Every business needs a website, but finding the right website hosting package isn’t always easy. Many plans are targeted primarily at home users, and don’t have the power that businesses need.
Take email, for instance. We’ve seen hosting plans offer as few as five email addresses for a website, and with inboxes limited to a few hundred megabytes, that’s potentially a major issue for any business. Be sure to check out the email specs of any hosting plan before you sign up.
An SSL certificate is a must-have these days for any professional or business website, but these aren’t included with every plan. Fortunately, they don’t have to be expensive. Many hosts now offer free SSL certificates from the Internet Security Research Group’s Let’s Encrypt project, and although web stores might need something more, these are perfectly adequate for standard sites.
Business websites can’t afford to fail – ever – so reliability is key. Choose a Virtual Private Server (VPS) or dedicated hosting plan, if you can afford it, to avoid the hassles of shared servers. Look for support that can be accessed at speed with telephone and live chat available, as well as emails and tickets. You’ll probably want a plan that includes automated backups, too, but that’s another area where you’ll need to check the small print: backups are often an optional extra.
Think about an upgrade path, too, especially if you’re starting with a basic shared hosting plan. If your business grows then your website needs might also expand, and it will make your life much easier if your chosen host has the add-ons and extras to cope.
There’s a lot to think about, but fortunately, there are also some excellent hosting providers around that understand exactly what small businesses need. In this article we’ve highlighted five web hosts who have something to offer everyone, from the smallest home business to demanding corporate users.