you want to host email accounts alongside your website, check that your host allows you to set up the email addresses you want on your domain – before signup. Sheer simplicity represents the major benefit to operating your email through your web hosting account — there’s one bill, one support team, one account interface. Your provider will be plenty eager to help you connect your custom domain name, email servers, and webmail clients, drastically shortening the setup time and headaches commonly associated with configuring email inboxes. Take a look at some free hosts below. These companies provide free hosting to get your hands on an email account at your own domain name.
Bluehost is one of the world’s most well-known web-hosting companies, and in April 2015 it was ranked among the top 20 hosting companies on the planet. It was acquired by the Endurance International Group (EIG) in 2010.
The Bluehost model is based around open-source software, and the company owns and operates its own data centers, building its servers from scratch. It is one of the 20 largest web hosts, collectively hosting well over 2 million domains.
Bluehost offers services including shared hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, cloud hosting, and WooCommerce hosting. Their servers are powered by PHP 7, HTTP/2, and NGINX+ caching. Bluehost was a pioneer in offering the all-round web-hosting service that we’ve since come to take for granted. Although other companies have long since caught up in terms of the service they offer, so that Bluehost is no longer such a distinctive player in the market place, as part of EIG, it has been able to leverage new channels and new markets around the globe and looks set to continue to grow from its base in Utah.
- Pricing: Regular price starts at $7.99 per month.
- Uptime: 99.99%
- Speed: 404 ms
SiteGround is a web hosting provider founded in 2004 in Sofia, Bulgaria. They’re hosting over 2 million domains and is one of the three web hosting providers officially recommended by WordPress.org. SiteGround is well-known for its exemplary customer service and its user base is growing fast. All SiteGround hosting plans include website builder, email account, SSL, Cloudflare CDN, daily backups, and SSH access, for free.
Having a fantastic uptime (99.99%) and adequate speed (673 ms), making SiteGround a very strong top 10 web host. SiteGround has a wide line of services including managed WordPress hosting, WooCommerce hosting, cloud hosting, enterprise hosting, and dedicated servers. Instead of having in-house servers, they are renting servers from the Google cloud.
- Pricing: Starting at $3.95/month
- Uptime: 99.99%
- Speed: 673 ms
US-based A2 Hosting (founded in 2002, hosting 500,000+ websites) is the fastest shared web hosting we’ve tested to date. They’ve managed to achieve an impressive 317 ms average load time over a period of 24-months. A2 Hosting is fast because their servers are optimized for WordPress websites and they use LiteSpeed cache. Since we’ve reviewed more than 30+ shared web hosting providers, none of them are fast as A2.
The A2 hosting company is well-known for working seamlessly with all major content management systems including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, OpenCart and Magento making it a great fit for web developers. The company offers a variety of hosting plans and they all include a free LetsEncrypt SSL certificate, unlimited SSD storage, and free site migration.
A2 Hosting has a reliable customer support team called “Guru Crew Support.” Customers can connect with them 24/7/365 via live chat, phone, email, and tickets. Next to regular, shared hosting, they also offer dedicated, VPS and reseller hosting for webmasters.
- Pricing: Starting at $3.92/month.
- Uptime: 99.93%
- Speed: 672ms
WP Engine is one of the most reputable managed WordPress hosting providers and offers a range of enterprise-grade solutions to publishers and eCommerce websites. For a faster web experience, WP Engine is partnered with Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform and optimizes them specifically to run WordPress blogs and sites.
Unlike typical blog hosting providers, WP Engine provides you with advanced developer tools to accelerate your development and blog migration process.
- Pricing: Starting at $2.64/month
- Uptime: 99.96%
- Speed: 691 ms
iPage is one of the most affordable blog hosting solutions available on the market. All iPage plans include free domain name registration, a free SSL certificate, and a free drag and drop site builder.
Unlike other hosting providers, iPage comes with only a single plan for shared hosting. The benefit is that you can host unlimited domains without upgrading to a costly plan.
- Pricing: Regular price starts at $2.64 per month
- Uptime: 99.96%
- Speed: 691 ms
GreenGeeks has been around 12+ years and hosts over 500,000 websites. GreenGeeks has all the essential hosting features that you would need for a business. They provide excellent server speeds, a secured hosting environment, a website builder, and they offer free domain registrations and site migrations. All plans come with a free domain for 1 year, cPanel access, free Wildcard SSL, PowerCacher, unlimited SSD storage, and unlimited data transfer. Customers also get an unlimited number of domain names, unlimited email accounts, and nightly backups.
With high-quality 24/7 customer support, and environmentally friendly practices and it’s easy to see how GreenGeeks are quickly carving out a name for themselves in a wildly oversaturated market.
- Pricing: Starting at $2.95/month
- Uptime: 99.98%
- Speed: 445 ms
InMotion Hosting was founded in 2001 in Los Angeles, California. Over the last 15 years, they’ve earned a reputation as one of the best web hosting providers in the world, with a particularly strong following in the business community. Their headquarters are still based in LA, but the company now has data centers on both coasts of the United States, operating thousands of servers on both sites, and currently employs over 200 highly-trained staff at its Los Angeles and Virginia Beach offices. The company continues to be a profitable year on year, thanks to its loyal and growing base of small to mid-size business customers.
InMotion Hosting was established by Sunil Saxena, a graduate of the University of California, and his business partner Todd Robinson. In the beginning, it was a two-man company, run from a downtown Los Angeles office on just a single server. Both men had a background in web hosting and knew what worked and what didn’t. Their company was one of the earliest to recognize the importance of 24/7 customer service and of providing a stable service, and it was this twin focus on customer responsiveness and reliability that helped them to stand out from the crowd in the early years.
The company was also one of the first to spot the importance of Virtual Private Servers (VPS). They became one of the first providers to offer VPS as standard, which helped business customers to bridge the gap between using shared servers and the much more expensive dedicated servers, and established a niche through VPS provision.
- Pricing: Starting at $4.99/month
- Uptime: 99.91%
- Speed: 982 ms
HostGator, founded in 2002, is a popular shared and cloud hosting provider that is currently hosting over 2,000,000 websites. HostGator offers flexible features, such as unlimited email account, unmetered bandwidth, unmetered disk space and built-in cache on all plans. Furthermore, all of their hosting plans come with a 99.9% uptime guarantee, free SSL certificate, easy WordPress installs, and a free domain for a year.
If you want to build a custom website, you can do so with the Gator Website Builder. It’s a HostGator’s drag and drop website builder designed to be an easy, eCommerce-friendly site builder for beginners. Other than shared cloud hosting, HostGator offers WordPress, VPS and dedicated hosting plans serving all size organizations from small businesses to enterprise websites.
- Pricing: $2.75/month
- Uptime: 99.99%
- Speed: 399 ms
#9 Dream Host
DreamHost is an American company, providing web hosting and acting as a domain name registrar. It is part of the New Dream Network LLC, established in the late 1990s, which started out simply hosting websites, but has now evolved to provide a plethora of web and cloud-based services to 400,000 customers from more than 100 countries around the world. There are certain things to work on in the coming years, but DreamHost looks to be a company of good guys, currently looking after more than 1,500,000 websites. As long as there are people in their target market of entrepreneurs and developers, DreamHost plans to be around to serve them.
Still based in the USA, they’ve never spread far from their home state of California. With the exception of a data center in Virginia and an office in Oregon, they’ve stayed true to the Golden State, with their 170 employees still predominantly based there. With many smaller companies being snapped up by large conglomerates, they’ve remained true to their original vision and refused many acquisition offers. What they have done is turn some of their internal projects into businesses in their own right, and sent them on their way
- Offer Price: $3.95/month
- Uptime: 99.99%
- Speed: 405 ms
Hostinger hails from Lithuania and is one of the biggest free web hosting providers via its 000webhosting brand, they have well over 30 million users and some of the lowest prices thank low running costs and overheads. They prefer to use their own technology (for example they have their own customized control panel instead of the ubiquitous Cpanel) in order to have tighter control on performance and features.
Its cheapest offer at the moment is an $0.90 (per month) web hosting package if you take a four-year contract, great if you want to kickstart a small online venture but still limited because there’s no SSL or domain name bundled. You get a colossal number of features as well, too many to list here. The Business web hosting providers plan also delivers 4X processing power and memory, handy if you need a boost during the peak trading period.
- Offer Price: Starting at $0.99/month
- Uptime: 99.99%
- Speed: 349 ms
The Bottom Lines
Finding the best small business web hosting providers is challenging for many business owners as it requires a lot of time to do the research. It is extremely important for your long term business. With a good hosting provider, you don’t have to worry about technical issues, you just need to focus on content development, building ideas, website promotion, etc to develop your business only.
You can pick any one of these small business web hosts with confidence to host your small business website. At EnvZone, free hosting comes with the subscription plans of the online presence manager for our small business clients. As a Small Business member of EnvZone, you will get full access to support from a dedicated online presence manager who solely takes care of your website from hosting migration to audit and improvement.
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