Choosing the best website hosting for small business is the next critical decision after you have a clear idea about your online presence.
This is the point where you want to pick a service that will make your website accessible via the World Wide Web. Read on to learn about what to do to find a web host that is right for you.
Set Your Small Business Website Goal
What task should your website do? Do you want it to sell your products or tell prospects about your business?
If you’re selling goods or services you will need e-commerce facilities, which complexity will depend on factors like number of items. The more complex your requirements the more facilities you will need from your web host.
If you go with an info website you may want features that help you interact with visitors, like blog or forum platform. Or, may be you want to educate and entertain your prospects with facilities that allow you use audio-visual files and offer simple e-commerce functionality.
Generic Vs. Specialized Host
Based on website building platform offered, there are hosting services that offer all types of Content Management Systems (CMSes) and ones that specialize on specific software such as WordPress or Drupal.
When you go with a generic web hosting company you will need to install your site building platform on your own. But a specialized service provider will do all the set up for you and offer better services than a generic web host. The specialized service is good for you if performance is your number one priority.
Generic and specialization also apply to e-commerce providers –in term of level of services. If you’re just starting out you might not need specialized services but a bigger company dealing with complex e-commerce transactions may need a service like Amazon Webstore.
Standard Vs. Bundled Services
Standard hosting services rent out space on their computer server and offer internet connectivity. The package may include database support and application development platforms, which allow you to install apps like content management or forum.
Bluehost and Hostgator are two examples of standard web hosting services.
Bundled hosting services can start from a website builder package to an online business building package.
Online website builders like Onepager are one of the bundled services that offer website builder, web hosting and website templates in one package. Some of the bundled services like Shopify specialize in offering e-commerce facilities.
Another spectrum of bundled hosting providers offers customized services other than site building and hosting. An example of this service is SiteSell. The company offers two business building packages: SBI! and BizXpress. SBI! works like online website builders and BizXpress add business building services to those working with the self-hosted WordPress platform.
Signs of a Great Website Hosting for Small Business
You can use the checklist below for picking the best web hosting provider for your small business. It applies to standard hosting services but it also works for services like online website builders and others.
2. Sufficient disk space and bandwidth. The size will depend on the size of your site files and the amount of visitors. The disk space is usually not a problem, especially if your website only has articles and images. But you have to be careful when your site grows because any extra bandwidth charge is not cheap.
3. Great customer service. A great web host provides ways to be called at any time 24 hours/7 days-a-week/365 days via live chat, phone and ticket system. They have competent support staff who are responsive and helpful enough to help you in your concerns.
4. Secure. Check your web host security and its infrastructure. This feature is especially important if you do online business transactions with your e-commerce website.
Pick the Best Website Hosting for Small Business
I have mentioned several web hosts from standard hosting services to the one that offers bundled, business building service. And they are all meet the above requirements.
Now it’s up to your goal, personal backgrounds and budget. Here’s my suggestions:
2. If you have some experiences in building a website and want to build an online business try the BizXpress.
3. If you want to get your offline commerce business online try online website builders that offer e-commerce functionality like Shopify. Alternatively, choose Onepager for building an online presence and for interacting with potential customers.
4. If you have already owned a website or more and you want to build a serious online business go with Bluehost or Hostgator. But the BizXpress, with its business building tools, is also a good added value service for improving your chance to succeed.
What to Do Next?
And if you’re still unsure about which hosting service to select improve your confidence with this website hosting selection guideline.