Best small business web hosting for 2019


Every business needs a website, but finding the right website hosting package isn’t always easy. Many plans are targeted primarily at home users, and don’t have the power that businesses need.

Take email, for instance. We’ve seen hosting plans offer as few as five email addresses for a website, and with inboxes limited to a few hundred megabytes, that’s potentially a major issue for any business. Be sure to check out the email specs of any hosting plan before you sign up.

An SSL certificate is a must-have these days for any professional or business website, but these aren’t included with every plan. Fortunately, they don’t have to be expensive. Many hosts now offer free SSL certificates from the Internet Security Research Group’s Let’s Encrypt project, and although web stores might need something more, these are perfectly adequate for standard sites.

Business websites can’t afford to fail – ever – so reliability is key. Choose a Virtual Private Server (VPS) or dedicated hosting plan, if you can afford it, to avoid the hassles of shared servers. Look for support that can be accessed at speed with telephone and live chat available, as well as emails and tickets. You’ll probably want a plan that includes automated backups, too, but that’s another area where you’ll need to check the small print: backups are often an optional extra.

Think about an upgrade path, too, especially if you’re starting with a basic shared hosting plan. If your business grows then your website needs might also expand, and it will make your life much easier if your chosen host has the add-ons and extras to cope.

There’s a lot to think about, but fortunately, there are also some excellent hosting providers around that understand exactly what small businesses need. In this article we’ve highlighted five web hosts who have something to offer everyone, from the smallest home business to demanding corporate users.

1. DreamHost

Business-friendly features for a pocket-friendly price

Unlimited bandwidth, emails, websites

Free SSL

Wide range of plans

Shared hosting is slower and less reliable than VPS and dedicated plans, but it’s still perfectly adequate for many simple websites, and the best plans will handle all the main business needs.

DreamHost’s shared hosting plan scores well on the fundamentals. There are no limits on bandwidth, emails or MySQL databases. Your site is secured by a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate, and preinstalled WordPress allows you to get a quality site up and running in an afternoon – plus SSD storage as standard will keep performance high.

Handy extras include the ability to host unlimited domains from a single account. And in a nice touch, DreamHost doesn’t just offer a free domain name with each shared hosting plan (except the monthly plan): there’s free privacy protection, too. If you’ve registered a domain without that, and been inundated with emails and phone calls from ‘website designers’ and assorted scammers, you’ll know how valuable that can be.

It’s a strong all-round package, but if you need more, DreamHost also offers everything from managed WordPress and WooCommerce, to VPS, Dedicated and Cloud Hosting plans.

Billing is flexible. You can avoid long-term contracts by signing up for monthly billing, which costs $10.95 (£7.80) a month for shared hosting. Choose the three-year plan and the price drops to $7.95 (£5.70) a month, though. Don’t be put off by the longer term: DreamHost products are protected by an exceptional 97-day money-back guarantee, so there’s plenty of time to test the service for yourself.

2. HostGator

High-powered cloud hosting from a top provider

Speedy cloud hosting

Good value

Private SSL included

Cloud hosting is a smart technology which spreads your website content across multiple devices, improving redundancy and speeding up load times. It’s an interesting idea which has many business benefits, but if you choose wisely, you can try it out for less than the cost of some shared hosting products.

HostGator’s Business Cloud, for instance, delivers on the business basics with support for unlimited websites, unmetered storage and bandwidth, and a private SSL certificate.

As this is a cloud plan, three mirrored copies of your website are spread across multiple devices. If there’s a hardware failure, your website can immediately be switched to another server.

All HostGator cloud plans give you shared access to a defined level of system resources (CPU time and RAM). Another benefit of cloud hosting is that you can purchase more of these and see the benefit immediately, with no downtime or time-consuming migrations required.

The high-end features continue with a distributed Varnish caching setup to accelerate the loading of your static content, freeing up RAM and CPU time for producing dynamic content.

Despite all this functionality, HostGator’s Business plan is reasonably priced at $9.95 (£7.10) a month for up to 36 months, $17.95 (£12.80) on renewal.

Optional extras are also good value, with CodeGuard’s daily backups available for $2 (£1.45) a month, and SiteLock’s malware scanning service is only $1.67 (£1.20). We’ve seen other hosts charge two or three times as much for similar functionality.

While we’ve highlighted HostGator’s cloud plans here, as an interesting improvement on regular shared hosting, the company also provides managed WordPress hosting, good value VPS packages, dedicated servers and more. There really is something here for everyone.

3. GoDaddy Business Hosting

More hosting power, less technical hassles



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