The Best Hosting Providers for Small Businesses in 2021
Finding the best hosting provider for your small business is very important. Web hosting makes it possible for your website and it’s data to be viewable on the internet. Your web host determines (in part) the speed of your site, it’s performance and many other factors.
Choosing a hosting provider doesn’t have to be complicated though. I wouldn’t want you to feel lost in the world of web hosting, causing you to choose a poor hosting provider.
Small businesses are hard to set up and run as it is, that’s why you need a reliable web host. You’ll also be looking for a provider who provides great value for money as well as an SSL certificate. No one will shop with your small business if it isn’t secure online!
The average cost of IT downtime is $5,600 per minute. Because there are so many differences in how businesses operate, downtime, at the low end, can be as much as $140,000 per hour, $300,000 per hour on average, and as much as $540,000 per hour at the higher end.
The quote above, from Gartner, shows just how much your web hosting means to your business. Unplanned downtime can cost your business thousands. When you put that into perspective for a small business, the figures hit hard.
If you run or are starting a small business, we can definitely help you with choosing a hosting provider. I’m going to show you the 5 best web hosts for small businesses. I’ll cover their features, pros and cons, pricing, and customer support.
Best Web Hosting for Small Businesses
If you don’t have time to read our guide, I’ve put together a comparison table of my recommended web hosts.
When I review or create guides, everything I do is genuine. I sign up to each hosting provider to give you an accurate look at what each host offers. I monitor my website’s performance, speed, and speak to their customer service representatives for you.
Best Small Business Web Host: A Comparison
|Web Host||Storage||Bandwidth||Uptime||Free SSL||Pricing (Monthly)|
1. SiteGround (Best Small Business Host)
There’s no denying that SiteGround is my all-time favourite host. They balance awesome performance with reasonable pricing. They’re one of the few hosting providers that are actually recommended by WordPress.
SiteGround offer 1-click installs. They also provide a wealth of features that no other host offers. Their dedicated team have created their own WordPress plugins, and offer expert support 24/7. In my own tests, they outshone every other provider, offering a 100% overall uptime.
|Free Website Builder||✔||✔||✔|
|Free CMS Installer||✔||✔||✔|
|Free Email Accounts||✔||✔||✔|
|Multiple Data Centers||✔||✔||✔|
|SuperCacher||Level 1||All 3 Levels||All 3 Levels|
|Automated Daily Backups||✔||✔||✔|
|Free Site Transfer||✔||✔|
|Advanced Priority Support||✖||✖||✔|
SiteGround’s pricing is simple and affordable. They clearly display the differences between their 3 pricing plans. For a small business or startup, I’d recommend the StartUp or GrowBig plan. What’s great about SiteGround is that it’s really easy to upgrade your plan whenever you need the extra features.
I recently contacted SiteGround about my own website. They weren’t trying to sell me more, in fact, they advised I stayed on my current plan as I’d be wasting money otherwise.
If your small business website is starting to generate more traffic than 10,000 visitors per month, then I’d definitely upgrade to the GrowBig plan. If not, you might as well stay where you are!
There’s no denying that one of my favourite things about SiteGround is its features list. I absolutely LOVE the fact they’ve built their own apps and plugins that really work (I’ve tested them). Let’s take a look at some of the main features SiteGround offers:
SSD disk (for faster websites)
Free Let’s Encrypt SSL (ideal for business websites)
Managed WordPress (SiteGround will ensure your WordPress site is updated)
SuperCacher (in-house caching service)
Free SPAM Experts (integrated with cPanel)
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee (great for peace of mind)
SiteGround offer 24/7 support for ALL of their hosting customers. Regardless of whether you’re on their StartUp Plan or GoGeek Plan, you’ll always have support available.
When you log in and go through their support channels, SiteGround will recommend the best support channel to contact. I’ve always spoke to SiteGround via live chat and have always had a good experience.
It’s really easy to get immediate assistance from SiteGround. Simply type what you’re looking for in the support section and their tool will recommend knowledgebase articles for you. If nothing answers your question, you can submit a support ticket, call SiteGround, or start a live chat.
Uptime and Performance
SiteGround guarantees a 99.9% uptime. Although this may not seem as generous as 99.99% which some hosts do offer, SiteGround has never let me down. If someone asks me which web host to choose in terms of performance, SiteGround is always my winner.
Just look at those results. They’re indisputable. 100% uptime across the board on my website with SiteGround. And things don’t stop there. My response time with SiteGround (admittedly not the best), isn’t too shabby either. It’s still under 1 second, meaning it’s better than average!
Pros and Cons
Great speed and performance
Excellent customer support
Plenty of free features
Perfect for small businesses
Scalable pricing plans
Limited storage space compared to other hosts
BlueHost is owned by Endurance International Group (EIG). For small business owners, they are an absolute dream to host with. BlueHost is one of the easiest web hosts I’ve come across. The 1-click installation is very user-friendly, and everything is managed through cPanel.
BlueHost have customised their cPanel slightly. Although it’s a bit different, it still functions and works just as well as the standard cPanel. In fact, they’ve probably made a few improvements if I’m being honest. There’s a beautiful balance offering beginners and advanced users enough control, whilst keeping everything simple.
|Office 365 Trial||✖||✔||✔||✔|
BlueHost is an incredibly reasonably priced web host. There’s a lot on offer for the money you pay. Considering the price is around the same as a cup of coffee, you’re getting yourself a real bargain here.
Because the Plus and Choice Plus are currently the same price at only £4.48 per month, my recommendation would be the Choice Plus plan. You’ll get everything that the Pro plan has (apart from the dedicated IP) at a fraction of the cost. Unlimited bandwidth and storage will definitely be a great addition to your small business web hosting.
BlueHost does include some useful features for free. Whilst they’re no match for SiteGround, they’re still pretty good. Let’s have a look at what’s on offer:
Scalability (easy to upgrade when you need more resources)
Marketing credits (great for small businesses)
Free SSL (ideal if you’re selling online)
Resource protection (mitigates excessive resource usage risk)
BlueHost is contactable 24/7. You can telephone them within the U.S. or internationally, as well as through live chat. My personal preference is live chat because it’s so easy, quick and convenient.
When joining the live chat (which is always an option on their website), you won’t be waiting long for an answer. I’ve tested their live chat service across multiple peak times and I’ve never had to wait more than 2 minutes.
I’ve always found BlueHost very friendly. Their agents get straight to the point and help with exactly what you’ve asked for. They may not go above and beyond like SiteGround, but they certainly get the job done.
Uptime and Performance
When I signed up with BlueHost, I started monitoring my website’s performance. BlueHost don’t offer any guarantees when it comes to uptime so I was initially quite skeptical. However, they certainly produced the goods.
- 24 hours: 100% uptime
- 7 days: 100% uptime
- 30 days: 100% uptime
My response time with BlueHost was outstanding. 517.84ms equates to just over half a second. That’s really incredible! Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised by them as a host. This is why I recommend them for small businesses that care about performance.
Pros and Cons
Awesome speed and performance results
Free SSL with every plan
Reputable and reliable cPanel with 1-click installs
Unmetered bandwidth across the board
Slightly lacking in features compared to SiteGround
You’ve probably heard of GoDaddy before. They’ve spent a lot of money on advertising, but they can afford to do so, so why not! GoDaddy aren’t just the King of domains though. They offer an all-in-one service which can be very appealing to small businesses.
You can buy a domain, host your website, and build your website with GoDaddy. Their website builder has designs and templates for all kinds of businesses. On top of all that, you’ll also get free backups, domains, and an SSL certificate.
|Free Office 365||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Maximum Site Traffic||Standard||Standard||Standard||2x|
GoDaddy’s pricing isn’t as competitive as other web hosts. However, it’s still very affordable and worth mentioning. For small businesses, I’d recommend the Ultimate plan. This is because it includes a free SSL certificate. Without an SSL, customers will not have the confidence to safely and securely purchase from you.
Unless your website is receiving a lot of traffic, I probably wouldn’t upgrade to the Maximum plan. Yes, there’s more processing power which will mean faster speeds, but the difference between Ultimate and Maximum shouldn’t be that much that you’d need to pay the extra for.
GoDaddy includes a few free features with all of their plans. Again, there isn’t a whole lot on offer, but remember, they do have a website builder which is fab.
1-click installs (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.)
1-click upgrade purchases (extra RAM, CPU, etc.)
24/7 monitoring (including DDoS Protection)
cPanel (everyone’s favourite control panel which is easy to use)
GoDaddy offers quite a lot in terms of customer support. They have a whole community forum that allows other customers to discuss issues and help one another out.
They also have a blog which includes some interesting articles to read.
On top of this, there’s an entire how-to section which includes videos and guides. For example, if you want to know how to build a website, there’s a video course you can take. I think that’s pretty neat, to be honest.
Finally, there’s a help and support section. This includes live chat and 24/7 support as and when you need it.
Uptime and Performance
GoDaddy promises a 99.9% uptime guarantee on their shared hosting plans. Like I did with the other web hosts, I signed up to GoDaddy and started monitoring my test website with them. GoDaddy also offers an uptime monitor themselves which is handy to record your own website’s performance.
My overall uptime with GoDaddy was 99.97%. It’s not as good as the likes of SiteGround, but I can hardly grumble. It also exceeds their own SLAs which is pretty good in my book. The average response time on my website was 516ms which is incredibly good. I’d say GoDaddy’s performance is above average and would definitely work for a small business.
Pros and Cons
All-in-one solution including website builder
Better than average performance (great response times)
Generous storage and bandwidth
Not as competitively priced as other hosts
HostGator has made a big presence in the web hosting world for many years now. They are well-known and offer competitively priced shared web hosting for small businesses. They also have great plans for WordPress users which bypass their slightly outdated control panel.
HostGator offers a generous 99.9% uptime guarantee, meaning your website should only experience up to 1-hour downtime across the year. If they can’t meet their own SLAs, they’ll refund you up to one month’s billing which is very nice of them.
HostGator’s pricing is very competitive. In fact, it’s one of the lowest in our list of web hosting for small businesses. However, their advertised pricing is based on a 36-month term. This does catch quite a few people out and it’s a bit sneaky that they do this.
If you’re happy to sign up to HostGator for that length of time, then you’ll be laughing given the low cost. On the other hand, they don’t offer as many great free features as other web hosts do, in my opinion.
HostGator offers some pretty standard features. These are great for small businesses, but I don’t feel like they’ve gone above and beyond like others have. Perhaps that’s why their prices are so low comparatively:
Free SSLs (included with ALL plans, great for small businesses)
Free domain included (saves money and effort in having to obtain one)
Free migrations (if you transfer from another host, HostGator will move your website for free)
Unmetered storage (there’s unlimited storage on offer across the board)
HostGator is another web host offering 24/7/365 support. This includes a ticket system, toll-free number and live chat service.
Their knowledgebase is packed full of useful articles. If you can’t find what you’re looking for straight away, simply use the helpful search function at the top to find related articles.
HostGator’s live chat took seconds to open and respond to me. Their knowledge was great and they answered all of my questions. The agents have always been polite and helpful, so it’s 10/10 for customer support in my eyes.
Uptime and Performance
HostGator’s uptime guarantee is 99.9%. This seems to be the industry standard, though a few hosts do offer 99.99% which is always nice.
HostGator satisfied their SLA. Across the last 30 days, my website had 99.99% uptime. This is great news for small businesses. However, I was a little disappointed by their response times. On average, I was getting just over 1200ms. Whilst that’s only just over 1 second, it’s below the industry expected average.
Pros and Cons
Great uptime results and SLA
Free SSL certificate on all plans
Unmetered storage and bandwidth
Feels a little average on the whole
If you’re looking for cheap small business web hosting, you won’t find a host much cheaper than iPage. From just £1.50 per month, you’ll get shared hosting that’s suitable to run a small business website with.
iPage is owned by EIG who also own HostGator and BlueHost. They have two data centers and host over 1 million websites worldwide. They may not be the king of web hosting, but they’re certainly a competitor.
|Reporting and Analytics||✔|
|30-day money-back guarantee||✔|
In terms of pricing, iPage offers one pricing plan. It’s £1.50 per month including a FREE domain name registration for 1 year. Included in their plan, you’ll get a free website builder, online store, as well as analytics and 24/7 support.
iPage is hard to beat when it comes to value for money. They offer some pretty neat features at half the cost it would be to buy a sandwich for lunch.
iPage has a lot of features on offer. Most of them are included for free, which some other web hosts don’t even offer. Although iPage are a very cheap web host, don’t be put off by this as their features may win you over:
Free SSL and domain for every customer
Mobile optimised website builder
Customisable email account with your domain
Online store including PayPal, OpenCart, PrestaShop and more
30-day money-back guarantee
When I first saw iPage’s pricing, I wondered if their customer support would be any good. There’s actually plenty of ways to contact them, including telephone, live chat, and a knowledgebase. What’s more, you can share your screen with their support agents if you’re struggling to explain the issue.
When testing their live support, I was really surprised by how quick it was to connect with someone. I opened the chat window and in less than 1 second I was connected to an agent.
The agent was helpful, responsive and gave me the answers I was looking for. Unfortunately, I did learn that there were no backup options included in their pricing plan, as these have to be bought as an added extra.
Uptime and Performance
iPage doesn’t offer any kind of uptime guarantee. This is a bit frustrating and I can understand why some customers would be wary about signing up to them. That’s why I signed up to their hosting plan to give you an idea of what uptime you might receive.
Over the course of 30 days, my test website with iPage had no downtime at all! That’s zero outages and 100% uptime! This is a great result and another reason why I recommend them for small business web hosting.
Pros and Cons
Incredible uptime (100% in my own tests)
Cheap pricing (just £1.50 per month)
Great features including a free domain and free SSL
Lacking in features like website backups