web hosting

What is the Best Web Hosting Service for a Small Business?

Recent research has shown that online sales and marketing are at an all time high. A rising number of customers prefer to get information on their desired products before purchase and the easiest source are mobile devices. Businesses that don’t move at least part of their marketing efforts online are expected to lag behind in popularity and sales in the next few years.

Any business, new or old, that wishes to increase its brand awareness and attract more customers, should think about creating an online presence, whether that is in the form of an e-shop, a website or a business e-mail. Since these services need to be of a professional level, good hosting is paramount to the success of this endeavor. The only viable choice is to choose one of the best Web hosts for small businesses out there.

Small Business Web Hosting Overview

Before choosing a Web host, one should be aware of all the actual needs and benefits the business has and gains from hosting. The first question to ask is: Why does a business need a Web host? These are the top benefits one expects to gain from purchasing Web hosting as a business:

24/7 online presence. The best Web hosts for small businesses keep their servers running at all hours, which means that your customers can browse your information no matter when they want to or where they live. This is achieved with the use of large ‘server’ computers.

It is cheaper. In the long run owning your own server for your small business can be quite expensive. Web hosts take all the responsibility of keeping their servers protected and up to date. Doing that as a small business costs way more than renting a chunk of a Web host server.

It is easy. One does not need to be tech savvy to be able to get Web hosting. It only takes a credit card and a purchase.

You can upgrade. Starting small is always a prudent option for a business that hasn’t had an online presence yet. Most Web hosts have small packages that are quite cheap for beginners and those who have only just started. The business can always upgrade their hosting as soon as it is needed.

It is safe. If you choose from among the best Web hosts for a small business, you know that they have top notch security on their servers and always keep their programs updated. Security and updates are a hassle to manage as a small business, so a Web host can do all that for you.

It is pretty obvious that the main gain of choosing a mainstream Web host as a small business is in time and money. You spend less time working on your online marketing campaign and gain more money from the added exposure of your business.

The next question you, as a small business owner, should ask yourself is:

What Do I Need From a Web host?

Web hosts offer you space on their servers and often give you plenty of professional programs to handle that space as well. What you need to determine first is how much space you actually want. Not all websites are alike. The more pictures you wish to add the larger the space the website needs. Videos and flashy interactive interfaces can be even more demanding. The safest way to determine the server space you wish to rent is to get a professional website designer to tell you how big a site he is going to make for your business.

Using a professional Web designer is important when creating websites for small businesses to ensure the result is professional, up to date marketing-wise and visually pleasing for the customer. Your Web designer can tell you exactly how much space your ideal website needs and you can then purchase a package from a Web host that covers your needs.

The same goes when you wish to create an online store or have an online e-mail for your business. Having a professional set it up for you will give you the exact information you need to purchase the correct Web hosting package.

You need to decide what kind of website and/or e-mail service suits your business best. Giving your customers the necessary information to contact your business online increases its appeal. Having a professional e-mail hosted is always a good idea because of that reason.

Next you have to decide what percentage of your website will be dedicated to pure marketing. Websites that are purely dedicated to marketing contain long sales copy and plenty of enticing pictures. Blog-like websites offer the public entertaining information, while also advertising your products indirectly. Both have their pros and cons and need a different design approach.

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After collecting all the information on the type of website and/or e-mail service you wish to get hosted, it is time to look at the actual services and bonuses various hosting companies will offer you. Choosing the best Web host for a small business becomes easier once the key quality parameters of Web hosting are known.

So What Makes a Good Web Host for a Small Business?

Choosing the ideal Web host among the many prominent names that currently exist is not an easy feat even for experienced users. Each case is different and hosting companies diversify their packages to suit different kinds of customers.

As soon as you know exactly what you want to get hosted, it comes down to finding the hosting company that will suit your needs best.

When browsing the Web hosts, make sure to check for:

Price. If you are on a budget, it is worth looking into special offers at various Web hosting companies. First time users often get the first couple of years cheaper than the average user at some companies. Just be careful, because the value you get might not be worth it always.

Uptime. Servers do rarely restart or shut down for a small while, usually so that updates and repairs can be made. Web hosts who keep their servers online the most will often proudly announce that fact. The longer your website is online, the more reliable exposure your small business will get. You certainly want to see a number of at least 99% when it comes to uptime.

Bandwidth. In hosting, bandwidth generally refers to the amount of data that can be transferred to and from your hosting account in a given month. Usually there is incoming and outgoing bandwidth and depending on the host you go with either one or both can be limited. Hosts that offer unlimited bandwidth usually have a “catch” and do not offer true unlimited bandwidth. If you start using more than what is considered “reasonable” they may ask you to upgrade. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go with a host that claims to offer unlimited bandwidth but it’s just something to keep in mind.

Size. Always compare the price to the server space size you are buying. It is best to start at the smallest size that will fit your current website idea. Web hosts will be more than obliging if you later decide to increase the server space size you are currently renting.

Free Programs. To make use of the server space you buy you will need professional programs to create websites. Many hosts will offer these programs for free. Unless your Web designer had you covered, it is worth looking into the free programs your Web host offers.

Customer Support. Never choose a Web host unless you are certain that they have excellent customer support. Business websites need to be repaired quickly, so you want fast answers and steady support. You won’t want to be waiting a week before you know how to fix your website. To see which Web hosts have the best support it is best to read customer reviews.

Value for Money. A great Web host has most of the above features and has plenty of satisfied customers to prove it. The prices might seem higher at good hosting companies than those of shadier Web hosts, but you will certainly get more value for your money if you choose quality over cheapness. One has to be careful not to overdo it also. A small business does not need the most amazing hosting package. Calculate the exact needs of your business and buy a high quality package that doesn’t overcompensate.

Thankfully, Web hosting isn’t such a new business anymore. The best Web hosts have long been reigning strong in the market and offered decent services to hundreds of thousands. Unless your business has a very particular need, most well-known, established Web hosts will serve you well.

Choosing one of the top hosting companies takes away the worry of buying low quality services, but it still leaves one with the question: Which one of the best is the best for my business?

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To determine that, we have created a list with 7 Web hosts for small businesses. These web hosts have been chosen on popularity and how high they score when it comes to the quality of their services. Each entry contains the most vital information about each company and why it might be the right pick for you.

Here Are 7 Small Business Web Hosting Recommendations:

1. LiquidWeb

LiquidWeb (this is where we host our website, The IT Bros) is a very popular Web Host choice for small business owners. They are not the cheapest choice, but they certainly offer extremely high quality for every penny they receive.

The hosting features they provide include:

  • Adjustable Size. From 1GB to a whole server, LiquidWeb allows you to choose exactly how much space you wish to rent. They let you upgrade at any time.
  • Full Management. LiquidWeb offers to completely manage your rented space for you, taking away the tedious responsibility of updating and repairing your site on your own.
  • Heroic Support. They offer some of the highest quality customer support you can find online. It’s very easy to reach them via e-mail or phone, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year round.
  • 100% Uptime. LiquidWeb boasts about their perfect uptime records, keeping your site working constantly without any downtime.

With LiquidWeb you get exactly what you are paying for: Some of the best and most reliable hosting you can possibly find online. This is not the cheapest, so it is not ideal for businesses on a very tight budget. LiquidWeb is perfect for the business that seeks to lose the least time, while getting the most out of their online marketing campaign.

Visit: http://www.liquidweb.com

2. HostGator

When choosing Hostgator you know you have picked one of the best Web hosts for a small business you can possibly find. What’s probably most notable about Hostgator is that this company offers many budget choices for those who don’t wish to spend too much on hosting.

The hosting features they provide include:

  • Amazing Prices. Hostgator offers newcomers very cheap packages for the first month or year. This way you know if your website is worth the money when you get to the point to pay full price, making online marketing a safer investment.
  • Good Support. Customer support is available 24/7 all year around. If something goes wrong, or you need help, you won’t have to wait long to get it.
  • 99% Uptime. With Hostgator you can rest assured that your website will be available constantly to the public.
  • Free website Building Tools. Hostgator offers website building programs and 4,500 free website templates to every customer.

Hostgator is an excellent choice for a small business that only just started online marketing and wants to make a safer investment. Hosting is very cheap for a trial period and can be upgraded at any given time.

Visit: http://www.hostgator.com

3. GoDaddy

GoDaddy has become the go-to place when it comes to buying domain names, but they also offer good quality hosting. They are the biggest hosting company currently on the market and their large customer base alone speaks of the quality of their services. The popularity of GoDaddy alone is a very good reason to consider buying your hosting from here.

The hosting features they provide include:

  • Unlimited Bandwidth. No need to worry about how much data gets transferred to and from your hosting account every month.
  • Free domain names. A nice little feature, GoDaddy offers you a number of domain names for your site for free if you buy hosting.
  • Good Prices. At a monthly cost starting at around £49 per month, GoDaddy is an affordable choice for a small business.
  • 99 % Uptime. With GoDaddy your site will be constantly online.

Their customer support is great and their services leave little to be desired. More expensive packages also offer higher security and extra features. GoDaddy is the best Web host for small business owners who wish to go with the most popular choice.

Visit: https://www.godaddy.com

4. iPage

iPage is an amazing Web host company that focuses mainly on the needs of small businesses. They offer excellent uptime and easy to use tools for website creation. Most of their templates are excellent for marketing purposes and their customer support is top notch. Their prices are affordable and iPage also offers newcomers discounts for a trial period.

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The Hosting features they provide include:

  • Unlimited Bandwidth. Your site can be seen an unlimited number of people at the same time without a problem.
  • Great Prices. iPage is affordable and offers trial discounts for the first month of use.
  • Perfect Uptime. Your site will be online all year round, at all hours of the day.
  • Great Array of Free Templates and Programs. iPage offers plenty of easy-to-use tools to create your own website with. The templates all look professional and help a business set up a visually pleasing marketing site very quickly.

iPage is a great hosting company that pretty much offers the full package when it comes to affordability, reliability and security. Their servers are constantly monitored and protected from any harm, so you know that your website will be safe on the servers of iPage.

Visit: http://www.ipage.com

5. Bluehost

Bluehost has dedicated their hosting services to keeping business websites online and in tip-top condition. They work with both small and large businesses, focusing on helping their customers create an authoritative online presense. Bluehost offer plenty of unlimited features to their customers at a very reasonable per month price.

The hosting features they provide include:

  • Unlimited features. With unlimited bandwidth, mySQL databases, e-mails and websites with their most popular package.
  • Reasonable Price. Their popular package isn’t the cheapest on the market, but the price is very reasonable when considering the many extra features they offer.
  • Constant Uptime. No downtime at all for your website means that you will get the most profit out of your online marketing campaign possible.
  • Great customer support. A group of experts is constantly available to advise and help whenever it is needed, 24/7.

Bluehost offers the complete package to a small business that wishes to create steady brand awareness and look perfectly professional while doing it. They have a budget package for businesses that wish to spend less, but it is certainly their popular ‘plus’ package that makes this hosting company so appealing to small business owners worldwide.

Visit: http://www.bluehost.com

6. Green Geeks

What makes Green Geeks so amazing is that their whole business operates on green energy alone. If you are seriously concerned about the environment, then Green Geeks can offer you excellent hosting, all powered by wind energy. Aside from being a very good choice for the environment, using Green Geeks for an online website increases a small business’ appeal to the eco-friendly audience.

The hosting features they provide include:

  • Energy Efficient Servers. You know that this company cares a lot about where the energy the servers use comes from. Ideal hosting choice for eco-friendly businesses and those businesses that market organic products.
  • Great Customer support. Green Geeks offer 24/7 support all year round, never leaving you without help or assistance.
  • Excellent Uptime. Your website is guaranteed to be up and working almost constantly.
  • Free Programs. You get a free website builder and starter site. Creating your dream site with Green Geeks is quite easy.

Even though the main selling point of Green Geeks is their eco-friendly approach to the business, they also offer pretty much the same high standard of services like some of the best Web hosts out there.

Visit: http://greengeeks.com

7. HostPapa

HostPapa calls itself ‘America’s #1 Small Business Web host’ for a reason. Their prices are just right and the services they offer cover just about every need a small business will have. Their prices are good, considering the excellent support and features you get for your money.

The hosting features they provide include:

  • 99% Uptime Guarantee. Your site will be constantly online and available to the wider public.
  • 24/7 Customer Support. Their multilingual, 24/7 support has made HostPapa quite popular among businessmen. You know that the moment you have a question or a problem, there will be someone there to offer solutions.
  • Unlimited Features. You get unlimited websites, domains and e-mails which you can have.
  • Automated Backups. With this feature you know that even if something goes horribly wrong somehow, your site will always be safely logged in a backup file.
  • Free Programs. A free website builder will help you create a site easily if need be.

HostPapa is certainly to be counted among the best Web hosts for a small business. From a fairly cheap price to excellent support, HostPapa ensures that their customers are kept happy, which is their popularity continues to rise.

Visit: http://www.hostpapa.com

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