There are a million articles on the Internet about who is the best webhost, or who is the best web host for “some specific purpose here“.
This is not an article about the best “free” host or the best “cheap” host or the best host for web developers. This is about the best host for a small business.
Some of the subtle differences between these different types are as follows:
- A free webhost might be fine for throw-away projects or quick tests of things but a serious business does not want to be on one of these. They usually leave their marketing on your site, show popup ads to your visitors, and tend to be very slow with saturated servers.
- Some free hosts are directed toward writers and bloggers, such as Tumblr, Hubpages, Squidoo, and many others. A business is not generally looking to do blogging, so these types of free services are not the best choice. Some free hosts are perfectly good candidates, such as Wix, Moonfruit, and Weebly, but you are still limited in some ways and will soon need to upgrade to paid features anyway.
- Web developers typically want “bare” servers with no software, and with full control. Hosts like these offer VPS servers and require the most know-how to configure and set up. They may also choose so-called “cloud VPS” servers which are even more controllable, to the point of completely deleting and creating new servers on the fly. Sites like Digital Ocean, VULTR, and Linode host these types of virtual servers.
The last category I simply call a business host. They are not free and limited, but they are also not 100% in your control with zero limitations and require a lot of know-how.
A business host is the middle-man hosting company. These are typically in the “shared server” category or VPS category and give the owner some kind of control panel to manage the server.
Some benefits of a good business host include:
- Upgraded, fast, SSD hard drives. This allows the server to process files a bit quicker, often improving performance.
- Automatic backups by the hosting company. Usually daily, weekly, or some other arrangement.
- A control panel. The most well-known is cPanel which provides dozens of utilities for managing your server from backups to email to FTP to installing software.
- Built-in spam and virus scanning, as well as additional security measures.
- A free domain name with purchase. If you are starting a new website, they will often have a free domain along with the package.
- Often these hosts advertise as having unlimited bandwidth and storage and so forth. Surprisingly, as you go up in server cost, you actually get more and more limitations. Nevertheless, they will prevent excessive overuse, even though it says unlimited.
- They often come with Google Ad credits, sometimes hundreds of dollars worth! A perfect way to test advertising once your website is built and see if you can drive some traffic to the business.
- Your account will come with the ability to host multiple websites and subdomains. You won’t be stuck with just “example.com” but you can also host “store.example.com” or “someotherexample.com all on the same account.
The list could go on and on but you get the point. These business-class hosting companies offer servers in the middle between free and limited and bare bones developer servers.
For a non-programmer and developer they will give you just enough power and hand-holding to where you could get a site set up without having to hire someone. The tech support of the host can also you help you.
This leads me to my recommendation for the best business-class host. I currently use InMotion Hosting for all my clients.
I’ve gone through a few hosts on my road to InMotion but for the past 5 years they have been quite solid. They have all the features I mentioned above, including SSD drives, 24/7 support, backups, control panel, $250 ad credits, free domain, one-click software installs, host multiple websites, and much more.
InMotion offers VPS servers and other packages but specifically I’m talking about their Business Hosting plans called Launch, Power, and Pro. These are the types of accounts I’ve been talking about. For just around $8 to $16 a month they are quite affordable for any business to maintain.
If you start with the lowest plan you can click to upgrade when you’re ready and climb all the way up the ladder of server power.
I used to promote a few other hosts but have since stopped simply because quality and support have dwindled. I won’t mention names but they are quite well known. I’m not out the bash them but I definitely choose InMotion over all of them at this time.
If you really do want something free and fast, try Wix, Weebly, Moonfruit or some other. If you are a developer, stick with Digital Ocean, VULTR, Linode, Ramnode, or even Amazon EC2 or Microsoft Azure.
If you are an everyday business wanting more than free and limited, and less than an empty, bare server, give InMotion Hosting a look. You will see InMotion promoted on this site, not because they are random ad links, but because I specifically chose them to promote because I use them and support them.
I hope that helps you!