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Best web hosting services for small businesses

We no longer live in a time where a business can thrive without a good hosting plan.
Survive? Sure. But every business - however small - will struggle to reach their full potential without a reliable web host behind it. Let alone a hosting plan which offers an adequate number of email addresses, automated backups or room for growth.
More often than not small business owners will Google something similar to how to build a website and trust the first recognisable name on the list.
Its not a terrible idea in theory - many web hosts have built their reputations on ease of use and affordability - but there is no one-stop shop for any digital product and no single hosting plan will suit everyones needs. Especially the varying and important needs of a business.

What is web hosting?


Its best to think of web hosting as the control centre for your business. Generally your website, email and general digital footprint are all run through your web host.
In its simplest explanation, it is your dot-com space (though your actual dot-com/co/etc - also known as your domain name - is typically purchased for an additional fee through your web host).

What web hosting package is best for a small business?


The right hosting package is as subjective as the right CEO. Each business will have different requirements and it is most important to be mindful of your business unique needs when shopping for a new plan. A one-woman vintage clothes reseller, for example, would need a drastically different package to a PR agency whose website will act as a shopfront to hundreds - if not thousands - of emails each day. A 100MB five-account email add-on simply wouldnt be sustainable for the latter, no matter how much space the basic hosting plan provided, and vice versa. The devil is in the details.

Do I need an SSL certificate?


Yes. The core function of an SSL certificate is to protect data - both that of yourself and your customer. While this is obviously imperative for any transactional business website, websites without an online shop will also benefit.
In addition to data encryption, SSL offers third-party verification to mark your website as that of a legitimate business. Without it, respected search engines like Google wont let their users discover your (in their eyes, untrustworthy) website organically.
Thankfully, many hosts now offer a basic SSL certificate from the Internet Security Research Group's Let's Encrypt project.

Does my business need a VPS?


A Virtual Private Server (or VPS) offers increased control and reliability in comparison to shared hosting (generally the most popular hosting package).
As the name would suggest, VPS gives you a private part of a dedicated server which allows your website (and all associated e-projects) to not only run faster but more securely.
While shared hosting can cause your business hassle (especially if sites hosted on the same server experience high traffic) and dedicated hosting can be too expensive for a small business, VPS hosting offers the best of both worlds.
1. A2 Hosting
Web hosting starts at ?2.98 per month
Best web hosting services for small businesses

There is a laundry list of things to love about A2 Hosting. Thecompany provides some of the fastest shared hosting around alongsideaseemingly endless list of free extras.
With an 'Anytime' money back guarantee, most of their competitively-prices hosting plans includeunlimited websites/databases/storage/transfers, free site transfer from existing hosts, their cPanel Control Panel, free SSL & SSD and more.
On top of this, they help you set uppopular content management systems like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, OpenCart, and Magento with easy1-click installation.
Of course, A2's speed is their main draw. Customers may notnotice when websites load quickly but they certainly notice when they dont and research suggests even a three-second delay could cut traffic by over 50%.
VPS hosting plans also start as little as ?3.78 per month, providing developer-equipped businesses with the speed andsecurity they need for next to nothing.
As an added extraA2's servers are also carbon neutral (they purchase carbon offsets for them), meaning the money you spend on hosting is also moneyfunding projects that reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.
Shop A2 Hosting
2. Squarespace
Web hosting starts at ?10per month
Best web hosting services for small businesses

Building a website from scratch can be extremely intimidating. Especially for business owners with little to no HTML or content management system experience. Luckily, Squarespace offera drag-and-droppers dream solution.
Their template-touting business is built on the idea that everyone, at every skill level, should be able to create a professional-looking website. Even if they're launching an online store from scratch And they do sofar better than the rest.
In addition to slick and customisable layouts, their 'Business' package offersunlimited bandwith and storage, a free domain name, SSL security, fully integrated e-commerce, useful extras like promotional pop-ups, and more.
Though it costs a little more than 'normal' plans, the all-in-one platform allows users to do anything they could dream of - sell products, send marketing emails, design food and drink menus, print labels, etc - without leaving the control panel. It is a godsend for people without web-building experience and you can try before you buy with theirfree trial.
Shop Squarespace
3. 1&1 Ionos
Web hosting starts at ?1 per month
Best web hosting services for small businesses

Late last year 1&1 Internet renamed its hosting business 1&1 Ionos to mark their acquisition andintegration of German cloud infrastructure provider Profitbricks.
What does that mean for small business providers, you ask? A lot.1&1 Ionos web hosting is fast, scalable, secure and comes with a personal consultant to offer tailored advice and technical support.
Though web hosting package prices increase after the first year, all include a free domain, Wildcard SSL Certificate, 24/7 support, and the ability to easily upgrade your plan's "performance level" at any time to meet the needs of a growing business.
Their free one-click CMS and app installations include Wordpress, TYPO3, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, PrestaShop, and KOKEN but Managed Wordpress hosting plans are available for those looking for plugin recommendations,automatic security updates and improved support.
Shop 1&1 Ionos

4.HostPresto


Web hosting starts at ?3.50 per month
Best web hosting services for small businesses

In my opinion, good customer service is relative to the things that drive you to need customer service in the firstplace. ThankfullyHostPresto's support is second-to-none and geared towards makingbuilding, updatingand expandingas easy as possible - notsimply problem solving.
Withan SLA-backed 99.9% uptime guarantee and four month-retained one-click backups, there just aren't problems to solve.
The UK-based hosting providers also includeunlimited FTP accounts, PHP version 5-7, unlimited email addresses,varied MySQL databases, phpMyAdmin, free migration (for those who have been burned by another host), Attracta SEO tools andCloudflare CDN.
Specific WordPress, Magento, Joomla!, PrestaShop, PHPand Django hosting plans are also available for those who want to run their business' website through one application but don't know where to start.
Shop HostPresto

5. LiquidWeb


Web hosting starts at ?29 per month
Best web hosting services for small businesses

Looking to find the best web host for your app? LiquidWeb might be the answer.
Rather than splitting their fully-managed servicesinto shared, VPS and dedicated hosting, LiquidWeb split theirsby their primary functions - apps, e-commerce stores and otherwise.
From early-stage startups to corporation-minded SMEs, there is a hosting plan that will take the need for an I.T. department off the table. Instead of a single SysAdmin,hundreds to theirs become an extension of your team.
Some of their most affordable hosting plans, like theirManaged WooCommerce plan,also offers far more than their competitors. In comparison,LiquidWeb's WooCommerce plan offersunlimited staff accounts, no transaction fees, reporting, free upsells, free exit offers, free packing slips and more - all of which are add-on monthly services from Shopify.
With a 100% uptime and 59-second supportguarantee, it doesn't get much better.
Shop LiquidWeb

6. GoDaddy


Web hosting starts at ?2.99 per month
Best web hosting services for small businesses

GoDaddy needs little introduction.The hosting provider and domain registrar is, globally, the most popular of the pack.
With good reason, as well; their wildly competitive hosting plans boast good uptime, speed, security, anda lot of intuitive functionality for first-time site builders to make the process easier.
They even have a connected web designer platform to connect you to talented site creators without so much as leaving the site. Their 'Business Web Hosting'packages - which starts at ?14.99 a month - also offers thebeloved and intuitive cPanel from their shared hosting plans with the added benefit of a dedicated space on your server. Andwith dedicated space comes dedicated (andperformance-boosting)resources,unaffected by other sites on your server.
Shop GoDaddy

7. Bluehost


Web hosting starts at ?2.22 per month
Best web hosting services for small businesses

Bluehost have long been touted as the best of Wordpress hosts but, as you have seen, they are not the only solution on the market.
For customers who are new to WordPress, however, Bluehost provides a free 30-day launch support staffed with WordPress experts around the clock. And you don't get that just anywhere.
The team helps customers getfamiliar with both the Bluehost and WordPress dashboard before helping them select the correct theme and plugins for their business' specific needs and aspirations. As recommended by WordPress.org since 2005. Bluehost take this endeavor so seriouly they even employed a team of Core developers to directlycontributeback to the WordPress source code (improving the platform for all users, not just their customers).
Bluehosts parent company also owns HostGator - a very popular web host - but far outranktheir levels of service and customer satisfaction.
Shop Bluehost

8. Wix


Web hosting starts at ?6 per month
Best web hosting services for small businesses

Wix is another web pundit who built popularity as a purveyorof personal websites. But they have plenty to back up their business customers, as well.
The second you sign up (for free), you are asked tospecify the kind of websiteyou're looking to build as well as your level of web-building experience (from 'never done this before' to 'built sites professionally'). This, intuitively, leads you to a website builder that is right for your skill level and needs.
While its single-platform site builder won't be the right choice for everybusiness, it will be for those who might benefit from an integrated newsletter tool (though e-mail addresses are an additional cost), galleries (great for photographers and artists), and cutting-edge templates (customised to every industry imaginable - evenhotels andarchitecture firms). Its only real let down is its lack of blogging tools, making it the wrong choice for content-driven businesses.
While you can build a simplesite without Wix adsfor ?6a month, fully-fledged business plansstart at ?13 per month (preferable for accepting commission-free online payments and bookings-based businesses).
Shop Wix
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