Every company needs a website, but finding the right hosting package is not always easy. Many plans are mainly aimed at home users and do not have the strength that companies need.
Take e-mail, for example. We have seen that hosting plans only offer five e-mail addresses for a website and with inboxes limited to a few hundred megabytes, which is potentially a big problem for any business. Be sure to review the email specifications of a hosting plan before you sign up.
An SSL certificate is now a must-have for any professional or business website, but these are not included with every plan. Fortunately, they do not have to be expensive. Many hosts now offer free SSL certificates from the Let & # 39; s Encrypt project of the Internet Security Research Group, and although webshops may require a little more, they are perfectly suited to standard sites.
Business websites can not afford to fail – ever – so reliability is central. Choose a Virtual Private Server (VPS) or dedicated hosting plan, if you can afford it, to avoid the hassle with shared servers. Look for support that is quickly accessible with phone and live chat available, as well as emails and tickets. You probably also want a subscription with automated backups, but that is another area where you should check the small print: backups are often an optional extra.
Also consider an upgrade path, especially if you start with a standard shared hosting plan. As your business grows, your website needs can also be expanded and your life will be much easier if your chosen host has the add-ons and extras to cope with.
There is a lot to think about, but fortunately there are also some excellent hosting providers around who understand exactly what small businesses need. In this article we have highlighted five web hosts that offer something for everyone, from the smallest home companies to demanding business users.
Business-friendly features for a pocket-friendly price
Unlimited bandwidth, e-mails, websites
Wide range of plans
Shared hosting is slower and less reliable than VPS and special plans, but it is still perfectly suited to many simple websites, and the best plans will suit all important business needs.
The shared hosting plan of DreamHost scores well on the foundations. There are no limits to bandwidth, e-mails or MySQL databases. Your site is secured with a free Let & # 39; s Encrypt SSL certificate and with pre-installed WordPress you can use a good site within an afternoon – plus standard SSD storage will keep performance high.
Useful extras include the ability to host unlimited domains from a single account. And with a nice detail DreamHost not only offers a free domain name with every shared hosting plan (except the monthly subscription): there is also free privacy protection. If you registered without that domain and flooded with e-mails and phone calls from & # 39; website designers & # 39; and various scammers, you know how valuable that can be.
It is a strong total package, but if you need more, DreamHost also offers everything from managed WordPress and WooCommerce, VPS, Dedicated and Cloud Hosting subscriptions.
Billing is flexible. You can avoid long-term contracts by signing up for monthly invoicing, which costs $ 10.95 (£ 7.80) per month for shared hosting. Choose the three-year plan and the price, however, drops to $ 7.95 per month. Do not be put off by the longer term: DreamHost products are protected by an exceptional money-back guarantee of 97 days, so there is enough time to test the service yourself.
Powerful cloud hosting from a top supplier
Fast cloud hosting
Private SSL included
Cloud hosting is a smart technology that spreads your website content across multiple devices, improving redundancy and speeding up loading times. It is an interesting idea with many business benefits, but if you choose wisely, you can try it for less than the cost of some shared hosting products.
Because this is a cloud plan, three mirrored copies of your website are spread over multiple devices. If there is a hardware failure, your website can immediately be transferred to another server.
All HostGator cloud plans give you shared access to a certain level of system resources (CPU time and RAM). Another advantage of cloud hosting is that you can purchase more of them and see the benefit immediately, without downtime or time-consuming migrations.
The advanced features continue with a distributed caching setup from Varnish to speed up the loading of your static content, freeing up RAM and CPU time for producing dynamic content.
Despite all this functionality, the HostGator Business Plan is reasonably priced at $ 9.95 (£ 7.10) per month for up to 36 months, $ 17.95 (£ 12.80) at renewal.
Optional extras are also valuable, with daily CodeGuard backups available for $ 2 (£ 1.45) per month, and SiteLock's malware scanning service is only $ 1.67 (£ 1.20) . We have seen that other hosts cost two or three times as much for comparable functionality.
Although we have highlighted HostGator's cloud plans here, as an interesting improvement on regular shared hosting, the company also offers managed WordPress hosting, affordable VPS packages, dedicated servers and more. There is something for everyone.
3. GoDaddy business hosting
More hosting power, less technical problems
Sources specifically for your site
Easy to set up and manage
Above average prices
Most business hosting products are focused on strength and functionality, above the ease of use. This is not a problem if you know what you are doing, but small businesses do not always have the technical expertise to manage this kind of hosting, and it can take quite some time and effort to find out how the service works.
GoDaddy Business Hosting is a hybrid product aimed at offering the dedicated resources and comparable performance as Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting, with the simplified cPanel-like management of a shared hosting service.
The start schedule of GoDaddy offers you 2 GB of RAM, one CPU and 60 GB of storage, for example. These resources are solely for the use of your website, which should give you better and more consistent website performance, regardless of what happens to other sites hosted on your server.
Restrictions elsewhere are kept to a minimum, with support for unlimited websites, databases and e-mails and unlimited bandwidth. (& # 39; Unmetered & # 39; means that there is no fixed limit, but GoDaddy reserves the right to sue if your site saves resources.)
An SSL certificate has been thrown into the mix and GoDaddy has added an annual subscription of one user to Microsoft Office 365 Business Email.
GoDaddy's Enhance plan is available for $ 24.99 (£ 18.99) per month for the first installment, $ 49.99 (£ 37.99) for renewal. The Grow plan offers you 3 CPUs, 6 GB of RAM and 120 GB of storage for $ 34.99 (£ 25.99) per month, $ 69.99 (£ 52.99) for renewal. The high-end Expand plan (which is for resource heavy-sites) increases RAM up to 8 GB and storage up to 150 GB, with 4 CPUs. The price is – initially $ 49.99 (£ 37.99) and then $ 99.99 (£ 74.99) on renewal.
Overall, the reach is slightly more expensive than some VPS products, but if you are looking for easy installation and easier website management, GoDaddy may be worth watching.
4. Liquid web
Is VPS hosting the best choice for you?
Basic shared, cloud and similar hosting plans are easy to use and can provide good performance, but they also limit your control over the server environment. For example, you can not choose to install Windows or do something else that affects other websites hosted on the same server.
Virtual Private Servers (VPS) are isolated environments that you can customize, adjust and customize as you wish. As a bonus, you will also be allocated CPU time and RAM only for you, improving both performance and stability.
Some hosts have cheaper VPS subscriptions, but that is often because the specifications have been shortened to the absolute minimum. Liquid Web opts for a more honest approach, with even the most basic plans, including items that often charge extras elsewhere. That $ 59 gets built-in backups, Gigabit transfers, unlimited sites, a special IP address, CloudFlare CDN, DDoS security, antivirus, antispam, cPanel / WHM or Plesk Onyx and more.
All VPS plans are highly configurable, with Linux options including CentOS 6, CentOS 7, Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 16.04 and Debian 8, and high-end plans support Windows Server 2012 and 2016.
Whatever you install includes server management by default, which means that Liquid Web will perform maintenance tasks such as operating system updates. Thanks to proactive system monitoring, the company can detect and resolve some problems before you notice them, and fast, responsive 24x7x365 support helps you with everything else.
Factor in the 100% uptime guarantee and generous service level agreements and Liquid Web has a lot of business hosting appeal.
Other hosts do not have the strength you need? watch this
20+ data centers
Expert level options and additional & # 39; s
Confusing range of plans
Dedicated server plans are the top of the standard hosting tree. Instead of sharing resources with others, you get the whole system for yourself and ensure the best possible performance and reliability.
The OVH dedicated hosting range has several advantages, and these start with the choice of data centers. While other providers typically host your site in only two or three locations, OVH has a much larger reach, with centers available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Poland, Singapore and the UK. Hosting the site closer to your target audience will improve the performance in itself.
Configurability is another highlight. Supported operating systems include CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, CloudLinux, Gentoo, Slackware, ArchLinux, OpenSUSE, Fedora, FreeBSD, SmartOS, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2016, SQL Server, VMware, Citrix Xen, Hyper-V Server and more.
Advanced options include support for NVMe, non-volatile memory-based storage that can be five times faster than SSD.
Prices are reasonable, especially considering the range of available functions. You can buy a very capable system every year for between $ 74- $ 137 (£ 56- £ 104) and there is enough extra power available if you need it.
If there is a problem here, it is the OVH website, which presents your options poorly. There are too many baseline server configurations, they are poorly organized and it is difficult to find what you need or to find out your configuration options.
Eventually we have found our way in the range, but in general OVH's extensive set of functions and data centers make it a must-see for demanding business users.
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