Quick Pick At the top of my list – Hostinger, is the best hosting service for small businesses running simple websites. If you are selling products directly from your website – Shopify may be a better choice.
Web hosting is the cornerstone of any digital presence, particularly for small businesses aiming to reach a wider audience and boost their revenue.
A great small business web hosting offers stable hosting uptime, great server speed, reasonable pricing, and necessary features such as built-in POS, email hosting, marketing tools, and so on, to help your business to grow at ease.
In this article, we'll review some top business hosting providers, explore key features to consider, and discuss how to match your specific needs to the right service.Read More
Other Hosting Choices: Best Overall / VPS Hosting / Cloud Hosting / Website Builders
Hostinger is relative new but it has the cheapest hosting on our list. Start at as low as $1.99 per month, Hostinger Single allows users to host one website and one email account with 100 GB bandwidth. and upgrade to higher plans (known as "Premium" and "Business") at $2.99 and $4.99 per month later.
Hostinger premium plan - "Business" is cheaper than the market average (signup at $4.99/mo) and comes with various premium features including Cloudflare CDN ($9.95 value), WordPress staging tool (for easy site development), SSH Access (for better security), free SSL, auto daily backup, and pre-optimized servers for site speed.
Hostinger Pros & Cons
- Solid server performance
- Extremely cheap to start off - best for small businesses looking for great deals
- Drag-and-drop website builder to create a website easily
- Extra security features and free domain name for higher plans
- Free website migration - good for busy business owners
- Flexible VPS hosting plans (6 different levels)
- Top-level data backups for VPS hosting accounts
- Single plan is cheap but rather basic - only suitable for those who need a simple static website
- Hosting price increases after first term
- Might not be the best for larger businesses and large online stores
Hostinger Plans & Pricing
|Shared Hosting Features||Single Plan||Premium Plan|
|Number of Websites||1||100|
|Disk Space (SSD)||30 GB||100 GB|
Get more details about Hostinger in my review.
What Kind of Business Should Use Hostinger?
Starts at just $1.99 per month, Hostinger is highly valuable for small business who is hosting a simple website. Do take note that, however, the cheap fees increase after first term.
Which Hostinger Plan to Go With?
If all you need is a simple static website to showcase your business (ie. a flyer website), then look no further - Hostinger is your answer. The $1.99/mo Single Plan is the cheapest business website hosting solution you can ever get.
Bear in mind, however, that you get what you pay for - some useful features, such as daily backups, unlimited cron job, and SSH access, are available only in Premium or Business plans. I would recommend you to go (or upgrade later) with Hostinger Business if you are serious about your business.
Cloudways is a systems integrator that provides a handy interface to simplify the cloud hosting experience. It also takes responsibility for various aspects of the Cloud solution, such as security and support.
I’ve run various websites on Cloudways for years now - including this site you are reading - WebHostingSecretRevealed.net, and it’s performed like a champion. Think of it as the ultimate all-in-one that even a newbie to web hosting should have no problems managing. Plus, if you need help, Cloudways support is only a phone call away.
Cloudways Pros & Cons
- Access to multiple Cloud platforms
- Linkable Cloud accounts
- Extreme scalability
- Easy management via the integrated dashboard
- Managed security
- Wide range of data centers
- More expensive than hosting directly with Cloud providers
- Less direct server control options
Cloudways Hosting Plans
|Features||DO Plan 1||DO Plan 2||Google Cloud|
|Memory||2 GB||4 GB||15 GB|
|Storage||50 GB||80 GB||20 GB|
|Bandwidth||2 TB||4 TB||2 GB|
* Note: DO stands for Digital Ocean.
Learn more in our Cloudways review.
What Kind of Business Should Host with Cloudways?
Cloudways is ideal for certain businesses – such as SaaS providers, start-ups, developers, or businesses that need more than just an informational website. The flexibility of scale in terms of both server power and data transfer is invaluable for elastic sites that demand agility.
Which Cloudways Plan to Go With?
For Cloudways, it’s more a matter of which Cloud Server Hosting you’d like to host with via their platform. They act as a gateway to several, all of which may be suitable for various business needs.
Smaller business websites can opt for Digital Ocean, which offers cheaper lower-tier plans. Larger business websites or online stores should consider the more prominent brands like AWS and Google Cloud for potentially better speed performance and more data center locations.
Established in 2008, AltusHost has been one of the popular names among Europe hosting users for almost two decades. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company provides topnotch customer support and server locations in Bulgaria, the Netherlands, and Sweden.
With numerous hosting plans (VPS, Reseller, Colocation) available and business hosting as low as €5.95 per month, AltusHost offers an affordable and highly scalable solution for businesses who are looking for premium hosting based outside of the United States.
AltusHost Pros & Cons
- No overselling policy - Hosting performance guaranteed
- Free data backup included in all business hosting plans
- Flexible billing methods - PayPal, Bank Wire, Bitcoin, etc.
- Affordable SSL certificate by European SSL Authority
- Europe-centric colocation server hosting
- Long business track record and reputable
- Limited email accounts for Biz 20 and Biz 50
- Server location in Europe only
AltusHost Plans & Pricing
|Features||Biz 20||Biz 50|
|Storage (Pure SSD)||20 GB||50 GB|
|CPU Cores Available||2||4|
|RAM Avalibility||2 GB||4 GB|
|Free Let's EncryptSSL||Yes||Yes|
|Full Money Back Guarantee||45 days||45 days|
|Order||Biz 20||Biz 50|
Learn more in our AltusHost review.
What Kind of Business Should Use AltusHost?
Not only are AltusHost's plans available well thought out, but their servers also show strong performance when taken in context. This especially applies to businesses with majority of their customers based in the European countries.
Which Altushost Plan to Go With?
AltusHost Biz 20 plans feature 20 GB SSD storage, 2 GB RAM, free daily backup, free Let's Encrypt SSL, and a premium website builder - which I believe is good enough for any new small business website. For upgrades and larger business websites - their KVM based VPS hosting plans are powerful and reasonable priced.
Founded by Trey Gardner, GreenGeeks is a North America-based company that’s been in the game since 2008. As an eco-friendly hosting company, GreenGeeks has dedicated itself to leaving a positive energy footprint and replacing used energy with triple the energy credits that are used.
The best things about GreenGeeks as a business hosting are their speedy server and business-friendly control panel.
Running the usual gamut of our server performance tests, GreenGeeks lights up… well, green across the board. Our GreenGeeks-hosted test site scored an "A" in most speed tests at Bitcatcha and WebPageTest. For a sign-on fee of $2.95 per month (renews at $10.95 after initial sign-up duration), you’ll get practically unlimited amounts of everything, plus a ton of business-friendly features including Sitepad Site Builder, HTTP/2 & HTTP/3 support by default, free site migration service, and built-in Let's Encrypt Free SSL integration.
GreenGeeks Pros & Cons
- Solid server performance
- Business friendly platforms
- Choice of different server locations
- Free website migration for busy business owners
- Helpful customer support and user knowledgebase
- Affordable - Big discount for new signups
- Hosting price increases after first term
GreenGeeks Plans & Pricing
|Features||Ecosite Lite||Ecosite Pro||Ecosite Premium|
|Storage (Pure SSD)||50 GB||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|WP Repair Tool||No||Yes||Yes|
|Order||Ecosite Lite||Ecosite Pro||Ecosite Premium|
More about GreenGeeks in my review.
What Type of Business GreenGeeks is Best For?
GreenGeeks is an ideal place to host a small business to host their site, given the facilities, pricing and resources available. Note that GreenGeeks prepared various ”eco-friendly seals” for users who wish to show off their environmentally friendly-hosted website.
Which GreenGeeks Plan to Go With?
GreenGeeks Pro Plan is good enough for any new, or small business website.
Priced at $5.95 per month for first term, you'll get to host unlimited websites with essential features such as automatic virus scanner, free malware cleanup, advanced firewall protection, and nightly data backup.
Although Shopify functions as a website builder it is technically more inclined towards those seeking to build an online store. This makes it very much in-sync with many businesses today which are competing in the digital space.
The ease of use that am online store builder can bring towards building an eCommerce store cannot be underestimated. Most small businesses would not have the in-house competency to do this and outsourcing it would likely cost much more than what you could achieve with Shopify.
Aside from that you can also integrate your Shopify site with your retail POS system and make use of add-ons to manage inventory. This will let you move past the physical versus retail divide and provide a truly integrated experience to customers
In retrospect, Shopify might not be right for everyone but there is no denying that it has a specific focus - and that is to help you sell. To me it seems the ideal partner for many businesses, especially since all their plans include eCommerce functionality.
- Plenty of add-on tools available
- Simple and powerful integrated payments - work with 100+ external payment gateways
- Highly customizable stores with 70+ professional designed themes
- Free SSL certificate and abandoned cart recovery for all plans
- POS Integration available - Promote and sell on multiple channels (Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, etc) within Shopify
- Cost is a little prohibitive unless you’re a dedicated e-Tailer
- Losing profit margin - Shopify charges 0.5 - 2% transaction fees
- Some add-ons cost extra
- Limited access to some website SEO features
Shopify Plans & Pricing
|Shopify Plans / Prices||Basic||Shopify||Advanced|
|Monthly price||$19 /mo||$49 /mo||$299 /mo|
|Credit card fees||2.9% + $0.30||2.6% + $0.30||2.4% + $0.30|
|Transaction fees / 3rd party gateway||2%||1%||0.5%|
|Inventory locations||Up to 1,000||Up to 1,000||Up to 1,000|
|Abandoned cart recovery||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Free SSL certificate||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Third-party shipping rates||No||No||Yes|
|Duties and import taxes||No||No||Yes|
Learn more about Shopify in Timothy's review.
Who Should Use Shopify?
Shopify is, to be honest, pricier than most other site builders in the market. However it is also very much dedicated to the eCommerce scene and that can be a big plus for businesses, especially given their POS integration feature. The pricing structure is simple though and you just need to align your business needs to the right one.
6. A2 Hosting
A2 Hosting has been in the business for a long time - since 2001, to be exact. Unlike many others who have swayed over the years, the company remains privately owned. This steadfastness has resulted in some impressive results.
While A2 Hosting offers a complete range of web hosting plans are impressively feature-packed and powerful. The end result is much better potential for those wanting to host business websites. Even shared server here is robust and comes with a good range of developer-friendly features.
A2 Hosting 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.
A2 Hosting Pros & Cons
- Solid server and speed performance
- Big first-time discount on shared hosting plans - save up to 81%
- Supports a wide range of CRM
- Ultra-competitive reseller hosting
- Multiple developer-friendly features
- SSD and NVMe storage for faster website load time
- Free website migration - good for busy business owners
- Server locations in USA, Holland, and Singapore
- Increasing prices
- Expensive VPS plans
- Hosting price increases after first term
A2 Hosting Plans & Pricing
|Features / Plans||Startup||Drive||Turbo Boost|
Learn more in my A2 Hosting review.
Who Should Use A2 Hosting?
A2 Hosting represents of the "old school hosting providers" - reasonable pricing, wide range of hosting products, and powerful features for all kinds of websites. A2 is a great choice for businesses looking for a mid-range web hosting solution.
Which A2 Hosting Plan to Go With?
A2 Hosting sells on more than just plan types and this is good news for business users. It has very specific plans that suit a diversity of corporate needs, from those offering CRM support to WHCMS license-packed plans. Their plans are also eco-friendly, fulfilling Zero Carbon needs.
- For simple business websites - I recommend Startup ($1.99/mo) or Drive Plans ($3.99/mo) - the main different between the two are domain and storage capacity.
- For eCommerce or advanced business websites - TurboBoost Plan ($4.99/mo) offers the new NVMe storage and loads 20x faster.
- For resellers or agencies - A2's Turbo Kickstart Reseller Plan ($29.99/mo) includes WHMCS for free and offers the option to add WHMCS licenses at competitive prices (add 1,000 clients for $20/mo).
Understanding Web Hosting
A “Web Host” refers to the computer where users store their websites. “Web Hosting” refers to the service that provides the technologies and services needed for your website to be viewed on the Internet.
Why Choosing the Right Web Host Matters to Your Business?
Web hosting plays a pivotal role in the online visibility and overall growth of small businesses. A reliable web hosting service ensures your business is accessible to stakeholders, customers, and potential clients around the clock.
Your website is essentially your digital storefront. Thus, the performance, speed, and uptime of your site directly influence the user experience, which can affect your brand reputation and customer retention.
The type of hosting service you choose is significant because it aligns with your business's unique requirements and budget. For instance, if you're just starting out and have a tight budget, a cheap shared hosting plan, where multiple websites share resources on a single server, might be a good fit. As your business grows and traffic increases, you might need to upgrade to VPS, dedicated, or cloud hosting to ensure optimal performance.
Furthermore, web hosting can also affect your website's search engine rankings, which is crucial for your online visibility. A slow-loading website or frequent downtime can negatively impact search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, making it harder for potential customers to find your business online.
Key Features to Consider in a Small Business Hosting
Budget is always a big issue for small businesses. So, most owners will consider the overall cost of building a website (which includes web hosting costs) in the first place. However, because of the importance of business reputation, pricing may have to take a back seat to other factors when it comes to web hosting.
How Much to Pay for a Web Host?
Based on our market research, a shared hosting plan ranges in price from $2.51 to $4.63 per month. VPS Hosting is typically between $13.41 to $21.89 per month.
If your business is new, start small and pick a basic shared hosting. Once you pass the shared hosting stage then the next logical progression will be VPS or Cloud Hosting. VPS or cloud offers more power and security than shared hosting but will cost more as well.
Uptime Reliability & Server Speed
A basic fundamental for a web host is to have good server reliability. It’s important that your business website consistently has a fast and stable server and network.
Web Hosting Uptime
If your website goes down even for a minute, you might lose out on customers and potential sales for your business. Hosting uptime rates are a good indication of how reliable a server is in keeping your website online. Generally, a 99.95% uptime rate is considered the minimum nowadays and it's recommended to avoid any web hosts that provide less than that.
Server & Network Speed
There are certain qualities that you need to check when looking at server performance. The two major ones are the Time-To-First-Byte (TTFB) and speed. A fast server is needed if you want to provide the best user experience to your visitors and improve your overall ranking in search engines.
Note: Your website performance is also affected by the types of hosting you are using - typically dedicated hosting offers the best speed performance; followed by VPS and shared hosting.
Your business will grow, so your web host must be able to cope with it. For starters - always start small with affordable shared server hosting and upgrade, such as VPS or cloud hosting when your business takes off.
For small businesses that just begin, it is unnecessary to pay for expensive top-of-the-line web hosting right off the bat. It would be far more prudent to move from plan to plan progressively as your needs evolve.
There are multiple factors that can generate trust for online websites. An SSL certificate is one of them and has become an increasingly important factor today.
This is important to take note of because there are various types of SSL and some of them can be quite expensive. SSL certificates are especially important to business sites that deal with customer data or financial information.
Server Backup Facility
It will be definitely hard to sleep if you have a good amount of money at stake. Automated server backup will ensure that whatever happens, you won’t lose your website.
Different hosts have different backup capabilities and processes so this is something important to take note of. Most hosts will offer basic backups for free, but for a business site, I would recommend investing in additional capabilities and also keeping an updated copy offline as well!
Ease of Use
Web hosting is basically space and the capacity to allow traffic to reach your website. It’s like the plot of land that you build your house on. However, there are hosts that can help make your life much easier in your quest to build and manage a website.
Most small businesses won’t have dedicated IT staff and having to outsource web management work can get expensive. Today, many web hosts are including website builders and basic IT support in their packages so customers can operate their business websites more easily.
Again, this goes back to what additional functionality you need for your site. Being able to sell online can be a big plus for businesses.
If you’re looking to build a site that has eCommerce capabilities, you need to take into consideration other factors such as inventory management, payment processing, shipping processing, flexible shipping and tax rates, customer segmenting, dropshipping integrations, and much more.
Running a website is hard work and odds are you’re going to face some troubles down the road. When that happens, you’re going to have to revert to customer support to help you out.
A web hosting company with great customer support should have fast response times when it comes to handling customer inquiries. They should also have a number of technical experts on hand to handle any problems or situations that a customer might face.
Having multiple support channel is also a good sign of a comprehensive customer support. Be sure to check if the web host offers contact via live chat, Skype, email, and phone call.
Security should be a top concern for most businesses, especially those that are running an eCommerce website. Most reputable website hosts are PCI/DSS compliant, and have SFTP access and protection against DDoS attacks.
Other security features that are great to have include: Auto malware scanning, built-in network monitoring tools, firewalls, and in-house security expert support.
Last but not least, small business websites tend to have peculiar needs. Identifying these needs can greatly simplify your digital operation and enhance your small business's online presence.
For instance, email hosting allows you to create professional, domain-specific email addresses that can elevate your brand credibility (ie. [email protected]). Meanwhile, features such as one-click install for Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress or Joomla streamline the process of setting up and managing your website.
Ask questions such as:
- What is the software you need for your business? Pick a business hosting plan that allows you to auto-install that software.
- Where are your customers located? 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.
How to Choose the Right Web Host for Your Small Business?
Selecting the right web hosting service begins with understanding your business's specific needs, such as anticipated website size, traffic volume, level of required support, and budget. Consider key features that we mentioned above - including hosting uptime, speed, security features, customer service, and so on.
User reviews and ratings are valuable in providing insights into others' experiences with potential providers. Although it's crucial to balance these user feedbacks and look for consistent trends rather than isolated comments - they can reveal strengths and weaknesses that might not be immediately obvious.
Case Studies: Solutions for Different Businesses
Business websites can be unique in many ways and you do not always need the best of everything. What another website owner may find to complain about, you may discover to be an ideal fit for your 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. Be sure that you understand your needs and find the best match for what you want.
Case Study #1: Simple Business Flyer Websites
Dave has a locksmith business and set up a website to expand his customer base. Since he is only looking to increase his client base, it is likely that a simple digital presence can be all he needs to start off with.
These basic requirements will only require that he has a domain name and web hosting. Ideally, a simple site done up form a template would be good, but even the most basic shared plan would do.
A site like this could make use of Hostinger or GreenGeeks, which cost as little as a few dollars a month.
Case Study #2: Complex Business Websites
Covering many aspects of web hosting and related industries, our site WebHostingSecretRevealed.net (WHSR) is a good example of a small business with a high traffic volume website. In order to meet resource demands it is hosting with Cloudways, one of the best hosting solutions for large business websites.
Case Study #3: eCommerce / Online Store
A very recent addition to the circle of Shopify online stores, Japan Objects STORE was intended to showcase Japanese culture, arts and design. However, it also has traditional clothing items for sale, such as Kimonos, Yukatas and Obi Belts.
That the site is new might not be surprising, but it can give you a good idea of how great a site (plus eCommerce store) you can build with Shopify. Beautifully elegant and with good use of a combination of imagery set in a minimalistic layout, Japan Objects Store is clean and crisp.
Transitioning to a New Web Host
Once you've chosen the right web hosting service that aligns with your small business goals and growth prospects, transitioning to a new web host is the next crucial step. While it may seem complex, website migration to a new server does not have to disrupt your business operations.
The first step in the transition process is developing a detailed plan. This should involve a timeline of the tasks required, outlining when and how your site data will be moved. This process is critical for business owners to minimize any potential website downtime, preserving customer experience and business reputation.
Next, it's vital for business owners to back up all website data. This precaution ensures that crucial business information - from client data to website content - is secure, even in the event of unexpected complications during the transition.
Finally, upon successful transition, understanding the new control panel and the range of features offered by the new web host is key.
To learn more, read our web host migration guide here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hostinger, GreenGeeks, AltusHost, Cloudways, and A2 Hosting are our top business hosting picks. If you are selling your products directly from your website - Shopify may be a good choice too.
Technically, most business websites are not much different from standard websites, but may require more reliable web hosting to avoid downtime doing reputational damage.
GoDaddy may hold the largest market share but it might not be ideal for business hosting. Based on our research, there are other companies with faster and more reliable web hosting available (see list above).
Cheapest and best will not often cross paths in many scenarios, especially in web hosting. This equipment and infrastructure-heavy industry require significant capital to build and operate. As such, it is difficult to offer quality, reliable hosting at rock bottom prices. If you are searching for a budget business hosting solution - we recommend Hostinger and GreenGeeks.
Yes, GreenGeeks is a good choice for businesses that wish to be more eco-friendly. In fact, some businesses have mandates on carbon footprint, and these can be satisfied by hosting with GreenGeeks.
Generally, there are four kinds of hosting: shared server , dedicated server hosting, VPS / cloud, and bundled hosting. All four types have their own advantages and disadvantages – you can learn more in this guide.
Most web hosting companies offer reseller plans. Make use of these and combine it with other business elements such as invoicing and your own branding to create a web hosting reseller business.
No. Everything you need to run a functioning website – from hosting to domain registration and shared SSL, are included in Weebly package.
Web hosting refers to companies that rent out their server to users to host their websites. Web publishing commonly refers to publishing content, in the form of texts, graphics and videos, on the Internet. Web publishing can be done on your own website (which then requires you to host a website) or on a third party platforms like Medium and Typepad.
For simple business websites – I recommend Startup or Drive Plans – the main different between the two are domain and storage capacity. For eCommerce or advanced business websites – TurboBoost Plan offers the new NVMe storage and loads 20x faster.
AltusHost Biz 20 plans feature 20 GB SSD storage, 2 GB RAM, free daily backup, free Let's Encrypt SSL, and a premium website builder – which I believe is good enough for any new small business website.
If all you need is a simple static website to showcase your business (a flyer website), go with Hostinger's Single Plan – it is the cheapest business hosting solution you can ever get.