When you are starting a small business for the first time, the biggest challenge you will face is getting the business up and running.Getting a domain name is not expensive, you can get a domain name for as low as $10. However, if you want to get a right brandable domain name, it may cost you thousands of dollars.
In the same way, you will need to get web hosting for your small business to get the website up and running. You may try free website hosting platforms but it is not recommended to use a free web hosting provider since you will not have 100% control of everything. Eventually, you will need to move to your own web hosting plan so it is better you choose a professional web hosting company from day one. This will avoid lots of migration troubles at a later stage and your business will grow in the right environment from day one.
Now, when you are just starting a small business, which hosting provider you should choose? Which hosting plan you should use when starting a small business for the first time? We understand you have budget issues and you want a budget hosting to start a small business.
Which Hosting Plan is Right For Small Businesses – Shared Hosting, VPS or Dedicated Hosting?
We only recommend using Shared hosting plan when starting a small business. We absolutely do not recommend a VPS hosting plan or a dedicated hosting plan for small business owners because of the simple reason that they don’t need those advanced packages right now. VPS and Dedicated hosting requires some knowledge of how a web hosting server works so if you do not have that knowledge in your kitty, it is better to start with a Shared hosting plan and upgrade as you grow your website.
You will anyway need the VPS hosting and the dedicated hosting plan only when your website has lots of traffic every single day. So in the early days, stick to shared hosting plan and do not fall for VPS or dedicated hosting. They are both expensive and requires good learning curve which you absolutely don’t need in the early days.
In this article, we will explore some of the best web hosting providers which are affordable withing a budget and let’s you start your small business without spending too much money. We will only consider shared hosting plans for different web hosting companies.
Bluehost – Affordable Web hosting Company for Small Businesses
Bluehost is our number one recommendation for anyone who is starting a small business.
The reason we love Bluehost is because it is simple to use, user friendly and let’s you host your website without spending too much money. In fact, it is the most cheapest web hosting company which has been providing excellent service since the last 10 years. We use Bluehost for all our websites and have never gotten into trouble using their service. Their servers are fast, their support teams are always there to help you out and their backend panel is so easy to use that a beginner can quickly host a website within an hour of getting their hosting credentials.
There are three plans which Bluehost offers.
First is the shared hosting plan which let’s you host 1 website, provides 50GB of hard disk space. You can add 25 sub domains to your account and enjoy standard performance. The bluehost shared hosting plan starts at $3.95 per month when billed annually. So your total cost for a year should be around $47. This is the plan we recommend any small business owner when they are just starting out with their websites.
Here are the pricing plans for Bluehost shared hosting
If you are just starting out, our recommendation is to use the Bluehost Shared hosting plan and use the basic plan to get started. You don’t need any fancy features when you are just starting out, so stick to the basic plan and slowly upgrade your hosting plan to better plans as you need those features.
This is the cheapest web hosting plan you will ever find on the internet which is reliable, trustworthy and will go a long mile in ensuring that your business is in safe hands.
Hostgator – Good Web Hosting Company for Small Business owners
Our next choice for affordable web hosting plan goes to none other than Hostgator.com.
Hostgator is another good hosting company to bank upon and it is in the same lines of Bluehost. The pricing for shared hosting plans is not a major difference as they provide competitive pricing compared to Bluehost and the same features at the price.
However, there is a reason we recommend Bluehost over Hostgator.
The reason is customer support. We have observed issues with Hostgator customer support and would rate Bluehost customer support better than Hostgator since they are prompt and solve the issue with utmost care. Hostgator is good too but we have had bad experience using Hostgator for some time and do not recommend it if you are using the Shared hosting plan of Hostgator.
While that is our opinion, you are free to choose Hostgator for your small business if you feel that it is the right choice. Here are the pricing plans for Hostgator shared hosting
Hostgator offers a Hatchling plan at $3.95 when paid annually, so you will have to shell out $47 for a year of web hosting costs. That is the same with Bluehost as we have mentioned above. However, we have seen that Hostgator’s business plan provides a better experience compared to the Hatchling plan. It also comes with unlimited domains, so you can host more than one website without any additional cost.
The business plan also provides a little bit better speed compared to other plans so if speed is your priority, go for the Business plan for shared hosting.
Dreamhost – Good enough web hosting for small business owners
Dreamhost is another classic web hosting company which still is a very popular name in the web hosting industry. I remember, I started my first website with Dreamhost.com 10 years back. Dreamhost used to be a very popular web hosting company back then and there were not so many hosting companies available like we have now.
I would any day recommend Dreamhost’s dedicated web hosting to professional businesses. I have used Dreamhost’s dedicated hosting and had a fantastic experience using their services. Their support team was excellent in setting up different things on our server and they gave us personal attention and care.
The story of Shared hosting is a little different though and the customer service for shared hosting plans is not that great. Dreamhost shared hosting plans are also a little pricey compared to Bluehost and Hostgator – it is more than double the cost. Here is the pricing for Dreamhost’s shared hosting plans
Dreamhost shared hosting plan will cost you $11, if billed monthly. If you are billed annually, it would cost you $120. It is a little expensive but comes with free goodies such as a Free domain name, SSL certificate and unlimited storage and bandwidth.
If you are a small business, you will not need those goodies in the first place so it doesn’t add too much value to the price you are paying for. However, if you are concerned about upgrading your shared hosting plan to VPS and Dedicated hosting and want to stay with the same hosting company, we strongly suggest you opt for Dreamhost because their VPS and dedicated hosting service in unmatched in the industry.
WP Engine – Best WordPress Web Hosting for Small Businesses
Until now, we have spoken about three web hosting companies. The fourth one is a little different than them because they provide managed WordPress services better than their competitors. It’s none other than WP-Engine.
WP-Engine is not just a hosting provider, they are a managed wordpress hosting provider for small businesses. If your website or eCommerce store or blog requires customized WordPress solutions and you are looking for an affordable web hosting that is specialized in WordPress, look no further than WpEngine.
WP Engine is not cheap. The starter plan comes at $29 a month while the professional plan comes at $99 a month. However, they provide WordPress related services which no other hosting company can provide at that price. If you have a fairly complicated website in WordPress and you are looking for a best web hosting company that can manage all those complicated details, WP Engine should be your choice.
So that’s our list of best web hosting providers for small businesses. Bear in mind that there are literally thousands of web hosting companies out there and each one has it’s own advantage over others. However, we feel that Bluehost beats everyone when it comes to cost, service effectiveness, support and resolving technical issues at only $4 a month.
Which web hosting company have you chosen for your small business? What has been your experience? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.