It is essential that your small business has a website. For many businesses, this is potentially even more essential than a physical presence in the form of a store or an office building. A business website doesn’t have to be big, complicated, or even expensive to launch, but you do need a certain web presence. After all, many users flock to Google first when trying to find a new product or service they need.
As the name suggests, web hosting is where your website is hosted. It’s your site’s home, which means your site’s speed and reliability depends on the web hosting service you choose. It is therefore crucial that you choose a host carefully. Just as you wouldn’t want your business to have an ugly storefront, you wouldn’t want your web presence to be unattractive either. However, getting your site online can be a daunting process, especially if you’re not tech-savvy.
Read on and we’ll explain everything you need to know to find the best web hosting for small businesses, so you can build an online store or just an online presence with the minimum of fuss.
What type of hosting is best for my business?
Each web hosting provider offers a different service and feature set, but they also offer different ways to host. Broadly, these can be divided into four main categories: Shared Hosting, VPS, Dedicated and Cloud Hosting. Shared hosting is the cheapest because it means your website is hosted alongside other sites. This tends to mean slower speeds as you may be impacted by the performance of other sites on the server. You also don’t tend to have as many features available to you. However, it is ideal for a small business that just wants to have an online presence in some way.
VPS hosting and Cloud hosting are quite a similar type of hosting service in that your website is always hosted alongside others. However, the number of other sites is usually smaller and you get a virtual private server, which usually means more flexibility and overall performance, for a price.
The most expensive yet premium form of web hosting is dedicated hosting. This type of web host offers the best speed, performance, security, and uptime, but it comes at a substantial cost because you have an entire server dedicated to your website. For a small business, this is almost always overkill.
What should I look for when buying web hosting for my business?
For most small businesses, cost is a huge part of the decision-making process when buying web hosting. (Check out our cheap web hosting summary of services to learn more.) You should consider purchasing web hosting, a domain name, as well as potential add-ons like an SSL certificate (if you’re selling online). Some web hosting comes with everything included, while others add it as you purchase.
Ease of use is key too, with an intuitive control panel making the process much smoother, along with excellent customer support. If you plan to sell products through your website, you will need to look for features that allow you to create an e-commerce website with some web hosts offering special e-commerce store plans. Some web hosts also offer built-in page builders so you can create a website in hours by choosing a theme rather than modifying the design yourself.
Speed is also something to consider, as a slow-loading site is off-putting to customers and can affect your search engine rankings. Reliability is also key, although all of the hosting companies we’ve listed here are very reliable and offer very high uptime.