What is the best Website Hosting plan for a small business?
For a small business, selecting the best website hosting package can be quite the ordeal.
For starters, every Web Hosting company has its own “unique angle” creating a number of different things to consider in addition to selecting the website design and content.
Conveniently enough, here’s an awesome list that should help you out in your decision. (Hey! Who doesn’t love lists?)
The following list complies sitetilt’s “top 5” features to look out for “across the board” which should help you make a more balanced and educated decision when choosing the best website hosting package to suit your business’s needs.
At the top of the list is:
1. Cost / The price of Hosting
Basic “shared hosting” packages typically start at less than $10 a month and go upwards from there to hundreds of dollars for dedicated Hosting solutions.
In the beginning stages, small businesses can typically suffice with the shared Hosting packages* that most hosting companies offer.
Tip: Hosting companies offer special “get you in the door” promotions to new accounts and this (in my opinion) is the best time to take advantage of these promotions since existing customers typically can not redeem these type of offers.
So if you plan on sticking around online for a while, why not pay for a few years in advance to get the best bang for your buck?
*Not all shared hosting packages are created equal.
2. The reputation of the Web Host
This is a Huge factor to consider. One belief of mine is that whatever you are looking for, you can find it online – for the good and the bad. This is especially true for reviews in general so when researching for the best website hosting companies try to take the reviews with a grain of salt.
We all like finding content that confirms our beliefs but when conducting your web hosting research please try and keep an open perspective.
This will help you in the long run.
3. The support Team
In “the real world” things happen. Call it user error, a technical error, whatever. Either way, when there’s an issue (hopefully there won’t be) who ya gonna call?
So when shopping around, give those chat boxes a run for the money.
Open one up and ask them a general question and see how quick the response time is.
Tip: If you’ve found a Hosting company you are thinking of using, try seeking technical support via the chat box. This is the true test to see if the existing customer support is just as responsive to you as the new customer /sales support is.
From my experience (with some companies that shall remain nameless) not all chat / support queries are created equal.
Test it out.
Its better to find out sooner than later.
4. Access, Control and features
When searching for the best website hosting for your business you need to think about “the essentials”.
What are the essentials you ask?
- cPanel access
Most Hosting Companies provide cPanel access. (cPanel is a Linux-based web hosting control panel that provides a graphical interface and automation tools designed to simplify the process of hosting a web site. source: wikipedia)
cPanel access is a must.
It allows you to manage your Hosting (and related services) in a way that makes sense.
You just login and all options are at your fingertips.
Need to add an email address. Done.
Need to change a file via ftp. Done.
Need to install WordPress. Done.
Based on my research I’ve found that some of the basic packages offered by some web-hosts (and in some cases “managed” Hosting packages) cPanel access is omitted. This is a deal-breaker for me.
So if you are considering an inexpensive Hosting solution keep an eye out for that.
- Unlimited email accounts
Most Hosting packages include at least one email with their packages (eg: sales@myAwesomeWebsite.com). While this is sufficient for most (as most people use their gmail anyways) you probably want to make sure you have the option to add more (at no cost) if needed.
- 1 click WordPress installs
Since WordPress dominates the web (click here to read more about WordPress) this is a no-brainer. When getting your business website off the ground, (assuming you are considering using WordPress) the last thing you want to worry about is actually setting up wordpress. No worries though. Most reputable Hosting companies offer this solution.
Need WordPress help?
- Unmetered bandwidth and 99.9% uptime
What this means is that the online storage you use (eg:diskspace – where your files are stored) and the file transfer Bandwidth is “Unmetered” so you are not charged according to the amount of diskspace or bandwidth you use.
Additionally the “99.9% uptime” basically means that for all intents and purposes your site will be up when visitors stop by.
Note: Most Hosting Companies claim to offer this… but again, refer to number 2.
Last but not least scalablity.
When searching for the best website hosting for your business you need to think with the end in mind.
If your site gets big down the road (that’s the goal right?) and “outgrows” its hosting plan it may be time to consider dedicated Hosting solutions.
When that time comes, a dedicated server is the ideal solution for your larger high-traffic business website. Dedicated servers allow for maximum customization, configuration, installation, and overall flexibility.
Most larger scale, reputable hosting companies offer dedicated hosting upgrades and site migration services. You may not be at that point yet, but it doesn’t hurt to take a look.
And there you have it.
Hopefully selecting the best website hosting package for your company should seem a bit easier now.
One more thing.
Most reputable Hosting providers offer a “money back guarantee” so if you are unsatisfied with your choice – get a refund and keep on looking.
P.S. Sitetilt.com is hosted on Hostgator web hosting. No complaints here.
Hostgator offers great prices and all of the features covered in this post.
For more info on Hostgator Hosting and pricing click here.
If there is something I’ve missed or you’d like to add, please feel free to put it in the comment section below.