The Best Small Business Web Hosting Providers of 2020

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A functional, reliable website is integral to the success of your small business. How well your website works depends on the type of web hosting you choose. With so many different web hosting providers, it can be difficult selecting the one that is best for you. We created this easy-to-use guide to help you understand the various types of web hosting, and the elements that matter most for optimal small business web hosting, including fast server response speeds, advanced security, and quality, 24/7 customer support. 

The 15 Best Small Business Web Hosting Providers of 2020

Best Small Business Web Hosting Providers Badge

How Did We Pick the Best Business Hosts?

We analyzed hundreds of hosts, selecting those with advanced technology platforms, robust security, and fast speeds. We looked for CDNs, SSDs (solid-state drives), provision of daily backups, and high uptime.

From this shortlist, we selected those with superior technical support available 24/7. Then we factored in thousands of user reviews from our proprietary database.

Small Business Web Hosting Buyers Guide

Finding the right hosting for your small business can be overwhelming.

There are hundreds of hosts, all with dozens of plans. And if you don’t have a technical background, most of those plans sound like gibberish.

Meanwhile, all you want is to get your website up and running.

compare business web hosting

I get the frustration.

So while writing this guide, I had 2 things in mind: clarity and simplicity.

Yes, the post is pretty long, but I’ve kept things as simple and jargon-free as possible.

By the end, you’ll know:

  • What type of hosting is best for your small business.
  • How to register or transfer a domain name.
  • Which business hosting features you’ll need.
  • How much you should be prepared to spend.

A2 Hosting

A2-Hosting

A2 Hosting gives you plenty of options, including WordPress hosting, managed hosting with the Plesk control panel, and shared hosting with cPanel. You also get your pick of free and premium SSL certificates, plus a built-in drag-n-drop website builder. If you already have an existing site, A2 Hosting will migrate it for free. You’ll also find a wide range of guides to help you use FTP, configure your email accounts, and more. 

Shared hosting plans start at $2.99 per month and come with 100 GB of SSD storage, while Drive and Turbo Boost plans feature unlimited storage and transfer. All of these plans come with 24/7/365 “Guru Crew” support and a money-back guarantee. Plus, you’ll get free CloudFlare CDN for up to 200% faster load times.

A2 Hosting has almost two decades of experience in the industry, and maintains a fairly high uptime of 99.835%. They offer servers in two U.S. locations, as well as in Europe and Asia for reliable global coverage, although they don’t offer Windows servers.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

Shared hosting:
$2.99/month

VPS hosting:
$5/month

Dedicated server:
$99.59/month

Full refund within 30 days, prorated refund anytime

>Unlimited SSD space
>Server Types: Shared, VPS, WordPress, Reseller, Dedicated, Cloud
>SSL Certificate
>More features at A2 Hosting

Pros & Cons of A2 Hosting Web Hosting

A2 has some of the most comprehensive packages in the industry, with 99.835% uptime and reliable customer support. The inclusion of SSL certificates and CloudFlare CDN is a nice plus, although the lack of Windows servers may turn away some users. Server backups are available, but aren’t included on the cheapest “Startup” plan.

Pros

Cons

>Great hosting packages for WordPress
>99.835% uptime

>No options for Windows servers
>Backups aren’t included with all plans

What Customers Are Saying

Customers praise the “…wide range of options for customization and cost control,” and the “…emphasis on performance and a commitment to solving customer problems.” They also value the customer support, saying that “On those occasions where an issue arises that I cannot resolve on my own, their response is rapid and spot on.”

AccuWeb

AccuWeb-Hosting

AccuWeb’s plans are categorized by operating system, with Personal, Small Business, Enterprise, and Reseller plans available for both Windows and Linux. Windows plans include one to five websites per account, while Linux plans offer unlimited domains and at least six hosting locations to choose from, including the U.S., U.K., and Singapore.

Storage space ranges from 10 to 50 GB of SSD storage depending on your plan, plus 150 to 1,000 email accounts. All plans come with free website migration, free SSL, and unlimited mySQL databases. You’ll also get a website builder with over 400 templates, and a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you change your mind.

The shortest billing cycle is six months, and in order to get the cheapest rate, you’ll have to pay for three years of hosting up front. One handy feature is the ability to check the ping of each server option based on your current location before placing an order. AccuWeb has a reported uptime of 97.0%, which is low compared to some other providers.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

Personal:
$3.09/month

Small Business:
$5.09/month

Enterprise:
$9.99/month

30 days

>10 – 50 GB cloud storage
>Server Types: Shared, Cloud, WordPress, Reseller, Dedicated, VPS
>24/7 Support
>More features at AccuWeb

Pros & Cons of AccuWeb Web Hosting

AccuWeb offers a range of features if you know what you’re looking for. But the inability to pay month-to-month may be a dealbreaker for customers who don’t want to pay for a long-term plan up-front. Small businesses and resellers, though, will appreciate having AccuWeb’s tools at their disposal, as well as servers for both Linux and Windows.

Pros

Cons

>Over 36+ operating systems
>Fixed cost private clouds
>Responsive customer support

>Limited storage and bandwidth
>More options for Linux than Windows
>No monthly billing options

What Customers Are Saying

Customers appreciate how AccuWeb went above and beyond to solve their problems. One says that “They solved a really complicated domain transfer,” while another says, “They’ve always provided terrific tech support, and personal attention for solutions.”

Dreamhost

DreamHost Logo

Dreamhost’s 97-day refund policy makes it easy to try out their shared hosting plans with little risk. They offer WordPress hosting and website hosting for as little as $2.59 per month, as well as dedicated hosting, VPS hosting, and cloud hosting. They also offer a built-in website builder with customizable themes tailored to your business.

Dreamhost is employee-owned and provides 24/7 support from an in-house customer support team. Their HRANK uptime is 99.902%, and they provide strong security and privacy tools, including multi-factor authentication and free WHOIS privacy.

Their Starter plan comes with unlimited traffic, unmetered bandwidth, and a free SSL certificate, although email costs an extra $1.67 per month. Their DreamPress option comes with unlimited email, free automated WordPress Migration, and more. Their user-friendly control panel and 1-click installer makes it easy to get started.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

$2.59/month and up

97-day refund on shared hosting plans

>Server Types: Shared, VPS, WordPress, Dedicated, Cloud
>24/7 Support
>Free WHOIS privacy
>More features at DreamHost

Pros & Cons of Dreamhost Web Hosting

Although Dreamhost’s offerings are impressive, they do come with some limitations. In particular, their support team doesn’t take inbound phone calls, and their live chat team is only available during business hours. Also, their 97-day money-back guarantee isn’t available with all plans. Still, these are just small quibbles with a quality product.

Pros

Cons

>Unlimited bandwidth
>User-friendly dashboard

>No customer support phone number
>Limited money-back guarantee
>Email costs extra

What Customers Are Saying

Dreamhost customers have positive things to say about their experience: “I’ve always appreciated how easy it is.” Another says, “Their customer service is outstanding and their hosting is super reliable at an affordable price.”

FastComet

FastComet

FastComet is a great option if you’re looking for low introductory prices, but be sure to factor in your annual renewal rates, which tend to be quite a bit higher. All plans come with cPanel and Softaculous, and include a free website and domain transfer.

The basic shared hosting plan starts at $2.95 per month, and comes with 15 GB of SSD storage, while the Plus and Extra plans come with 25 GB and 35 GB each. Although this isn’t a lot compared to other providers, it does include daily backups at no extra cost, with a 1-click Restore Manager to help you recover any lost data.

All shared hosting plans come with a 45-day money-back guarantee, 24/7 support, and a commitment to 99.9% uptime. You can also choose from 11 data centers in the U.S., Europe, and Asia depending on which region you do business in.

Other options include cloud VPS servers and dedicated servers, which start at $35.97 per month with a minimum of 50 GB SSD storage space and 2 TB bandwidth.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

FastCloud:
$2.95/month

FastCloud Plus:
$4.45/month

FastCloud Extra: $5.95/month

45 days

>Free domain transfer
>Server Types: Shared, Cloud, VPS, Dedicated, WordPress
>Daily and weekly backups
>More features at FastComet

Pros & Cons of FastComet Web Hosting

FastComet offers a wide range of user-friendly features, along with the popular cPanel dashboard. The main downside is its pricing structure, which offers steep discounts to new users but comes with high renewal rates. Still, if you factor that into your budget, this can be a cost-effective solution overall, with a free domain transfer included.

Pros

Cons

>11 data centers
>Low introductory prices

>Limited storage and bandwidth
>High renewal rates

What Customers Are Saying

Fastcomet’s customers speak highly of the customer support team: “The technical staff are very knowledgeable and quick to respond.” Another says he “…started working on my new website on my vacation time … and I was assisted on a weekend evening during that period.” Others appreciated the efficient migration process.

GreenGeeks

GreenGeeks

More and more providers are opting for energy-efficient data centers, but GreenGeeks is one of the few that puts its eco-friendly commitment front and center. Based in LA, GreenGreeks claims to put “3 times the power we consume into the grid in the form of renewable energy” through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation.

They have data centers in Toronto, Montreal, Phoenix, Chicago, and Amsterdam, all with SSD storage arrays and LiteSpeed technologies.

WordPress plans start at $2.95 per month, and include unlimited web space and data transfer, a free SSL certificate, free CDN, and more. Advanced users will have access to developer tools including SSH, Git, phpMyAdmin, and a staging environment, plus free nightly backups to protect your site.

GreenGreeks is optimized for WordPress, and has an HRANK uptime of 99.975%. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee if it isn’t right for you.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

Lite:
$2.95/month

Pro:
$5.95/month

Premium:
$11.95/month

30 days

>Server Types: Shared, Dedicated, VPS, Reseller
>Unlimited bandwidth
>Free SSL Certificate
>Database Backups: Yes
>More features at GreenGeeks

Pros & Cons of GreenGeeks Web Hosting

Even GreenGeeks’ basic plans come with an impressive array of features, including unlimited space and data transfer. To get the lowest deals, though, you’ll have to commit to a long-term plan up front, which may not be ideal for some users. Still, if you’re looking to minimize your impact on the environment, then their eco-friendly credentials can’t be beat.

Pros

Cons

>Eco-friendly commitment
>Multiple data centers

>Limited phone support

What Customers Are Saying

Users praise GreenGeeks for their “fantastic service and friendly support,” as well as their “LiteSpeed web servers, advanced security tools, and proactive monitoring.” Another user says, “They are always there to walk me through everything.”

Hostgator

HostGator logo

If you’re looking for shared web hosting, Hostgator offers introductory plans with 1-click WordPress install and a free WordPress website transfer. You’ll also get a free domain and SSL certificate, as well as unmetered bandwidth.

The Hatchling plan starts at $2.75 per month and includes a single domain, while the Baby plan goes for $3.95 and comes with unlimited domains. The Business plan adds a few extra features, like a Dedicated IP and SEO tools, for $5.95 per month. There’s a 45-day money-back guarantee on all shared plans, and optional add-ons such as SiteLock, CodeGuard, and G Suite integrations are available at check out.

Shared hosting is just one aspect of Hostgator’s offerings, with VPS hosting starting at $19.95 per month and cloud web hosting starting at $4.95 per month. No matter which hosting plan you choose, you’ll get 24/7/365 support, an HRANK uptime 99.932%, and access to over 500 video tutorials and 680 articles. Other features include e-commerce tools, application hosting, and the cPanel control panel.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

Hatchling:
$2.75/month

Baby:
$3.95/month

Business:
$5.95/month

45 days

>Unmetered bandwidth and storage
>Unlimited bandwidth
>Server Types: Shared, Dedicated, VPS, WordPress, Cloud
>Automatic backups available
>More features at HostGator

Pros & Cons of Hostgator Web Hosting

Hostgator has a user-friendly dashboard with plenty of features, although expect to pay extra for some options that come standard from other providers, such as daily backups and WHOIS privacy protection. Hostgator’s introductory rates are comparatively low, though, which might balance out the cost in the end.

Pros

Cons

>Low introductory rates
>User-friendly dashboard

>Daily backups cost extra
>Not available for Windows

What Customers Are Saying

Hostgator’s customers range from bloggers to small business owners. One customer says, “The WordPress support and installation is easy, and the buy-what-you-need approach makes HostGator one of the most appealing options on the market.”

Hostinger

Hostinger

Hostinger is one of the most budget-friendly providers on our list with shared hosting plans starting at only $0.99 per month with renewal rates of $2.15 per month. Its Single Shared Hosting plan is pretty limited, though, and only includes one website, one email, and 100 GB of bandwidth. Small businesses may want to choose the Business plan, which includes unlimited email, websites, and bandwidth, for a still reasonable price of $3.99 per month.

This plan also comes with a free SSL certificate, automatic daily backups, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Hostinger offers a user-friendly control panel that’s suitable for less experienced users, while also providing advanced tools for developers, such as a staging environment, Git, SSH access, phpMyAdmin, and the Jetpack plugin.

Hostinger’s servers are located in seven regions, so you’ll have access to international data centers in the U.S., U.K., Singapore, Brazil, and more. Additionally, Hostinger provides 24/7/365 chat support, so you never have to troubleshoot issues on your own.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

Single Shared Hosting:
$0.99/month

Premium Shared Hosting:
$2.89/month

Business Shared Hosting:
$3.99/month

30 days

>Unlimited bandwidth
>Server Types: Web hosting, Cloud hosting, VPS hosting, Domain checker, Shared, WordPress
>Free SSL Certificate
>More features at Hostinger

Pros & Cons of Hostinger Web Hosting

Hostinger offers round-the-clock customer support if you’re comfortable with live chat. If you prefer phone support, though, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Hostinger’s prices are reasonable, with plans specifically for small businesses, making this a good choice for small companies without a lot of web development experience.

Pros

Cons

>Affordable monthly rates
>International data centers

>No phone support
>No Windows options

What Customers Are Saying

One customer says they “…chose Hostinger for the price,” but were “…pleasantly surprised by good customer service.” Another was “…impressed by tech support and its answers,” while a third says simply, “You offer a good bang for the buck!”

Hostwinds

Hostwinds

Hostwinds offers three different pricing tiers for business web hosting: Basic, Advanced, and Ultimate, all of which come with unlimited bandwidth and disk space. Basic comes with one domain, while Ultimate comes with unlimited domains. All plans include cPanel, Softalucous auto install, a Weebly site builder, and more. You’ll also get free website transfers, unlimited email, a free SSL certificate, and a free dedicated IP.

Hostwinds offers several features tailored for business users, including nightly backups, website monitoring, and full management from a 27/4/365 support team. You can find a variety of resources in their detailed Knowledge Base, or reach out for help via phone, live support, or ticket system. Hostwinds offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, and you can switch between packages at any time as your business grows.

If none of these plans are right for you, you can also take a look at their VPS, cloud, and dedicated server options. Hostwinds manages data centers in three different locations — Seattle, Dallas, and Amsterdam — all with 24/7 security and backup generators, helping them maintain a reliable HRANK uptime of 99.722%.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

Basic:
$5.64/month

Advanced:
$6.58/month

Ultimate:
$7.99/month

30 days

>Server Types: Shared, Cloud, VPS, Dedicated, Business, Reseller
>24/7 Support
>Unlimited bandwidth and disk space
>More features at Hostwinds

Pros & Cons of Hostwinds Web Hosting

No matter how big or small your business, Hostwinds has got you covered with tailored plans for web hosting, cloud hosting, VPS, and more. With so many options, though, it can be hard to predict exactly how much you’ll be spending, since some features, like nightly backups, aren’t included with all plans.

Pros

Cons

>Multiple server locations
>Flexible payment options

>Storage and bandwidth limits
>Nightly backups aren’t included

What Customers Are Saying

Hostwinds customers appreciate the flexibility: “The ability to pick and choose optional extras was very useful.” Other reviews mention the prompt customer support.

InMotion Hosting

inmotion-hosting

InMotion provides small businesses with options for shared hosting, WordPress hosting, dedicated servers, and more. With shared hosting, you can choose from three different plans, depending on the size of your business: Launch, Power, and Pro.

All plans come with unlimited bandwidth, free SSL, a security suite, and marketing tools, but the amount of storage and websites varies widely. Plan prices vary by the length of your contract. For a two-year contract, the Launch plan starts at $5.99 per month and includes 50 GB SSD storage and two websites, while the Pro plan comes with 200 GB SSD storage and up to 100 websites for $14.99 per month.

InMotion provides SSH access, cPanel, and integration with Google apps, plus a built-in site builder and over 400 applications. With an HRANK uptime of 99.836% and 24/7/365 support, you’ll get round-the-clock functionality backed by a 90-day guarantee. Plus, if doing your own web design isn’t your thing, you can choose their QuickStarter option, which will provide you with a custom-built WordPress website within two days.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

Launch:
$5.99/month for 2-year contract

Power:
$5.99/month for 2-year contract

Pro:
$14.99/month for 2-year contract

90 days

>Server Types: Shared, VPS, WordPress, Dedicated, Cloud
>24/7 Support
>1 Free Domain
>More features at InMotion hosting

Pros & Cons of InMotion Hosting Web Hosting

InMotion has excellent uptime and a money-back guarantee that’s one of the longest in the industry. Its WordPress hosting options make it a great choice for small businesses, but its less comprehensive VPS plans may not be enough for growing businesses. The inclusion of unlimited email accounts with all plans is a nice plus.

Pros

Cons

>Unlimited email accounts
>Great WordPress packages

>No Windows servers

What Customers Are Saying

Several reviewers note that the customer support team was responsive and helpful: “I feel like I know exactly what my next steps are and what we need to do.” Another says that the support rep “…immediately pointed me in the right direction over multiple issues where previously I would have been left with hours of confusion.”

InterServer

InterServer

InterServer has relatively low prices, including a “one size fits all” web hosting package for $5 per month. You’ll get unlimited SSD storage and email accounts, free website migration and SSL certificates, 450+ cloud apps, and the SitePad website builder. Plus, it’s all backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee in case it isn’t what you wanted.

InterServer provides comprehensive security features with an automatic virus scanner and in-house malware database to protect your site from attacks. They’ll even clean up your compromised site during the migration process to figure out what went wrong and prevent it from happening again. All InterServer plans come with 24/7 support and an HRANK uptime of 99.920%, as well as free CloudFlare CDN.

Domain registration isn’t included, but you can register a new domain or transfer your existing one for $7.99. They also offer low-cost e-commerce options to help you grow your business and guaranteed email delivery from non-blacklisted IPs. This helps to prevent your legitimate emails from ending up in your recipients’ spam folders.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

$5 per month

30 days

>Unlimited storage and transfer
>Server Types: Shared, Dedicated, VPS, Cloud
>24/7 support
>More features at InterServer

Pros & Cons of InterServer Web Hosting

InterServer doesn’t have as many pricing options as other providers, but this makes it easy to know what you’re getting. Any features that aren’t included with your plan have a clear pricing structure, so you won’t be surprised by add-ons and renewal rates. Its e-commerce tools and guaranteed email delivery are great for small businesses.

Pros

Cons

>Price lock guarantee
>Guaranteed email delivery

>Domains are included

What Customers Are Saying

One customer uses InterServer to host his WordPress websites and says, “They have a great affiliate program, outstanding customer service, they are inexpensive… On top of that, they have all the tools you will need to get your blog set up quickly.”

Liquid Web

LiquidWeb

Liquid Web offers managed hosting, so prices are a little higher than DIY options, with plans aimed at freelancers, agencies, business owners, and more. You’ll find a total of seven pricing tiers for managed WordPress hosting, ranging from Spark (one site) all the way up to Enterprise (250 sites). In the middle are Maker, Designer, and Builder tiers, which range from five to 25 sites each and up to 100 GB of storage.

All plans come with unlimited email accounts, 30-day backups, and the Beaver Builder Lite website builder, and the Spark plan comes with a 14-day free trial. Other features include automatic daily backups, automatic SSL certificates, and tools for developers, such as SSH, Git, WP-CLI, and a staging area for your site before it goes live.

Liquid Web has an HRANK uptime of 99.966%, and promises a 59-second response time when you reach out to their support team by phone, chat, or helpdesk.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

Spark:
$19/month

Maker:
$79/month

Designer:
$109/month

None

>Server Types: Dedicated, Cloud, Managed, Resellers
>24/7 Support
>Unlimited websites and domains
>More features at Liquid Web

Pros & Cons of Liquid Web Web Hosting

Liquid Web doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee, but they do say that “If you discover within a few days that we’re simply not right for you,” they will give you a refund. While that’s not as solid as a 100% guarantee, all plans come with unlimited email accounts and 30-day backups, so it may be worth giving them a try anyway.

Pros

Cons

>No overage charges
>Unlimited email accounts
>30-day backups

>No money-back guarantee

What Customers Are Saying

Liquid Web appears to live up to its promise of a 59-second wait time according to one customer who says, “I contact support several times a week and never have to wait more than a minute.” Other users point out their “higher prices,” but also say that “the ability to have something investigated in one call and corrected is just about priceless.”

OVH

ovh

OVH is based in France, and it offers a more international focus than many of the other hosting providers on our list. For example, it operates 30 data centers around the world, including in Europe, North America, and Africa. OVH offers everything from basic web hosting for small businesses, to virtual private servers and enterprise solutions.

Their Personal hosting plan starts at $3.99 per month and comes with a domain name, SSL certificate, and a pre-installed WordPress CMS module so you can get your blog up and running in minutes. The Professional plan adds a few more features, including Drupal and Joomla CMS modules and an email service, all for $6.99 per month.

If you’re looking for an e-commerce option, then the Performance plan may be for you, with the addition of a PrestaShop CMS module and CDN, all for $11.99 per month. All plans include unlimited monthly traffic, daily backups, and anti-DDoS protection.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

Personal:
$3.99/month

Professional:
$6.99/month

Performance:
$11.99

30 days

>Server Types: Dedicated Servers, Cloud, VPS
>Automatic backups
>Free domain for 1 year
>More features at OVH

Pros & Cons of OVH Web Hosting

OVH Web Hosting is a great choice for small businesses due to its global infrastructure and international data centers. However, standard support is only available “when there is an incident” or for “administrative questions,” and live chat is “coming soon.” If you want Premium support, you’ll have to pay $56 per month for a 12-month subscription.

Pros

Cons

>30 international data centers
>Pre-installed WordPress CMS

>Limited customer support

What Customers Are Saying

OVH customers have mixed feelings about this provider. One says, “If you are spending lots of money or can rely fully on their automation, OVH are worth considering.” If you’re looking for hands-on support, though, they might not be the best choice. One user says, “It always takes multiple tries and over an hour to reach anyone.”

SiteGround

SiteGround

SiteGround offers four main types of hosting for small businesses: WordPress hosting, web hosting, WooCommerce hosting, and “autoscalable” cloud hosting. Within the web hosting category, you can choose from StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek plans.

The StartUp plan costs $6.99 per month and includes one website, 10 GB of storage space, and up to 10,000 monthly visitors. Both the GrowBig and GoGeek plans bump up your storage space to 20 or 40 GB and support unlimited websites. All plans include a free daily backup, free SSL, free CDN, free email, and more. You’ll also get 24/7 support, plus a 100% renewable energy match and 30-day money-back guarantee.

Prices for managed WordPress hosting are similar and include a free site migrator and automated installation tools. Advanced users can make use of the developer toolkit, as well as a staging tool and client collaboration tools. SiteGround is powered by Google Cloud and doesn’t offer dedicated servers or VPS servers at this time. You do get to choose your data center, though, from locations in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

StartUp:
$6.99/month

GrowBig:
$9.99/month

GoGeek:
$14.99/month

30 days

>Server Types: Shared, WordPress, WooCommerce, Cloud
>SSL certificates
>Automatic daily backups
>More features at SiteGround

Pros & Cons of SiteGround Web Hosting

SiteGround includes a lot of free services with all of its plans, including SSL certificates and automatic daily backups, which many providers charge extra for. The lack of VPS and dedicated servers, though, may make it less suitable for some businesses. Also, SiteGround’s renewal rates are much higher than their introductory rates.

Pros

Cons

>Unlimited SSL certificates
>100% renewable energy match

>No VPS servers
>High renewal rates

What Customers Are Saying

Several customers cite the wide range of user-friendly features. One says, “They have made hosting easy for someone with a non-technical background,” and another says, “Through the staging environment, it’s easy to test new features on your website.”

TMD Hosting

tmdhosting

TMD Hosting’s plans include shared hosting, cloud sites, VPS hosting, and dedicated servers, making them a good choice for small and large businesses alike. They have data centers in seven international locations, including North America, Asia, Europe, and Australia, and support open source tools like WordPress, Drupal, and PrestaShop.

Shared hosting plans cost $2.95 per month for the Starter plan and $4.95 per month for Business. Both include unlimited bandwidth and SSD storage space, SSL certificates, a free domain, the Weebly sitebuilder, and cPanel control panel. The primary difference is the number of websites you can host — one on the Starter plan and unlimited on Business.

All plans include free installation of templates, applications, and other components, with a 15-minute response time and 24/7/365 customer support. You’ll also get peace of mind thanks to a 60-day money-back guarantee in case it doesn’t work out. Keep in mind that although Windows and Linux are both supported, Windows plans cost more.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

StartUp:
$2.95/month

Business:
$4.95/month

60 days

>Server Types: Shared, WordPress, Dedicated, Cloud, VPS, Reseller
>24/7/365 Support
>Weebly website builder
>More features at TMD Hosting

Pros & Cons of TMD Hosting Web Hosting

TMD Hosting is a good choice if you’re looking for a fully-managed hosting provider that supports open source tools like WordPress. Just remember that renewal rates are a lot higher than their introductory prices, and that Windows plans cost around $1 more per month than Linux plans. Phone support is available during U.S. business hours only.

Pros

Cons

>7 international data centers
>15 minute response time

>Windows plans cost more
>Limited phone support

What Customers Are Saying

One customer speaks highly of TMD’s support team saying, “Anytime I go to customer support they always have someone readily available 24/7,” and, “If I am unsure about my domain settings, their technical support is happy to fix it for me.”

WP Engine

wp-engine

If you’ve decided on managed WordPress hosting, then WP Engine should be at the top of your list. Although costs will be higher than DIY shared hosting, they focus on creating “breakthrough experiences” that will bring your small business to life online.

Their Startup plan costs $25 per month and includes 10 GB storage, 50 GB bandwidth, and up to 25,000 monthly visitors. The Growth plan increases those limits to 20 GB storage, 200 GB bandwidth, and 100,00 monthly visitors for $95 per month. And you don’t have to worry about outgrowing the platform as your business grows. The Scale package ups those numbers even further and a Custom package will go even further beyond that.

WP Engine is aimed at developers, marketers, and other small business owners, with mobile-responses, WordPress themes, one-click staging, and more. Most plans come with 24/7 live chat and phone support and a 60-day money-back guarantee, but the Startup plan is limited to chat support only.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

StartUp:
$25/month

Growth:
$95/month

Scale:
$241/month

60 days

>Server Types: WordPress
>24/7 Support
>Database Backups
>More features at WP Engine

Pros & Cons of WP Engine Web Hosting

WP Engine knows how to make engaging sites that are powerful enough for enterprise clients, but if you’re a small business looking for a simple web presence, then you may not want to spend the extra money on managed hosting. Most WP Engine plans don’t include domains or email accounts, and some don’t include 24/7 phone support.

Pros

Cons

>Great customer support
>Extensive WordPress experience

>No domains or email accounts
>No phone support on Startup plan

What Customers Are Saying

One user chose WP Engine because they wanted “…someone who would take care of it for us so we wouldn’t have to think about it.” Another says, “It’s allowed us to evolve as a business and it also allows us to focus on more of the projects we love to work on.”

types of business web hosting

The Different Types of Hosting Plans (In Plain English)

When you start shopping for a web host, you’ll see a lot of different hosting types (VPS, cloud, etc.).

I’m going to give you a very brief summary of each type in a way that should be easy to understand.

What’s a Web Server?

Before we do that, you need to understand what a web server is. A server is just a computer (without a monitor).

A web server is a server that is connected to the Internet. When people go to a specific address that points to a web server, the server can send those files (your web pages) to the visitors.

In short, a web server is just a computer hooked up to the Internet that contains your website files.

With that out of the way, let’s look at the main types of hosting services.

Comparison Table: Types of Web Hosting

What’s the difference between shared, VPS, dedicated, and cloud hosting?

We make it easy to understand in comparison table below.

Type of Hosting Description Best For
Shared hosting The cheapest type of hosting. You share the resources of a web server with other websites, so you all share the cost. It’s the slowest and least reliable form of hosting, but an okay option for very low traffic sites. Hobbyists
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting Again, you share a server with others. The difference here is that you have your own space on the server carved out, so no other site can interfere with your site’s performance. This is a good, reliable option for most small businesses. Small and medium businesses
Cloud hosting Just like VPS hosting, you have a certain amount of resources dedicated to your site. However, a VPS uses a single server, while cloud hosting involves spreading out your computing load over multiple servers. This makes it easier to scale up resources if your site grows quickly, and you usually only pay for the resources you use. Small and medium businesses
Dedicated hosting You get a dedicated server with its own IP address all to yourself. These are high performance, but quite expensive. They’re worth it if you have a lot of traffic and sales from your website are worth a lot (more on that later). Medium and large businesses
Managed hosting A service added to one of the above types of hosting. With a managed plan, your host takes care of server security, backups, and more, and you usually get much more hands-on support. The only catch is that it’s more expensive. Businesses of all sizes when it’s affordable.

What is Reseller Hosting?

You also might come across reseller hosting, which is a type of hosting where you can sell a host’s services and make a profit. Completely irrelevant for business web hosting, so just ignore it when you see it.

When you go to a host, you’ll see that there are different plans for each type of hosting.

The difference between those plans is the number of resources available to your website.

Start by estimating your web hosting bandwidth needs, or contact a web host’s sales line if you need help figuring out the right plan for you.

Do You Need Windows Hosting if You Use MS Office?

One of the most common sources of confusion is that the vast majority of hosting services are based on Linux web servers.

Remember that a server is just a computer, and it needs an operating system. Most use Linux, but some use Windows (which are more expensive).

Let me make this really clear: Just because your business uses MS Office, doesn’t mean you need Windows hosting.

Most of the time, Linux servers will be better and easier for you to use.

They have better-developed server and hosting technology (control panels, content management systems, etc.).

In fact, the only reasons that it makes sense to specifically look for Windows hosting are if your site uses ASP, ASP.NET, MS SQL, or to integrate Sharepoint easier.

If you don’t know if your site needs those (which is uncommon), it’s safe to assume that Linux hosting is fine for you.


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small business web hosting

Which Type of Web Hosting is Right For My Small Business?

Most small businesses will want one of these 3 types of hosting:

  • VPS (Virtual Private Server)
  • Cloud
  • Dedicated

Any of those options will do just fine.

In general, a VPS or Cloud plan is the best value for price and performance.

VPS plans are the cheapest of the 3 on most hosts and are a good choice if you don’t expect your site traffic to change dramatically over time.

Cloud plans costs are comparable to VPS plans and are great choices if you’re not really sure how many resources your site will need, as they can scale up or down easily.

Some hosts combine VPS and cloud into one type of plan because they’re so similar (technically a VPS is one specific type of cloud hosting).

Dedicated hosting plans are usually the highest performance, and you have complete control over them. You won’t see much of a difference unless you have a resource-intensive website.

These are generalizations that are usually true, but if you have a web developer, check to see if your site needs any special consideration.

domain names business hosting

Buying or Transferring a Domain Name

All business websites need a domain name, which needs to be purchased from a domain registrar.

Almost all hosts are also domain registrars, so you can purchase a domain name as you sign up from hosting if you’d like.

Most (but not all) hosts charge more than a low-cost domain registrar like NameCheap, but it’s more convenient since it will automatically be configured on your hosting account.

Alternatively, you can register a domain on any other registrar, and then point it towards your hosting account.

This isn’t difficult in most cases, but the experience will vary based on the registrar you choose.

The first step of signing up to most hosts is to pick a domain name.

This is where you’ll go through the domain name registration process, or forward your existing domain to your hosting account.

business hosting features

Basic Business Hosting Features to Look For

I’ve split hosting features to look for up into 2 sections.

The ones here are features that almost all businesses need, while you may or may not need the features in the advanced section.

Email Addresses

If you have any sort of interaction with clients, partners, or customers, you’ll want professional email addresses (e.g. [email protected]) for your domain.

Usually, there is some limit on how many email accounts you can create for each domain on your hosting package.

Make sure that any plan you purchase has enough to cover your current and future needs.

Control Panel

A control panel is a basic feature that’s provided by almost all hosts.

It lets you easily manage your domains, email accounts, security, and more.

The most popular one by far is cPanel, but Plesk is also popular.

It will take a bit of time to learn where everything is in your control panel, and how it works.

But since cPanel is offered by almost every host, you’ll already know what to do if you ever switch to a new host.

Some hosts offer custom built control panels. These are typically worse, they lack the same amount of functionality and they don’t have the same depth of support documentation.

All hosting plans will say if they come with a control panel pre-installed or not.

Note that you can install any control panel you’d like on most dedicated servers.

Support

All hosts offer some form of support, but the difference between the worst and best is huge.

Some offer 24/7 support through live chat, phone, and email from highly trained staff.

Others offer live chat support during limited hours and outsource it to an overseas support center that isn’t specifically trained for their hosting platform.

Take the time to read through our hosting reviews, which are from business owners like you, and see how their support experiences were.

Additionally, some hosts offer premium support for an extra fee. Find out if this is offered and how much it costs.

If your site going down for a few hours can cost you hundreds of dollars or more, immediate support could be crucial.

SSL Certificates

An SSL certificate is an essential security feature for websites, especially business websites.

If you have it, visitors will see a green “secure” icon in their address bar. If you don’t, visitors might see a red warning page saying that your site is not secure.

Most top hosts offer basic SSL certificates for free, but many hosts still charge for this essential feature.

See if it’s included, or how much it costs per website.

Security and Backups

If you’re new to web developing, you have to understand that things will go wrong.

Your site could get hacked, or you could accidentally break your site. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.

That’s why you first need some sort of security (a basic firewall at the least), as well as regular backups.

Most hosts take care of firewalls and basic security measures for you, but double-check before buying a plan.

But backups vary depending on the host.

Some only allow you to do manual backups, while others let you schedule automatic backups. Some hosts let you create backups for free, while others pay.

It’s important to regularly create backups, even if you have to pay for it.

If you opt to go for a managed hosting plan, automatic backups are usually included, so you won’t have to worry about it.

Content Management Systems (CMSs) and Website Builders

Coding your site from scratch usually isn’t worth it unless you need something unique. It takes a lot of time and is expensive.

Instead, most businesses use a website builder or CMS.

A website builder lets you create web pages on your site by dragging and dropping visual elements in an editor.

It’s good if you only need a few pages on your site.

A CMS on the other hand, like WordPress or Joomla, is better for scaling. It’s easy to create and edit pages using a standard WYSIWYG editor.

First, you need to decide how you’re going to build your website. Then you need to see if your web host supports it.

Just about all hosts support major CMSs like WordPress, but only select hosts have their own website builder that you can use.

Additionally, some hosts offer 1-click installation of popular CMSs, while others don’t.

You can still install them yourself but expect a few headaches the first time while you learn how to.

business hosting advanced features

Advanced Business Hosting Features You May Need

Depending on your specific business, there are other features you may need to specifically look for in hosting services.

Datacenter Location

When you purchase a hosting plan, your website files are stored on a web server in a datacenter that the web hosting company owns.

Some hosts only have 1 or 2 datacenters with all their servers, while others have servers around the world.

The reason this matters is because the farther a visitor is from the datacenter, the longer it generally takes to load pages on your site.

A slower website results in a worse experience for potential customers, and a lower conversion rate.

So you want to go with a host that has a datacenter near most of your customers.

Or, if your visitors come from all over the world, choose a host that has several datacenters around the world.

Content Delivery Networks (CDN)

One way to speed up your website, especially if you serve a lot of media (images, videos) or have traffic spikes, is to find a host that leverages a CDN (content delivery network).

A CDN is a network of datacenters around the world that acts as proxy servers.

In plain English, a CDN consists of a bunch of a datacenters that serve a copy of your web files to visitors.

Since there are datacenters around the world, it ensures that all visitors load your site as fast as possible.

cloudflare cdn


This animation from Cloudflare demonstrates how a CDN works. When visitors try to access your site, it’s served to them from a data node that’s geographically closest to them. This is constrasted with serving a website from one centralized location.

CDNs are highly scalable, so while your normal hosting may slow down if too many people are accessing your site at once, a CDN will remain fast.

Some hosting companies like A2 Hosting offer specific CDN hosting packages.

Some hosts come automatically configured with a free CDN, others offer paid options.

HIPPA & PCI Compliance

There are 2 sets of hosting standards that certain businesses must meet:

  • HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) – Legislation that specifies how medical information must be stored securely.
  • PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) – Standards that outline how businesses must store sensitive financial data.

If you’re collecting medical information you’ll need to know what data security laws and regulations apply to your venture. You could be fined if you do not comply with the law.

These laws are country-based. For example, if you are an American with an online business that collects medical information, you’ll want web hosting that is compliant with HIPAA guidelines.

If your venture is Canadian, you’ll want to find how Canada’s private sector data and security laws — such as PIPEDA and PIPAA — affect you. Pro tip: Don’t neglect to explore which regional laws may apply to your venture.

Similarly, if you’re collecting and storing payment information of any kind, you’ll want PCI compliant hosting.

Hosting is only a part of fulfilling these standards, but a required one.

Most hosts (especially managed ones) meet these standards, but check before purchasing a plan.

Marketing and Web Development Help

If you’re just starting a small business, you may be looking for some help.

Some hosts also offer advertising, marketing, SEO, and design help.

If it’s available from the web hosting company you pick, should you purchase it as well, or should you find a separate company that specializes in the help you need?

Generally, it’s fine to purchase additional services from a hosting company if it’s related to hosting. That covers work like design or web development.

But if you need SEO, marketing, or advertising help, I’d strongly advise that you hire a company that only focuses on those areas.

Why the Cheapest Hosting Plan Will Usually Cost You Business

Right near the start of this page I mentioned that shared hosting plans aren’t a good fit for businesses. Neither are cheap hosting plans or free hosting plans.

Why?

They look great at first glance. Extremely cheap, simple to use, and often offer unlimited” bandwidth and disk space. This is what hosts like HostGator and Bluehost are known for.

But unlimited really means a reasonable amount of bandwidth and storage according to the host.

As soon as you go over a threshold of resource consumption, your site either goes down or slows to a crawl for visitors.

When you go with cheap hosting, you’ll likely suffer in other areas as well:

  • Uptime Your website going down means you lose customers, which will happen on cheap hosting plans. Premium hosts like Liquid Web have 100% uptime guarantees.
  • Customer support – If your site breaks, customers can’t lose it. How much would it cost you if your site went down for a day or two? Paying extra for immediate, experienced support can save you hundreds or thousands if you run into issues.

I’m not saying you should go out and buy the most expensive plan you can possibly find.

But you want to find a web hosting plan that will keep your site running quickly and reliably, with immediate support available if needed.

Do the math and pick a host and plan that’s not going to come back to cost you more in the long run.

Should I get managed hosting for my small business website?

Managed hosting is an additional service many web hosts offer. For an additional fee, the hosting provider will take care of your server’s maintenance and back-ups, which, without managed hosting, will be your responsibility. While managed hosting is more convenient, and means there will be one less thing for you to worry about, it comes with a higher price tag. Ultimately, the decision may come down to your budget, and if having the extra assistance will be worth the cost.



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Conclusion

Choosing the right web host is a big deal, it will affect the success of your business for years to come.

I understand that this was a long guide and takes some time to get through, but it’s worth spending the time to make sure you understand your options and can pick one that will work well for your business.

If you get stuck at any point, or are not sure if a host is right for you, find our review page for that specific host and see what other small business owners are saying.

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WhoIsHostingThis Team

About WhoIsHostingThis Team

Our writing team comes from all over the world with diverse backgrounds in the arts and sciences. But what links them is their passion for the internet. All together they represent many decades of experience working in all facets of it — from programming and hardware creation to website design and marketing.

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    Sherrie Gossett

    July 24, 2019

    Re: the hosts that offer basic marketing and SEO services, I actually think these can be really beneficial to some small businesses. There are small business owners who have never heard of “business listings” or “data aggregators.” Entities like web hosts that offer these services have succeeded in packaging them at low cost and they can save the business owner time.

    Also – in the past week I heard from 2 small business owners (one is my mechanic) who received scammy unsolicited proposals to handle their business listings. In one case the caller pretended to be from Google, in the other case, the caller pretended to be from Amazon. (Google is cracking down on these scams.) SBOs need reliable options for getting these basic services taken care of.