What You Need to Know About Web Hosting For Your Small Business

Building a professional website is a tall order as they are a key component in a small business’ success. People like to visit a website before they go to a store in person, so you want to make sure the online experience they have is a good one – as it often counts as a first impression.

Web hosting has a significant impact on the customer’s experience with your site, so you want to ensure you are knowledgeable enough about the topic to implement it into your digital strategy. That being said, here is what you need to know about small business web hosting services.

What is Web Hosting?

Web hosting is a service that allows individuals and organizations to make their websites visible on the Internet. It is the process of allocating space on a web server for a website to store its files. Web hosting makes the files that make up a website (code, images, text etc.) available for viewing through a web browser. 

Simply put, it is the home of where your website lives. Think about it renting space in a house. Your website is the renter, the server is the physical property, and the Web hosting service is the landlord.

How Does Web Hosting Work?

You will need to register a domain name for your small business website. This is done so that when people are searching for your site, they can type in an easy-to-remember slug (like the name of your business) rather than a complicated string of numbers. Once you purchase this, you’ll be pointed towards your server.

Once a person types in your domain name, the web browser connects to the files from the server and displays your site to the viewer. 

When someone visits a website, they are grabbing files off a remote server called a web host. There could be dozens, thousands, or millions of visitors on a website. Some of them can be automated systems that could be deliberately trying to hack the web host to steal passwords, among other things. 

Your personal computer is not set up for this because it doesn’t have to be. Most web developers today pay someone else to host their sites, and they can easily find a host to give them all they need in terms of storage and security for under $10 a month. 

You can technically host a website yourself, but it’s very difficult to get right, especially for a beginner. Through a web host, you get things that you wouldn’t get on your computer at home. 

  1. A commercially managed web host is always on. Even when it needs to reboot a couple of times a year, it will do so very quickly, and users will barely notice, if at all. 
  2. It has a static ip number/domain name, which means that other computers reliably know how to find it. It’s also set up to work with something called a ‘domain name service’ or DNS so users can reach it by typing instead of a string of numbers. 
  3. Commercial hosting providers have a lot of specialized software, including database servers, programming language interpreters, and web servers. Your home computer might have this software, but it is not optimized to serve websites. 
  4. Commercial web hosts have their servers in a room with good security and an uninterruptible power supply. They are used to dealing with malicious hackers and have backup processes to keep your data safe.
  5. This is all overseen by professionals with years of experience with doing nothing but managing web hosts.

Who is Hosting Your Website?

In the case that you already have a website, have you ever wondered who’s hosting it? With a free web hosting checker, you can find out who is hosting your website, or any site for that matter.

Types of Web Hosting Services

There are different types of services that a web host provides. Here is a list of the various options available.


Shared web hosting is when multiple websites are stored and run on the same server, and they will share resources like memory and disk space. It’s like renting one room in a house but sharing the kitchen and bathroom with other people. This is the most cost-effective, but if there is a spike in traffic, you may experience performance issues, and your online presence may suffer as a result.


VPS hosting can be thought of as renting a townhouse or condo. Some areas are shared, but for the most part, you get your own space. With this option, fewer sites share the same server than shared hosting.

Each site has its own resources, so increased traffic on one site won’t affect the other sites. As a result, VPS costs more but offers better performance and faster loading times.


Dedicated web hosting is like owning the entire house and the land that it’s on. Your site is the only one on the server. The cost will be higher since you’re renting the whole server. Dedicated server hosting is mostly used for large e-commerce sites and businesses with high traffic. Companies will also have more technical control over the dedicated server.


Cloud hosting is a bit of a combination of the types of hosting we just discussed. It operates across multiple servers that work together rather than just one server. Chances of downtime is reduced because multiple servers are available. If one server is down, then another server can provide support when needed. This option could be pricier, but the price fluctuates because you only pay for what you use.


Colocation allows you to place your server machine in someone else’s rack and share their bandwidth as your own. Once you have a machine set up, you take it physically to the location of the colocation provider and install it in their rack, or you rent a server machine from the colocation provider. That company then provides an IP, bandwidth, and power to your server. 

A collocated server is owned by the user and is housed in a rental space, along with the servers of many other companies and individuals.


WordPress hosting is specifically for WordPress sites and content management systems. Many WordPress hosts automatically handle platform-specific needs like updates to the cms, automatic backups, and other back-end support. This is ideal for those who want to use the WordPress platform but have less technical back-end knowledge.

Small Business Web Hosting Plan Features to Look Out For

Web hosting providers can do more for you than just host your website files. Most hosting companies also include a variety of features. Of course, as a business owner, you will want the best for your site, so consider looking for these features below when shopping around hosting options:

  • Customer service support options like live chat, toll-free help desk, or social media support ensure you have the support you need when you need it. 
  • Storage space. You can always start small and upgrade as needed as the hosting service normally provides different options – 5GB, 50GB, unlimited.
  • Monitoring. Your host allows you to monitor how much space you are using. 
  • Cancellation policies, like a money-back guarantee or trial period, provide a safety net should you wish to cancel the website hosting. 
  • Security features like two-factor authentication, detailed and accessible logs, and varying privileges and security levels of users can help keep your site secure. 
  • FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a protocol that allows you to store or recover your website’s files on your Web Hosting plan.
  • Email accounts using their custom domain name- you can have one or more emails all using your domain name for consistent branding.

How Much Does Web Hosting Cost?

Web hosting prices vary significantly. The prices can start at $2.49 per month and escalate to $729 and higher. The cost depends on what type of website you have, how much traffic your website receives, and the extra services that you choose – such as an email account, backups etc. 

The cheapest way to host a website is by using a free web host or site builder. These often also allow you the use of a free subdomain name (ie., so your cost can essentially be $0. However, these are generally for hobbies and not a professional site.

Best Web Hosting Services for Small Businesses


Namecheap is a one-stop site where you can buy a domain and everything else you need to run and host your business website. Register a new domain with Namecheap or transfer your current domain to their hosting provider. With an available free trial, you can try out their services before paying for a monthly subscription. Choose certain subscriptions and receive a free domain. 

  • Price: Starts at $4.44 per month for 1st year, then $8.88 per month
  • Hosting Services: Shared hosting, WordPress hosting, reseller hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated servers, private email hosting
  • Storage: 50GB to unlimited based on plan and hosting type
  • Customer Support: 24/7 live chat support


Established in 2003 and hosting over 2 million websites, Bluehost services businesses all over the world. With dedicated hosting plans for e-commerce sites, combining the flexibility of WordPress with high-level e-commerce tools. Easily transfer an existing domain to Bluehost service provider or purchase a shared hosting plan and receive a free domain with your plan.

  • Price: Starts at $7.99 per month
  • Hosting Services: Shared hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, reseller hosting
  • Storage: 30GB to unlimited based on plan and hosting type
  • Customer Support: 24/7 phone and live chat support


This hosting company was established in 2002; HostGator has grown to host over 2 million websites. Their services are optimized to grow with their customers, making it easy to scale your business site. Enjoy the use of a free domain, free site transfer, and free SSL certificates when you sign up for one of their monthly website building and hosting subscriptions. 

  • Price: Starts at $5.95 per month
  • Hosting Services: Web hosting, cloud hosting, WordPress hosting, reseller hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, application hosting, windows hosting, website builder
  • Storage: 1TB to unmetered based on plan and hosting type
  • Customer Support: 24/7/365 phone and live chat support


iPage offers users the ability to build a website in minutes, without the need for coding, and one that can easily be expanded and improved upon as your business grows. Enjoy a whole slew of features with low-cost pricing structures. Opt for one of their monthly packages and receive a free domain and free SSL certificate with unlimited bandwidth! This hosting service also provides $200 worth of search engine ad credits on your account when you sign up with them to help with your business site’s search visibility. 

  • Price: Starts at $7.99 per month
  • Hosting Services: Web hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, WordPress hosting
  • Storage: 40GB to unlimited based on plan and hosting type
  • Customer Support: 24/7 phone and chat support


With customer support all year round and access to case studies and Ebooks, Cloudways is always happy to help their user base. In partnership with Google Cloud, Digital Ocean, Vultr, AWS, MalCare, Linode, and StackPath, this quality hosting provider can host servers from different providers should you need it. You don’t even need to provide a credit card when starting your free trial on one of Cloudways’ shared hosting or private server plans. 

  • Price: Starts at $10 per month
  • Hosting Services: WordPress hosting, WooCommerce hosting, enterprise WordPress hosting, PHP hosting, Laravel hosting, Drupal hosting, Joomla hosting, PrestaShop hosting, e-commerce hosting
  • Storage: 25GB to 3840GB based on plan
  • Customer Support: 24/7/365 online support, option to add premium support

Web hosting is necessary for keeping your website professional and optimized for a quality user experience. However, no matter how crucial it is, it is still a business expense that needs to be tracked. 

The easiest way to monitor and organize all your business expenses in one place is by using QuickBooks Online. Start your free trial today to keep on top of your business finances like a seasoned pro.

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