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“Which web host is best for me?”
I like to keep a few things in mind when thinking about this. these include:
- Good Customer Support
A lot of smaller businesses don’t have IT departments, which means your web host’s customer service and their knowledge will essentially be your IT department. That’s why I keep it in mind when recommending web hosting services. All of my recommendations have top quality 24/7 support via chat, e-mail or by phone.
What really needs to be said here? I try to find a balance between affordability and quality.
The Service Plan
It’s Important that your plan requires enough bandwidth for your pages to load quickly and correctly to ensure your customers don’t bounce. A lot of plans offer you the ability to build multiple websites under the same domain, so keep this in mind if you need to make more than one site. Be sure to consider this, you don’t need the most expensive plan yet but choosing the correct one from the start will help you to scale much easier later on.
3 Best Web Hosts for Small Businesses 2019
In no particular order
Blue Host is a hugely popular hosting platform that offers built in wordpress hosting to all of its plans. Their customer service has been lacking in recent years and may have soured its reputation somewhat, however, it is still a great hosting platform and they’re fairly unique in that they offer a 5 year contract which could save you some decent money.
SiteGround is very highly regarded as one of the leader when it comes to tech. Every plan uses SSD drives (your stuff will load faster) CDN Technology, NGINX, PHP 7, CHROOT account isolation as well as great security created by their in house development team. In terms of price it is one of the more expensive hosting services (Which is still fairly cheap) for around $3.95 a month you can have a StartUp package (this later increases to $11.95 a month) You get (roughly) 10gb of storage, which is more than enough for a small business website as well as around 10,000 visitors per month. They have a very well organized and extensive knowledge base as well as 24/7 support via Phone, E-mail or live chat
SiteGround is one of WordPress’s recommended web hosts as it comes with managed WordPress built into all of their hosting plans along with security tailored specifically for WordPress.
Their Top-Tier hosting plan will increase your websites speed as well as creating backups of your entire site on demand and will allow you to restore them free of charge. SiteGround is best for business on the verge of no longer being considered “small”
Another popular one as it comes recommended by WordPress and so has WordPress management built into its packages. (It offers a very fast cloud-based Hosting plan called DreamPress)
It has a traditional upgrading path: WordPress – VPS – Cloud and then dedicated servers.
The Backend of DreamHost is completely customized and is well liked by their customers.
They offer 24/7 customer support via e-mail but live chat is only available during business hours.
They offer a 97 day free trial and hosting starts at $2.59 per month which does not change after your first contract like with some others.
Finding the right host for you
If you don’t consider yourself tech-savvie in the slightest, then go for one with better customer support and knowledge base as your IT department for your small business will most likely be you and whatever tutorials you can find. If this is the case it pays to have great customer support on hand to help resolve any issues. That said, if you have somewhat of an idea of what you’re doing and think you can solve most small issues by yourself then this isn’t as much of a necessity.
Most hosting providers offer some sort of free trial period. Use this time to test out their support as well as their knowledge centre to make sure that if you do have any problems they can be adequately resolved. Most are around a month where as DreamHosts in 97 days (One of the longest I’m aware of)
A good knowledge centre should be well organized, informative, and (maybe most importantly) expansive, especially if you plan on resolving most issues on your own.
If you want to find out if a hosting provider is worth using, check both user reviews as well as tech reviews. Negative user reviews will often be due to bad customer service experiences, which does not necessarily mean the hosting itself is bad. There will often be a discrepancy between the way a Tech publication will rank a host and how a user ranks them.
Services that Fit You!
All of these will probably provide plans well beyond what your business actually requires, so if you’re a small business you probably don’t need their most expensive package. As your site grows in size and complexity you can upgrade your plan to accommodate this. This usually will also unlock premium tools and features as well as more add on services often included free-of-charge.
Bandwidth is the amount of the servers information pipeline your website is using to send and receive data to your users. Most hosts provide unmetered bandwidth meaning they wont throttle how much you can use (Unless for some reason you’re using so much that it negatively affects other users on the server)
Number of monthly visitors is usually a good predictor of monthly bandwidth usage and some hosts will offer estimates on visitor thresholds.
The size and complexity of your website (how much content or programs it contains) will affect your storage needs. low-tier plans often have a storage cap. SiteGround for example offers a 10GB storage plan on it’s lowest tier (which should be more than enough for most small websites).
If you’re launching multiple websites on the same hosting plan keep in mind that their storage and bandwidth will be measured together
Not per site
Some plans may offer unlimited websites but have a data/bandwidth cap.
Some things to know
It is best to manually backup your site and database on separate machines in the off chance you delete something by accident or some other event causes your site to be corrupted/lost. Some hosts will automatically backup your site and will help to restore it if need be. Some offer this for free. Some do not.
SSD is a Solid State Drive, much faster than Hard Drives meaning your website will be faster if this is the storage method used.
If you need to change providers they may include assistance to make sure its done correctly. This is much more convenient for you if your website happens to be larger or more complex.
Most web hosts provide this meaning you can get a custom email address and storage. Usually this will be included in the initial cost and is not an add-on.
Secure Shell access means you have a secure connect straight into your account to manage your website, including any databases or files it uses. This won’t mean much to most but will be a feature the more tech-savvie will want.
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