In this guide, we will discuss the best web hosting for small business, companies like BlueHost, HostGator and GoDaddy.We will compare these three hosting providers to find out which one is offering the best service to customers.
And, since we’re objective, we’ll also mention areas where all these three companies fail to provide top-notch service. With our advice you’ll be able to pick the best hosting provider, as we’ll use our expertise and online reviews to form analysis for those business owners who may be in the market for a hosting plan.
Keep in mind that this review is geared specifically towards small business clients. Small business sites typically don’t have much web traffic and don’t expect more than 500 visitors per day. A ‘shared hosting plan’ is suggested for businesses of this scale as its cost is very low; less than $10 per month.
GoDaddy: Best Web Hosting Service for Small Business
Many people might be surprised to see GoDaddy’s name at the top of our list among the 3 services that are under consideration, as majority of the reviews recommend BlueHost.Contrary to the common practices, we do not believe in deceiving our readers just for the sake of some financial gains.
We try our level best to remain as objective as humanly possible while writing reviews and making recommendations. Following these pre-set guidelines, we consider GoDaddy as the one offering best services out of the 3 that are under consideration and hence, suggest customers to go for it to make sure their spending do not go in vain.
The top 3 areas in which GoDaddy stand out from the crowd are:
- Customer Services
Reasons for Choosing GoDaddy as the Best Web Hosting for Small Business
There are multiple reasons that made us choose GoDaddy as the best web hosting company for small businesses. Here, we are highlighting the major reasons that contributed towards our choice:
- The very first reasons that made us choose GoDaddy is that we, ourselves, have been working with them since quite a time and our experience have been wonderful. Not only we host many of our clients’ websites with them, but also our own and we always get the best service.
- In addition to the excellent customer service that guides each customer through every single step of the process, including the hosting, installation of WordPress and any other help that a client may need, GoDaddy is highly reliable. As opposed to many other web hosting companies, they tend to stick with their offers, only to change them for better.
- By hosting more than 40 million domains, GoDaddy is definitely the leader in the web hosting business.
- GoDaddy is highly affordable. Although they have certain limitations in some areas (as can be seen in the above table), such as they only offer 100 GB of storage and 100 email ids as part of their entry level plan whereas both their competitors offer unlimited storage and email addresses, even this limit is more than enough for small businesses’ websites. So, overall GoDaddy offers really good value for your money.
Should You Ever Need To Consider Any Other Service Provider?
Keeping in view the reliability, reputation and experience in the field, GoDaddy is the best option for small business web hosting.
However, this does not mean that there would never be the need to consider any other company in any situation. Following are some of the conditions when a small business should look for other options:
When a Business Has a Limited Budget
Is the best option for those small businesses that have limited budgets.
Despite being the smallest web hosting provider out of all the reviewed web hosting services, Arvixe is found to be providing the best bang for the buck.
In addition to the huge working experience of 10 years and provision of wide range of wonderful features, including the free domain name, unlimited storage capacity, email ids and bandwidth, your plan’s price is not increased after renewal.
When Performance and Speed Is Your Biggest Concern
For those small businesses that keep the speed as their topmost criterion selecting a web hosting service, A Small Orange is the one to go for.
With A Small Orange comes the shortest response time and server uptime that too at an affordable price.
This feature is particularly helpful for those small businesses that only work online and any slowdown in the service would cost them business.
How Much Web Hosting Companies Charge For Their Services?
If we talk about shared web hosts, the prices are highly affordable for all types of small businesses. They usually charge between $5 and $10 each month.
Also, majority of companies keep offering discounts every now and then to all the new businesses that take their services.
The discounts are however valid for the first year only after which the charges tend to increase when you go for the renewal of contract.
Whenever a new business takes the services of a web hosting company, there is usually a money back guarantee that lasts from a month to a month and a half.
During this time period, any business if not satisfied with the web hosting services can cancel the contract and get its full amount refunded.
Out of the 3 service providers we are reviewing here, BlueHost provides refund on pro rata basis in case of cancellation of services at any time of the contract.
An Analysis of Customer Support Provided To Clients
Businesses highly rely on their online presence, particularly the ones that only function online. Hence, they want their websites to always function smoothly.
No matter how efficient a web hosting company is, sometimes problems do take place due to unforeseen or uncontrollable factors.
When any such situation arises, the first thing businesses want is to get in touch with the service provider and get the problem resolved as soon as possible.
Customer service representatives are the ones to be contacted in times of emergencies and/ or problems and they speak volumes about the reliability and performance of the company.
Depending on the quality of customer support, a company may either retain and even get many new clients or lose the existing ones.
This is the reason that companies make good customer service one of their utmost priorities. Web hosting companies are no exception.
All 3 companies that are being reviewed here provide 24 hour customer service throughout the year to make sure none of their customers ever go unattended.
So, no matter what time of year and/ or day your website encounters an error or gets slowdown, you can get in touch with a customer service representative through telephone, if you are using any of these 3 service providers.
In comparison to BlueHost and HostGator, GoDaddy offers limited support channels however, the excellent quality of their customer support compensates for the lacking.
And as mentioned above, this excellent support is one of the major reasons for considering GoDaddy as the best among all three.
With personal experience, we can assure that even if you call them at odd hours, you will always find them willing to help you through each stage, from email set up to WordPress installation.
Another feature that makes GoDaddy rank #1 is that unlike many other web hosting companies, they never try to upsell you when you have a problem.
CEO of Just Fearless (a business development company) Kisha Mays, said about GoDaddy’s performance, said:
“The main reason I chose GoDaddy was the availability of its customer support round the clock. My business’ website has faced some technical issues and was even hacked once, but every time.
When I contacted GoDaddy, I always immediately received the kind of support I needed, no matter what time it was. Their follow up service is also really wonderful”.
SEOcial’s co-founder Orun Bhuiyan expressed the following thoughts with regard to GoDaddy’s services:
“GoDaddy has great customer support. They are probably the quickest ones to answer the phone calls.”
What Is Small Business Web Hosting Comprised Of?
Following are the features that are included in web hosting service for small businesses:
An interesting or attention grabbing domain plays the most important role in increasing the traffic on your website.
A domain is the very the very first thing that a potential customer notices and if it is appealing, the customer will ultimately end up visiting your website.
GoDaddy and BlueHost both provide all their clients with free domain registration. When it comes to a domain name, GoDaddy provides it for free initially whereas BlueHost provides it free for a year.
After the end of these terms, customers are required to pay somewhere between $10 and $15, every year, for getting the domain renewed.
As opposed to these two, HostGator does not provide a free domain name and their customers have to pay $12.95 or more to buy a domain. This is the only drawback of HostGator in this category.
Complimentary Email Accounts
All three hosting providers offer complimentary business email accounts.
Web Hosting Storage and Bandwidth
There is nothing more misunderstood than the concept of ‘unlimited storage and bandwidth’ in the field of web hosting. Even large numbers of business owners are not able to comprehend the concept.
When a web hosting company offers ‘unlimited storage and bandwidth’, this does not mean that your website will maintain its fast speed even if a large numbers of files are stored on it and even when it is getting great exposure.
In simple words, shared web hosting means sharing memory and computing power of your server with numerous other websites. When any of the websites, sharing your server.
Become popular this means that it would take up the most resources. This will definitely affect the speed of other websites and make them run slow.
Therefore, experts suggest shared hosting plans for small businesses only because most small business website are not likely to get more than 500 visitors a day.
At such rate, shared hosting plans usually work well, with only some instances of slow speed.
For businesses that get more than 500 visitors per day and store a large number of videos or images on their website, opting for a virtual private server (VPS) or cloud hosting may be a better choice.
The Control Panel is the area where you can view to manage your domains, emails, file transfers, or even see the amount of resources your website is using.
Secure Socket Layer (SSL)
Taking measures to ensure security is not only important for those businesses that save sensitive information on their sites, but for all e-commerce businesses.
Ensuring secure file transfers and having Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates can make all the difference in security. A business needs a secure file transfer feature to and from its website.
FTPS and SFTP technologies, owned by most web hosting companies, make the transfer process extremely simple by encrypting private information. All a customer has to do is drag and drop the file.
Businesses that offer online shopping or transfer of money to other parties online need to have Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates. Put simply, if a business is processing debit or credit card payments on its website, it needs a private SSL certificate to ensure safety.
SSL certificates are not included in low cost packages and hence, need to be bought separately by businesses. They are available at an average rate of about $60 per year.
Some businesses try to save money by not buying the SSL certificates, which could result in huge losses. You should never compromise your security just to save a little bit of money.
1 Click Installation of WordPress
WordPress is the most commonly used application for creating small businesses websites. This led web hosting companies to offer a one click installation of WordPress, making it easier for businesses to get started.
Although most small businesses use WordPress to create their site, others may prefer other CMS platforms for customization reasons.
That’s exactly why many web hosting providers also offer simple one click installation for several other applications as well. These apps may include Drupal, Joomla, online discussion forums, shopping carts, and more.
Performance and Server Speed
The server load time is solely responsible for the website’s performance and speed. The faster a server runs, the better the website will perform. Page speed is already an SEO ranking factor.
GoDaddy has maintained its position among the top three web hosting companies and offer the best server response time and overall uptime.
It is one of the reasons we chose GoDaddy as the top provider for all small businesses looking to reach online presence.
Last year (2015), GoDaddy conducted an independent study Through Cloud Spectator with regard to the performance of shared hosting services. The study showed following results:
Is A Website Builder A Part Of Website Hosting Service?
Yes. Website hosting providers do provide website building tools to their customers to help them get started.
However, not all hosting companies provide a website builder for free.
Some companies ask require their customer to buy the website builder separately (at a very nominal price) while others offer it free for small websites only.
GoDaddy’s website builder is pretty good and is highly suggested for small businesses with a limited budget, as its starting price is only $1 per month; nearly free.
Weebly (a very good website builder) comes free when you sign up to BlueHost or HostGator but available only for small websites. A small website is one that has 6 pages or less. However, if your website is greater than 6 pages, you would have to buy the website builder for $8.99 per month, the reason why GoDaddy is ideal for large websites.
Our Final Word
While all the three web hosting companies we have reviewed here offer reliable services to small businesses, GoDaddy’s customer support and affordability is the reason we chose it as the top choice for business owners.What’s important for your business when it comes to web hosting?