Small business owners have special considerations when looking for a company to host their website. Is the web host dependable? Are their prices affordable? Do they offer sufficient support for small businesses? Can they reliably support a shopping cart or other tools needed to communicate with clients? Perhaps most importantly, are they adaptable enough to handle changing business needs and the growth of the business? What if the need develops for multiple domain web hosting?
There are many web hosting companies offering services to small businesses, but each web host is unique in not only the services but the level of service provided to the business owner. Since most small businesses do not have in-house web designers or computer programmers, it is important to look at what services a potential web host can offer and how easy they can make it for a small business owner who may not be internet savvy. Let’s take a look at a few of the more popular web hosting companies and how they can help a small business owner.
Small business owners will find iPage offers affordable hosting with a variety of services. They offer two different drag and drop website builders that make it easy to design your own site. Clients are allowed unlimited domains, unlimited bandwidth and unlimited disk space. Their service includes a free online store with a choice of shopping carts to best suit your business needs.
FatCow targets inexperienced webmasters with an inexpensive plan that provides unlimited bandwidth, traffic and domain names as well as courteous customer service. They offer a single drag and drop site builder with a shopping cart available. While they may offer fewer options, their goal is to provide the simplest tools for new users.
Just Host offers an easy-to-use interface through the popular cPanel control panel and an affordable price on its hosting service. They include ad credits for Google, Yahoo and MySpace to get you started when you sign up. They offer a 100% money back guarantee on the unused part of your hosting contract should you decide to drop the service. They also promise customer service calls will be answered quickly by representatives who speak English and will have no problem understanding you or speaking so that you can understand them.
InMotion Hosting strives to offer reliable hosting to businesses that are growing, working to adapt to those businesses’ changing needs. While their basic service limits business owners to only two domain names, they guarantee 99.9% uptime and a service plan designed specifically for business websites, built on business class hardware up to 50% faster than other providers. They also provide data back-up for all clients to protect your website from data loss.
Business owners needing instant set-up will find BlueHost ready and able to assist them. They offer the intuitive cPanel control panel as well as many professional level tools for building a site. Their easy to use site builder includes many templates that make designing a site a snap! But BlueHost’s biggest asset is their virtual private server (VPS) protection that allows each site to run as if on its own dedicated server should any problems affect other sites on the shared server that might slow down the server’s overall performance. With their proprietary VPS protection, your share of server performance is guaranteed.
HostGator understands that small businesses need a hosting plan that addresses the complex needs that running a small company entails. HostGator has the largest number of customers of any web hosting site with over 700,000 domain owners running over 5 million websites. Along with unlimited disk space and bandwidth, HostGator also provides scripts for forums, photo galleries and membership sign-up that can be beneficial to many businesses.
Since a small business will not be able to afford the time, maintenance and cost required to run a dedicated server, shared hosting is an attractive option. But reliability and dependability of the hosting service is paramount, as is affordability and the support structure they provide. Consideration must also be given to future needs of the company and whether the web host can provide for those needs. It is an important decision that can affect success or failure of the business.
This is a guest post by Ellee Parker, who writes web hosting reviews and guides for Web Host Gear.