Updates: Facts checked, latest stats and hosting prices updated, new price comparison table added; AltusHost added to the list for users looking for EU-centric provider.
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.
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.
After evaluating all the good web hosts around, I have come down to a list of hosting providers that perfectly fit the needs of most small-business owners. We will compare their features and pricing in table below and dive into the details for the top ones.
Low Cost: Cheap plans available if “Yes”; these low cost plans may not be suitable for your business though.
Eco-Friendly: Platform powered by renewable energy or offset with green energy certificate if “Yes”.
Build Quickly: Ready-make site templates and easy to use web editor tool available if “Yes”.
Built-in POS: Point of Sales system included if “Yes”.
Payment Gateway: Built-in payment gateway available if “Yes” – useful if you wish to receive payment from your International customers directly from your website.
Top Business Website Hosting Reviewed
We will now dig in to each of these business hosting services. To make my reviews relevant and helpful, I will put in extra focus on features that are important to business, such as hosting performance, business-friendly features, after-sales support, and value for money.
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.
InMotion Hosting 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.
InMotion Hosting Review
Solid server performance – Good uptime (>99.95%) and response time (< 450ms)
Big first-time discount on shared hosting plans – save up to 50%
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
Server location in USA only
Must go through phone verification for account activation
Hostinger is relative new but it has the cheapest hosting services in our list. Start at as low as $0.80/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”) later.
Hostinger premium plan – “Business” is cheaper than the market average (signup at $3.45/mo) and comes with various premium features including MariaDB (for a secured database), SSH Access (for better security), free SSL, auto daily backup, and pre-optimized servers for site speed.
Solid server performance – Good uptime (>99.95%) and response time (< 600ms)
Extremely cheap to start off, Single Shared Hosting Plan starts at $0.80/mo for new users best for small businesses looking for great deals
Drag-and-drop website builder (developed in-house) to create a website easily
Extra security features, free domain name, and automated daily backup for Premium and Business 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
If all you need is a simple static website to showcase your business (a flyer website), then look no further – Hostinger is your answer. The $0.80/mo Single Plan is the cheapest (but reliable) business hosting solution you can ever get.
Bear in mind, however, that you get what you pay for – some useful features, such as auto backup, unlimited cron job, and free SSL, 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.
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 €4.95 per month, AltusHost offers an affordable and highly scalable solution for businesses who are looking for premium hosting based outside of the United States.
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
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 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 their server usage 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.
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 hosting plans (no increase at renewals)
Free website migration – good for busy business owners
Tip: 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 ($4/mo if you subscribe 3 years), you'll get all essential business hosting features plus automatic virus scanner, machine learning firewall, in-house caching, and guaranteed email delivery.
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 are supported by Google Cloud infrastructure. Their business-friendly shared 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.
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)
Tip: 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.
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 a website 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
Shopify Basic is a good starting for most small-to-medium businesses.
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.
Critical Features for Small Business Website Hosting
Let's get to know some of the must-have features in a good business hosting.
1. 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. However, because of the importance for business reputation, pricing may have to take a back seat to other factors when it comes to web hosting.
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.
Downtime can have a more significant impact than you think.
Aside from the frustration you may face from users who are unable to access a site which is down, you will also have to factor in other things like potential loss of revenue, brand reputation damage and even possibly a drop in search engine rankings.
Your business will grow, so your web host must be able to cope 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.
Businesses that start off (especially small businesses) seldom need to pay for expensive top-of-the-line hosting right off the bat. It would be far more prudent to move from plan to plan progressively as your needs evolve.
4. SSL Certificate
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.
5. 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.
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!
6. 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 hose on. However, there are hosts that can help make your life much easier in your quest to build a website.
Most small businesses won’t have dedicated IT staff and having to outsource web design can get expensive. Today, many web hosts are including website builders into their packages so customers can build basic sites more easily.
7. eCommerce Viability
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.
Which Hosting Service Is Right? Understanding 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 fulfilling the needs of your website.
Case Study #1: Hosting Solution for Static Business Website
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 cost as little as a few dollars a month to maintain.
Case Study #2: Hosting Solution for Blog + Business Website
Julie Cortana started an organic superfood dog treat online store to offer users a chance a giving their pets a special something. Selling her treats online required that she be able to list and make sales through her site.
To do this she turned to Wix. The sitebuilder allowed her to build Bone Zappetit with little technical skill while the App Market helped power the blog and other eCommerce features she needed to market her site.
The cost involved in starting something like Bone Zappetit could range from as low as $12.50 per month and scale up as the business grows.
Case Study #3: Hosting Solution for Complex / High Volume Business Website
Covering many aspects of web hosting and related industries, BitCatcha is a good example of a small business with a high traffic volume website. In order to meet resource demands it is hosting with SiteGround, one of the best in the business.
SiteGround offers a good spread of hosting plans ranging from shared all the way to powerful and scalable Cloud hosting options. It is a good example of a web host which offers solid features and performance to those who rely on them for their livelihood.
Case Study #4: Hosting Solution for 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.
By this point you probably already know that there is a vast range of web hosting that you can buy into for your business site. Knowing that and your own business are two of the key factors to getting your first site up.
At the beginning we all start small and for web hosting that’s in the budget shared web hosting space. Typically, prices here range between $1 to $10 or more per month, depending on what you get with the package. Normally, WordPress shared hosting follows this pricing scheme closely, although managed WordPress hosting will cost more.
Once you pass the shared hosting stage then the next logical progression will be VPS hosting. VPS hosting offers more power and security than shared hosting plans but will cost more as well. This can be daunting as the technical skills required are usually higher than for shared hosting. Opting for managed VPS hosting can be expensive and range from between $20 to $100 per month.
Remember that these are just rough guidelines, and choosing the best match for your business goes far beyond price alone.
Founder of WebHostingSecretRevealed.net (WHSR) - a hosting review trusted and used by 100,000's users. More than 15 years experience in web hosting, affiliate marketing, and SEO. Contributor to ProBlogger.net, Business.com, SocialMediaToday.com, and more.