Best Hosting for Small Business Compared (2019)

Article written by:
  • Hosting Guides
  • Updated: Jan 29, 2019

One key lesson I learned from reviewing dozens of hosting services is that a good web host might not always be the right web host.

Why?

Because different kinds of websites will have different needs.

Some web hosts might be good in certain areas – such as speed and latest technology; while others might focus on providing a stable server and cheaper rate. A “good web host” does not always guarantee 100% users 100% satisfaction.

This is especially true when it comes to business website hosting. As a business owner myself – I truly understand why businesses are often cautious and picky about their web host. You need to stick with the right service at the right price and right quality. The “best” web host may not be the best choice.

After evaluating all the good web hosts around, I have come down to a list of companies that perfectly fit the needs of most small-business owners.

Web HostEntry PriceFree TrialSSH AccessEmail HostingFree SSL certificateFree Site MigrationEasy Backup *
InMotion Hosting$3.99/mo90 daysYesYesAuto SSL & Let’s EncryptYesStandard
SiteGround$3.95/mo30 daysYesYesAuto SSL & Let’s EncryptYesStandard + Special Built-In
Cloudways$10/moNoYesNoLet’s EncryptFirst site onlyStandard + Special Built-In
Hostinger$1.45/mo30 days(Premium Plans Only)Yes(Premium Plans Only)NoStandard
Interserver$5/mo30 daysYesYesAuto SSL & Let’s EncryptYesStandard

 

* For standard site backup – user can backup and restore sites using cPanel, cron, or Softaculous. In most cases “Standard + Special Built-in Backup Features” is better.

 


 

 

FTC Disclosure

WHSR receive referral fees from companies mentioned in this page. Our opinions are based on real experience and actual server data. Please read our review policy page to understand how our host review and rating system works.

 


 

Critical Features for Small Business Hosting

Let’s get to know some of the must-have features in a good business hosting.

  • Cheap Price – Budget is always a big issue for small businesses. So, most owners will consider the overall cost of building a website (which include web hosting cost) in the first place.
  • Reliability – Every big thing starts small. Good reliability and higher hosting uptime are the foundations that you must have to get your website bigger and better.
  • Scalability – Your business will grow, so your web host must be able to coup with it. For starters – always start small with an affordable shared hosting and upgrade (ie. to VPS or cloud hosting) when your business takes off.
  • SSL Certificate – There are multiple factors that can generate trust for online websites. SSL certificate is one of them, which, an absence can send many potential customers away.
  • Backup Service – It will be definitely hard to sleep if you have a good amount of money at stake. Automated backup services will ensure you that whatever happens, you won’t lose your website.

Best Web Host for Small to Medium Business

Now let’s dig in and review each of these hosting services. At WHSR, we conduct our own detailed research based on hard facts and server test data. In this article, I will focus on areas most important to business owners – like hosting performance, business features, after-sales support, and value for money.

1. InMotion Hosting

Website: https://www.inmotionhosting.com

InMotion Business Hosting

InMotion Hosting offers SSD-based Shared Business Hosting on their servers located at the East and the West Coast of United States. You have the option to choose one of them.

Shared plans are basically budget-friendly which includes one free domain name and one free SSL certificate. They also offer advanced hosting plans such as VPS Hosting and Dedicated Server Hosting for websites in need of more CPU resources.

Regardless of the plan, their server uptime is mostly above 99.95% with good latency in the US.

Their service is backed up by all three methods of support (live chat, phone and email ticket). Contacting via phone call is the quickest way to get your problem solved professionally.

Quick review

InMotion hosting = best business hosting
Recent speed test at InMotion Hosting: TTFB = 431ms.
Latest discount on InMotion Hosting
Special discount for WHSR users at InMotion Hosting – Save 57% on first bill.

Pros                        

  • Solid server performance – Good uptime (>99.95%) and response time (< 450ms)
  • Big first-time discount on shared hosting plans – save up to 57%
  • Free domain registration, SSL Certificate and automated daily backup
  • SSD storage and peered connection technology for up to 6x faster website
  • 90-days safe hosting period with no-question-asked refund policy
  • Free website migration – good for busy business owners

Cons

  • Server location USA only
  • Must go through phone verification for account activation

Price

  • Shared business hosting starts at $5.99/month (regular $7.99/month)

More about Inmotion Hosting in my review.

Tip: Which InMotion plan is good for small / medium business?

For new and small businesses – Start with InMotion Power Hosting Plan – at $5.99/mo, customers can host up to 6 domains with free SSL for all domains and all essential e-commerce features ready.

Upgrade to VPS-1000HA-S or VPS-2000HA-S later as your business grows.

 

 

 


 

2. SiteGround

Website: https://www.siteground.com

SiteGround has achieved the highest customer satisfaction in the last couple of years with their helpful live chat support being one of the highlights.

Their servers use NGINX, HTTP/2 in conjunction with SuperCacher technology to maximize the website speed. It can save a big 7% loss of conversion that could just happen in 1 second of load delay (source).

All SiteGround plans feature one-click SSL installation and the shared plans have Let’s Encrypt SSL for free. Shared plans also come with a free automated daily backup service for better peace of mind.

Quick review

SiteGround Hosting uptime
SiteGround uptime in March 2018: 100%
SiteGround live chat record - suitable for businesses who want top-class live chat support
My chat record with SiteGround support – SiteGround has the best live chat support in market according to that study.
One of the key business hosting features - Free one-click-install SSL
Let’s Encrypt SSL is auto-installed to all SiteGround hosting accounts. To check your free standard Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates at SiteGround, login to cPanel > Security > SSL / TLS Manager > Certificates (CRT).

Pros                        

  • Great uptime (100% in most cases)
  • A straight 60% off on the first bill of any shared hosting
  • Choice of server location (America, Europe and Asia)
  • Officially recommended by WordPress.org and Drupal.org
  • Native 3-layer caching system for optimal performance (SuperCacher)
  • Let’s Encrypy Wildcard SSL (HTTPS) is auto-installed to all domains
  • Free website migration – good for busy business owners
  • WooCommerce-ready – Siteground pre-install and manage all you need for a WooCommerce site.

Cons

  • High renewal cost on shared hosting
  • SuperCacher is not available on the basic shared plan (StartUp)

Price

  • Shared hosting starts at $3.95/month (regular $9.95/month)

More about SiteGround in my review.

Which SiteGround plan is best for small business?

SiteGround StartUp and WooCommerce Startup Package  are best hosting plan for small online businesses. SiteGround StartUp is great for hosting one business website – it comes with all essential features and suitable for business websites with less than 10,000 visits per month.

If you are running WordPress WooCommerce site (for retail businesses with inventories), go for SiteGround WooCommerce Hosting . All SiteGround’s WooCommerce plans come with auto-updater, pre-installed WooCommerce and Storefront theme, and Let’sEncrypt SSL.

 

 


 

3. Cloudways

Website: https://www.cloudways.com

Cloudways hosting for small to mid businesses

Cloudways might not be a household name in the hosting industry but they are currently making strides in cloud hosting. Or rather, cloud management to be exact.

What Cloudways offer is the ability to create a cloud server for your website and have it hosted on six cloud providers: Amazon (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, DigitalOcean, Vultr, and Linode. If your website or project demands maximum power (for suddden traffic spike), then Cloudways ability to give you dedicated resources to improve your website speed and stability is a huge plus.

In addition to that, they also support a slew of performance-boosting technologies such as PHP7, Varnish, Nginx, Redis, Memcached, and HTTP/2.

If you’re not a technical person, Cloudways also supports automated installation for some of the popular CMS and apps such as WordPress, Drupal, Magento, Joomla, PrestaShop, and OpenCart.

 

Quick review

Cloudways Managed Cloud Hosting Plans.

Cloudways user reviews


Pros

  • Ability to choose multiple cloud hosting providers
  • Easy install process for WordPress, PrestaShop, Drupal, etc.
  • Affordable cloud hosting management platform (cloud hosting as low as $10/mo)
  • Pay as you go – only pay for the resources your business site consumes
  • Simplicity – Beginner and developer friendly with Intuitive UI
  • Scalability – Flexbile to scale up and down as your business grow (or slow down)
  • Free website migration – good for busy business owners

Cons

  • Easy installer is only limited to 12 apps/CMS
  • Doesn’t not have any root access
  • Confusing for first time cloud hosting users
  • Free site transfer only available for first migration

More about Cloudways in Azreen’s in-depth case study.

Which is the best hosting plans for small businesses? 

Any Cloudways entry level plan is good for small business. At this time of writing, Cloudways Digital Ocean and Cloudways Vultr are running on the cheapest price. For $10/mo and $11/mo, you’ll get 1 GB server RAM and 25 GB storage to host your small business websites.

 

 

 


 

4. Hostinger

Website: https://www.hostinger.com

Hostinger for business websites

Hostinger has the cheapest and entrepreneur-friendly hosting services in our list. Start at as low as $1.45/month and upgrade to a premium plan later.

The $0/month hosting uses the same hardware (Intel Xenon processors and SSD storages) as their premium hosting which makes their service more transparent.

Hostinger premium plans are still cheaper than the market average featuring MariaDB (for a secured database), SSH Access (for better security) and pre-optimized servers for website speed.

Quick review

Hostinger = Affordable Business Hosting
It’s the innovative features that make Hostinger ticks.
Hostinger Server Uptime
We started tracking Hostinger in May 2017. Test site hosted at Hostinger has been up for the last 637+ hours at this point of writing. Besides the one hour scheduled maintenance in June 1st, the server has not gone down.

Pros                        

  • Very affordable price – $1.45/mo – best for small businesses looking for great deals
  • Free domain name and automated daily backup for Premium plans
  • Flexible VPS hosting plans (6 different levels)
  • Top-level data backups on VPS hosting accounts

Cons

  • SSL and auto backup only in Premium and Business plans
  • Price increases at renewal

Price

  • Shared hosting starts at $2.15/month (regular $3.99/month)

More about Hostinger in Jason’s review.

Which Hostinger plan is right for small business websites?

Hostinger is the best business website hosting for those who are looking for cheapest plan. But bear in mind that you get what you pay for -some useful features, such as auto backup and free SSL, are available only in Premium or Business plans.  There’s only one shared plan that’s right for mid-sized businesses at Hostinger – the Business Plan. Starts at $7.95/mo, Hostinger Business Plan users get unlimited SSD store, free domain registration, daily backup, and free SSL.

I would recommend you avoid Hostinger Single or Premium plan if you are serious about your business.

 

 


 

 

5. InterServer

Website: https://www.interserver.com

Interserver for business web hosting

Founded by Michael Lavrik and John Quaglieri, InterServer is a New Jersey-based company that’s been in the game since 1999.

Initially launching as a virtual hosting account re-seller, the hosting provider has grown over the past 17 years and now operates two data centers in New Jersey and is in the process of expanding to additional locations.

The best thing about InterServer is their solid server performance, guaranteed email delivery, and locked-in signup price. The company pledge that they will never increase their price during renewal and keep them under 50% utilization for sudden traffic spikes. Also, the new Guaranteed Email Delivery feature ensure important business emails you sent will not be trapped in recipients’ junk box.

Quick review

Interserver - price locked during signup. Good for small businesses who want to control their budget
Interserver does not jack up their price during renewal.
Interserver speed test
Interserver speed test results from March 8th, 2018; TTFB = 222ms.

Pros                        

  • Good hosting uptime (>99.97%) and excellent server response time (<220ms)
  • Special discount: For new purchases, use promo code WHSRPENNY to try Interserver at $0.01/mo (first month only).
  • Flat price on all shared and VPS plans (no increase at renewals)
  • Free website migration – good for busy business owners

Cons

  • VPS hosting panel is not beginner friendly
  • No live chat support

Price

  • Shared hosting starts at $5.00/month (same at renewal)

More about InterServer in my review.

Which InterServer hosting plan is business-friendly?

Interserver Standard Shared Hosting Plan is good enough for any new, or small businesses. Priced at $5/mo (for life), you’ll get all essential business hosting features plus automatic virus scanner, machine learning firewall, in-house caching, and guaranteed email delivery.

 

 


 

Know What Your Business Website Needs

So there you have it, the web hosting services that we think will perfectly suit the needs of any small-to-medium business owners for their website.

But of course, in order for you to choose the right web host, you need to know the needs of your business first. As I’ve mentioned earlier, smaller business websites tend to have peculiar needs and identifying them will go a long in choosing the perfect web host for you.

Some other points that you need to consider before choosing your web host are:

  • What are the software you need for your business? Pick a business hosting plan that allow you to auto-install those software
  • Where is your customers located at? Pick a website hosting that has servers close to your audience / customers
  • What is your business growth plan? Look for a host with VPS and dedicated upgrade options – so it allows you to grow with minimum hassles

The more you understand your business and its needs, the better and easier it will be to choose the right web host.

Last but not least, you should always remember that there is never a one-fix-all solution for your website. It’s all about finding the right balance of good features in a web host while still fullfilling the needs of your website.

Quick Wrap: Compare Best Small Business Hosting

Web HostEntry PriceFree TrialSSH AccessEmail HostingFree SSL certificateFree Site MigrationEasy Backup *
InMotion Hosting$3.99/mo90 daysYesYesAuto SSL & Let’s EncryptYesStandard
SiteGround$3.95/mo30 daysYesYesAuto SSL & Let’s EncryptYesStandard + Special Built-In
Cloudways$10/moNoYesNoLet’s EncryptFirst site onlyStandard + Special Built-In
Hostinger$1.45/mo30 days(Premium Plans Only)Yes(Premium Plans Only)NoStandard
Interserver$5/mo30 daysYesYesAuto SSL & Let’s EncryptYesStandard

 

Further Business Reading

 

Article by Jerry Low

Geek dad, SEO data junkie, investor, and founder of Web Hosting Secret Revealed. Jerry has been building Internet assets and making money online since 2004. He loves mindless doodling and trying new food.