Whether you're a brick-and-mortar business undergoing digital transformation or an online startup just getting off the ground, web hosting is a service you can't do without. It provides the online infrastructure that makes it possible for customers to access your business's website. As such, selecting the right web hosting provider is crucial for small businesses.
With limited resources, most small businesses want to find a web hosting company that offers the features and support they need without breaking the bank. We’ll give you exactly that and discuss some of the best options for your SME.
Best Web Hosting Services for Small Businesses
It’s important to mention that with web hosting you are about to rent a server or part of it depending on the hosting type you choose. If you want to learn more about the basics of web hosting first, you can do so here, where we also explain the different hosting types available.
Based on our detailed analysis, the following providers offer the best overall value for small and growing businesses today.
Cloud hosting is increasingly becoming the new standard for web hosting due to its cost-effectiveness and scalability. Small businesses in particular are benefiting greatly from this trend.
Cloudways with DigitalOcean as a cloud provider, offers one of the most affordable and flexible solutions in this playing field. It’s a managed cloud hosting service that makes it easy for businesses to launch their websites without much technical expertise.
Signing up enables you to leverage the expertise of in-house professionals and access advanced cloud hosting features, such as vertical scaling, one-click app installations (such as WordPress), automated backups, and security patches.
As you grow your business, you can choose to upgrade your resources or even switch between cloud providers within a few clicks. Cloudways also provides 24/7 customer support via live chat, which makes it an ideal choice for businesses lacking the technical know-how. With its many data centers worldwide, Cloudways delivers a fast-loading website wherever you need it.
Cloudways is the top choice for flexibility and scalability. It lets you choose between multiple cloud hosting providers, each offering a pay-as-you-go pricing model. That means you only pay for the resources you want to use. It also applies to other services like hosting email addresses for your domain. If you need it, you can add it, if not, then you don't pay for it.
Management of multiple websites
Cloudways allows you to create separate instances for each individual website and project. This means that each website can be independent and paid for separately, which makes it ideal for agencies and projects of different sizes with individual requirements.
24/7 chat support
You are never alone. If you have a question or something is not working properly, you can contact the support 24/7 without having to wait a long time.
Cloning and staging
With one click, you can clone your website and test it without affecting the primary version. You can also set it up as staging, and pull changes from your live site or push changes to your live site. It's extremely useful if you plan to experiment with different design ideas and features.
Host any PHP application, whether completely custom or based on WordPress, Magento, Joomla, or anything else. The choice is yours, there is no restriction.
Although Cloudways is aimed at beginners and makes things a lot easier for agencies that want to manage several websites and different projects, it can feel overwhelming at first due to the many flexible options and possibilities. Not everyone wants to put everything together themselves, so it’s best for people who want to be in control, which also allows for optimizing costs.
No Domain Hosting
Cloudways itself doesn't offer domains for sale, so you have to buy them elsewhere and connect them to Cloudways manually.
If you're willing to sacrifice a tiny bit of Cloudways' flexibility for a more easy and inclusive solution, Hostinger Cloud Hosting is an ideal choice. As a household name, they offer superior reliability and performance. Their plans offer many features, including free email addresses, unlimited bandwidth, automatic backups, and an easy-to-use control panel. It makes it an attractive option for small businesses that need a comprehensive web hosting solution with literally everything included.
Hostinger's cloud hosting plans include a lot such as email hosting, generous memory, and powerful CPUs. It's ideal for businesses that don't have the time or resources to manage all their hosting needs separately.
If you make good use of your plan and the services included, you get very good value for money compared to other providers.
Impressive load times
Hostinger's servers are optimized to deliver blazing-fast loading speeds. They also have data centers worldwide, so you can be confident that your website loads fast for your target audience.
Hostinger offers you a package of services that you have to accept as is. There is no possibility of customizing your plan in any way. Especially for hosting multiple websites, this is a clear disadvantage because you’ll have to use the same server resources and can’t split the number of email inboxes to several domains.
As we pointed out, Hostinger includes many features in their plans, but this also drives up the price if you don’t use all of them. E.g. you may want to host your business emails with Windows or Google instead – in this case, you would indirectly pay for email addresses included in the plan that you’re not using.
The people behind Nestify are no strangers to the world of web hosting. They have been in business since 2014 and are well-known for their innovative hosting solutions. With a focus on security, speed, and scalability, Nestify is the perfect choice for companies looking for a reliable cloud hosting solution powered by AWS.
Nestify's plans are priced competitively, offering several exciting features such as instant provisioning, unlimited websites, and automated backups. They also provide website monitoring services to ensure your website is always running smoothly and at maximum performance.
Similar to Cloudways, Nestify's most significant advantage is its scalability. If your business grows, you can easily upgrade your plan to use more advanced features or higher computing power. This makes it an excellent fit for businesses that expect to experience rapid growth in the near future.
With Amazon Web Services as the cloud provider of Nestify's hosting services, you are guaranteed the speed and stability of your website at the highest possible level.
Nestify takes automated daily backups of your site, so you don't have to worry about losing any data if something goes wrong.
Nestify takes security seriously and has several built-in features to protect your website from malicious attacks.
No domain & email hosting
Nestify doesn’t offer any add-ons for email hosting and is also not selling domains, so you’ll have to connect it manually.
What makes it good for WordPress (because it’s optimized for it) also limits it, because with Nestify you can’t host anything other than WordPress websites.
As the name suggests, Namecheap is known for offering affordable domain registration and web hosting services.
If price is the primary factor you're considering when looking for a hosting solution, Namecheap may be the right choice for your small business. With cloud hosting under the name EasyWP starting at an effective $6.88 per month, Namecheap offers some of the most budget-friendly hosting for WordPress.
Namecheap offers some of the most competitive prices in the industry, ideal for small businesses on a tight budget and small websites.
Anyone who dreads technical tasks of any kind will be delighted because setting up a WordPress site couldn't be easier than with EasyWP from Namecheap.
Many providers leave out important functions or only offer them as add-ons, others have poor loading times, etc. With Namecheap, on the other hand, everything fits together very well, especially for the low price you pay.
Namecheap only offers limited customer support with their hosting plans. While they have an extensive knowledge base, it's not always as helpful as having a live chat or phone support option. Live chat is available, but not as dedicated as some other providers.
While Namecheap is great for small business owners on a budget, they don't offer any premium services or high-end hosting plans. If you start to scale up and need more powerful resources, you'll have to look elsewhere.
Namecheap has a relatively small number of servers located only in parts of the U.S. and Europe. This could lead to slower loading times if your target audience is not within range, where you’d depend on the CDN.
Kinsta specializes in WordPress hosting, delivering performance-optimized servers to power your WordPress website. They are popular among agencies and companies that value maximum stability and performance with top-notch customer support.
You can see Kinsta as the premium provider on our list, with the highest pricing but also the most advanced technology and services. If money isn't an issue, Kinsta is definitely worth considering for your small business.
Next to WordPress, they have recently extended their offering to also deliver web applications and database hosting separately, catering to all tech stacks and developer needs.
Kinsta handles all the technical aspects of running your WordPress website, including server maintenance and security. If you’re ever hacked, they’ll even fix it for free.
Performance and reliability
It starts with the performance powered by Google and continues with excellent security and advanced CDN features by Cloudflare.
Easy to use
Kinsta makes web hosting super easy. The UI and navigation make it effortless for anyone to find their way around and manage their website hosting.
Global server network
Kinsta has 35 data centers around the world. This ensures that your website always loads quickly at your primary location.
Kinsta's customer support is very proficient compared to other hosting providers. You get access to a dedicated team of WordPress experts available 24/7.
Kinsta's managed hosting plans start at $35 per month, which makes them a lot more expensive than other options.
No email & domain hosting
Kinsta only offers website, web application, and database hosting. There are no options for domain-based email addresses or buying a domain from them.
Kinsta limits memory and traffic heavily. For traffic-heavy websites, this can lead to surcharges or forced plan upgrades.
How to Decide Which One Is Right for You?
With all the different web hosting services available nowadays, choosing the right one for your small business can be a bit overwhelming. Here are a few steps you can take to make the decision easier.
We’ve only listed a fraction of the features that these web hosting providers offer. Make sure you compare all of them, including performance, scalability, customer support, pricing plans, and more. To get a better idea of what's important, check out our Best Picks. There, you’ll find an overview of the criteria we use to rank hosting providers.
Specify Business Needs
Do you deal with sensitive data and need very secure hosting? Are you running an ecommerce website that needs more scalability options? What are your business's unique needs, and which features should you prioritize when choosing the best web hosting service for small businesses? Once you've answered these questions, narrowing down your options will become more manageable.
Determine your Budget
As a small business owner, you know how important it is to stay within your budget. Look at the pricing plans of all the web hosting services you're considering and decide which one fits best within your budget constraints. If a difference between $10 and $40 per month doesn’t matter to you, then any option except for EasyWP will deliver a great premium solution. It's also crucial to look beyond the initial price and consider the cost of scaling based on monthly website visits, security features, and resources.
Try Before You Buy
With most hosting providers, you can try their services for free before pulling the trigger. See if the provider offers a trial period or money-back guarantee and make use of it. Don't be afraid to do a test run before committing to a long-term web hosting plan if the option is there.
Deciding on a web hosting solution as a small business is the first step in your long journey to digital success. Pick the wrong one, and you could be held back by expensive fees, slow loading times, and technical issues.
While the three options above target only WordPress, Cloudways and Hostinger are a bit more flexible.
In the end, you should be clear about what you want to build and what you need to accomplish. If you're unsure about that, let our Finder Tool guide you through this process. And if you already have a shortlist, feel free to use our Comparison Tool for the final decision..