Whether you’re running the neighborhood’s finest lemonade stand or hold the keys to your town’s most fashionable boutique, the best small business web hosts can energize your sales and bring in more shoppers. Before you know it, you could be running a global empire.
Combining a great idea, product, or skill with cutting-edge technology is an edge surprisingly few entrepreneurs take advantage of. In fact, only half of small businesses have a website. And that online presence can give them a huge competitive advantage, especially when considering 81% of consumers research a business online before visiting in person or making a purchase.
The best hosting providers balance affordability, performance, security, and business-friendly tools for email, ecommerce, web design, and domain name management. Whether your business is outgrowing its current hosting plan or you’re ready to create its first website, we’ve got the top reviews and recommendations to guide your way.
Best Overall Web Hosting for Small Business
Sure, setting up a website can be a painstaking process — either for the first time or optimizing an existing online presence — but picking the right hosting provider can really pay off. And you don’t even have to start from scratch: Simply redesigning your existing online presence can boost revenue by more than 30%.
A well-designed website can impact a small business in a wide variety of ways, from building credibility and customer trust to engaging or supporting customers and generating interest in your brand or product. But no matter how pretty your website may be, you still need to rely on the technology that makes it available to potential shoppers all around the world.
The best hosting for small business is just the right mix of affordability, scalability, security, and speed, along with the ecommerce and marketing tools that all work harmoniously to drive traffic, sales, and revenue. For that lengthy checklist, A2 Hosting rises to the top of the list. Take a look at our in-depth review to learn why the performance-minded web host uses cutting-edge technologies to increase customers’ overall site performance.
- SSDs and Turbo Server for up to 20x faster pageloads
- Host unlimited websites and enjoy FREE site transfer
- A2-optimized plugins and 1-click installs for WordPress
- A2-optimized caching with OPcache and Memcached
- FREE HackScan with restore options
- Get started on A2 Hosting now.
Best Small Business Web Hosts With Free Website Builder
Hey, we’re not all HTML or PHP wizards; content management systems like WordPress are not always for beginners. For those who are completely allergic to technology trial and error and learning how to leverage a new system, feel free to take a step back to a drag-and-drop website builder.
These programs remove any web hosting configuration or software installation in favor of beefed-up software and professionally designed templates that enable web design neophytes to visually arrange a website without knowing the slightest bit of code. Industry leaders like Wix and Weebly charge a bit of a premium for the comprehensive service, but many highly regarded hosting providers will include a website builder as part of a shared hosting plan.
Take a look at the features and added services to see which website builder route is best for your business. Although hosted options will include ecommerce and email marketing tools, they can get expensive quickly. Here’s a list of our favorite options, balancing affordability and overall ecommerce potential:
- No coding skills needed with drag-and-drop builder
- 100s of templates with niche-specific designs
- Add features via the App Market and Wix Events
- Easily create ecommerce functionality easily
- Great way to build small sites on a budget
- Get started on Wix now.
- Choice of Weebly or WebsiteBuilder by iPage
- Mobile-optimized options and easy-to-use setup wizards
- 100s of professionally designed, customizable themes
- FREE online store, shopping cart, and blogging platform
- Get +75% off your first month
- Get started on iPage now.
- Drag-and-drop design with the Gator™ website builder
- Hundreds of mobile-friendly, industry-specific templates
- FREE hosting, domain name, and SSL certificate
- Easily add a blog, ecommerce, and social media marketing
- Analytics portal helps you gauge your site’s performance
- Get started on HostGator now.
- Integration with Fotolia and Flickr image databases
- Pre-built and customizable content with GridBlocks
- Responsive themes with tablet and mobile editing views
- Generates clean, efficient, and compliant HTML
- SEO, gallery, and forms plugins
- Get started on BoldGrid now.
Best Small Business Web Hosts With Ecommerce Tools
Some business websites just need an informational homepage. Others need an entire storefront with product listings, shopping carts, and the ability to securely process credit card payments. That added responsibility can bring about more stress when choosing a hosting provider because you’ll need to account for stringent security practices and extra functionality.
That being said, however, online shopping in the U.S. grew 15% from 2017 to 2018, with ecommerce representing more than half of all retail sales growth. The prize seems worthwhile, but you need to find the appropriate partner that can help you get there.
Whether your business just needs a simple shopping cart or commercial-grade ecommerce platform, these are the hosts who can handle the extra burden. Be sure to look out for solid-state drive storage space and the promoted software options to figure out which host below may be the best fit:
- 1-click installs for eCommerce tools like WooCommerce
- FREE eCommerce plugin for WordPress
- Daily backups, a CDN, and FREE Weebly site builder
- Test changes to your online store within the staging area
- 24/7 support delivered by eCommerce gurus
- Get started on SiteGround now.
- Build online stores quickly and easily
- Choose from 100s of industry-specific themes
- Drag-and-drop builder lets you customize without coding
- Add features via the App Market
- Quickly get your store noticed by popular search engines
- Get started on Wix now.
- 20 times faster performance that boosts conversions
- 80+ software options: Magento, OpenCart, WooCommerce, PrestaShop, and others
- FREE SSL certificate and SSD storage
- Worry-free migration and 24/7 support
- DDoS protection and multi-pronged security measures
- Get started on A2 Hosting now.
Best Small Business Web Hosts for Email
The ability to communicate with customers is likely a paramount functionality for that first group of organizations that probably doesn’t need to process online transactions beyond just filling out a contact form. Whether you send messages for marketing purposes, client communication, or internal business operations, you probably can’t afford for the service to go on.
The decades-old technology remains one of the most popular communication methods — especially in the business world. Free email hosting always sounds appealing, and email marketing alone represents one of the most successful investments you can make in your business. For every $1 you spend, small businesses can see a return of up to $38.
Setting up a business email account should be the step immediately after securing your domain name. And yes, that means even before your website. Check out the top-notch email hosting services that pair easy-to-use solutions with high-powered marketing and website building options.
- FREE software for webmail, newsletters, contact forms, list management, and spam filtering
- Unlimited addresses with forwarding & autoresponders
- Secure POP3, IMAP, and SMTP messaging
- Unlimited storage and transfer with FREE SSL
- Get more than 50% off today (was $7.99/month)
- Get started on A2 Hosting now.
- FREE domain and unlimited emails
- Secure email with 3 webmail solutions
- $200 in advertising credits with Google and Bing
- Google app integration available
- FREE Office 365 mailbox for your first 30 days
- Get started on Bluehost now.
- FREE site transfers and 1-year domain registration
- Unlimited domains, disk space, and email addresses
- Email forwarding, autoresponders, and webmail
- Market your site with $200 in ad credits and SEO tools
- FREE online store and site-building tools
- Get started on iPage now.
- FREE domain registration or no-downtime transfer
- Unlimited SPAM Safe™ email with IMAP
- 1-click app installer and FREE marketing tools
- Business-class hardware and ecommerce-ready
- SSD storage plus FREE data backups and SSL security
- Get started on InMotion now.
How Much Does Small Business Web Hosting Cost?
Shopping for web hosting is like shopping for a house — you need something that fits your budget, is big enough to meet your needs, and is safe and structurally stable. As you may imagine, those criteria can look vastly different from person to person and business to business.
If you are looking to create more of an informational business website or choose to focus more on email campaigns, your web hosting plan can be much more affordable. Well-appointed cheap web hosting plans typically cost less than $5 per month, with a handful of options offering either free trials or massive discounts for the first month.
Larger businesses will need to spring for more resources, which understandably can drive up the price tag. Scalable VPS or cloud hosting packages can cost anywhere from $5 to $20 per month, depending on the specific features, storage space, and server management setup you require. Be sure to check out our VPS hosting reviews to get a good idea of where to start.
If your business website includes an online store, the extra security requirements associated with collecting and processing customers’ personal and financial information often adds an additional fee. Check and see if your host has an ecommerce hosting package that simplifies your selection, balancing the cost against how many payment processing options, product listing, and any transaction fees may exist.
What Type of Web Hosting Does My Small Business Need?
In order to choose the right web hosting plan for your small business, you have to have a good grasp of what you need to succeed. Sure, that pair of pants may be half as expensive as the others, but if they were three sizes too small, you wouldn’t buy them nor would you buy a dirty pair of ripped jeans when you need formal wear.
Start off by determining what software you want to use. More than a third of all websites use WordPress, so that’s typically a good jumping off point. The ultra-popular content management system perfectly pairs with WooCommerce, another free and open-source software program. Other businesses may prefer a hosted option like Shopify, Volusion, or Wix. You may spend more and lose some control and ability to fine-tune your store, but those companies will simplify the tech side of things and provide a fast track to a professionally designed, ready-to-go website.
From there, take a realistic guess at how much traffic your business site can expect to see in a month to determine what type of server space you’ll need. The restrictions vary by hosting company, but websites that see only a few thousand visitors per month will typically be best served with shared hosting. The most affordable configuration, shared hosting entails hundreds or thousands of customers sharing one server. Businesses with higher traffic will do better with cloud or VPS hosting, which gives you more computing resources.
What are the Most Important Small Business Hosting Features?
In the professional world, time is money — that’s why finding a reliable, top-notch web hosting partner is critical. The amount of time you spend configuring, troubleshooting, or fixing any issues is time spent away from product development, marketing, or customer support.
What’s more, any downtime will tank your revenue. Simply put, if customers can’t find your website or the site crashes, no one can purchase your wares. While most of our favorite hosts offer a perfectly adequate uptime guarantee of 99.9%, it’s always a good idea to confirm that service-level agreement exists. Or seek something even better. Here are some other features small businesses should look out for:
- Unlimited storage, bandwidth, and email accounts
- 24/7 customer support via phone, chat, and email
- One-click software installations
- Free SSL certificate and backups
- Multiple datacenter locations and options to upgrade
In addition to server reliability and security, performance speed is another measurement of a worthy hosting company. One in 4 website visitors will abandon a website if it takes longer than four seconds to load, so finding a host that uses modern technology, like solid-state drives and a content delivery network, is a must.
How the Right Host Can Impact Your Business’s Bottom Line
From email marketing to page load speed, we’ve already covered a few ways the wrong technology can negatively impact your business success. We’ve barely even touched on conversion-focused web design principles. A hosted website builder or solid content management system can help guide you to the starting gate, but you should always look for an edge.
Pay close attention to the design and functionality of each element of your site. Learning UX design principles and how to leverage analytics can reveal a lot of potential improvements to your business website that will boost user engagement and efficiency.
Another prime way to boost your business online includes learning the magic (or alchemy) or search engine optimization, or SEO. The higher your company’s online presence ranks in the likes of Google, Bing, and Yahoo, the more people will come to your site. From there, you’ll have more visitors to convert to customers, more people to sign up for your mailing lists, and more people to tell others about your business.
All in all, a top-tier web hosting provider can impact your business website in a number of ways. Consider the technology a behind-the-scenes employee that can bring in hundreds or thousands more than his or her salary. Given the impact the best small business hosts have on your revenue and profits, you’d be crazy not to make the best possible hire.