If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner, a website is a necessity for marketing your goods and services.
Creating a strong online presence for your business will allow it to grow by giving potential customers access to all the information they might need. Your website is an extension of your business card, with personal contact details, information about your business, and details about the services you offer. You might even conduct business with visitors to your website through e-commerce sales.
With that said, it is very important that you choose a reliable web hosting service that will protect your site content, so that it is functional and accessible to customers at all times.
Since there are hundreds of web hosting services and many factors to consider when choosing a web host, we’ve done some research to help narrow it down for you.
Avoid the EIG Trap
Over the last several years, more than 70 independent web hosting services were bought by Endurance International Group (EIG), including BlueHost, HostGator, and HostMonster, among so many others. Customers who were once satisfied with some of these hosts experienced major outages and lack of support once the host was acquired by EIG. In August of 2013, EIG hosts experienced server downtime that lasted almost a full day, affecting millions of customers. This occurred again on New Years’ Eve 2013, and twice in 2014.
When EIG acquires a web host, several changes take place which negatively affect the large consumer base. EIG makes changes to the web hosting service, sometimes implementing a new control panel. Migration to a different datacenter or server takes place, and the previous support staff is either reduced or completely replaced by EIG’s own under-staffed support team, responsible for trouble-shooting several different EIG-owned hosts. In addition to slow response times, some customers reported that some of their data was completely wiped from the server.
These days, it’s even difficult to find honest web host reviews, because EIG sites seem to dominate every web search. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll steer you away from the EIG-owned hosts, to some independently-operated companies with a “host” of benefits for you and your company.
SiteGround is a hosting service that has so far avoided being bought out by EIG or another large group. It offers three affordable shared hosting plans, starting with the $3.95/month StartUp Plan–perfect for a small business owner’s new or already existing site. The StartUp plan can accommodate up to 10,000 unique monthly visits. However, if you find that your website traffic is increasing, you can bump your plan up to the GrowBig option, for up to 25,000 monthly visits, or even the GoGeek option, accommodating up to 100,000 monthly visits. With these growth options, you can be sure that SiteGround web hosting service can provide you with the bandwidth, CPU usage, disk space, and other features you will need as your site expands.
While SiteGround doesn’t offer as many advanced features as some other hosting services, it offers every feature that a small business owner like you might need–and more! Whichever plan you choose, you will have your choice of datacenter on three continents, with locations in Chicago, London, Amsterdam, and Singapore. SiteGround guarantees 99.9% uptime, provides a free domain, and 24/7 access to their highly responsive support team, via chat or phone. Small businesses are especially vulnerable to website attacks, so SiteGround’s high security features, including daily back-ups, also make it an attractive option.
When a website experiences high traffic, caching is necessary to avoid sluggish speed. Setting this up is often difficult for someone who is new to web hosting. However, SiteGround offers a free CloudFlare CDN feature that will speed up your site for you, with easy setup. And, not only will the SiteGround team provide free migration for your existing site, but they will also make any tweaks that are necessary to get your site running smoothly on your new server. SiteGround is compatible with both WordPress and Joomla, and provides tutorials for each, as well as the many other hosting features it offers. If you’re not sure about a plan, SiteGround offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, or you can try a one-month trial after paying a one-time setup fee. Click here to explore SiteGround web hosting plans.
InMotion is another excellent alternative to EIG-owned hosts. Starting at just $3.49 a month, it offers a number of services at incredible value. With the purchase of a shared hosting plan, InMotion provides you with a free domain name on its 100% SSD-powered servers–a faster alternative to traditional, hard-drive powered servers. InMotion offers 100% compatibility with most, if not all, WordPress features and plug-ins, and saves you time by offering native WP-CLI support. InMotion will also allow you to set up e-commerce on your site, with a shopping cart or even 1-Click shopping. With two data-centers, in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, you can choose the location that is closest to you for maximum speed.
InMotion also provides free site migrations and daily backups. It is well-maintained for maximum security and improved performance, and offers 24/7 live chat or phone support from real humans–no automated responses involved. Unlike some EIG-owned hosts, InMotion does not oversell its web hosting server space. It boasts a 99.9% server uptime guarantee, so you can feel confident that your website and online services are accessible to your clientele.
InMotion is a user-friendly hosting service, catered to both beginner and experienced users. There are several plans to choose from, based on the particular needs of your business, and the number of add-on domains you require. In other words, InMotion can grow with you, by offering more expansive web hosting plans as needed. InMotion is a trustworthy web host option for your small business. It has been a top-rated CNET service provider for 13 years, and also earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, a consumer protection agency that evaluates business integrity and performance. Still, if you’re not satisfied with your purchase, InMotion offers a 90-day money-back guarantee. Click here to explore InMotion web hosting plans.
Secure your Online Presence
Your website is a crucial component to your business. Whether your site is a personal blog or an online market, it is very important that you pick a reliable web host so that nothing can come between you and your customers. Independently-operated hosts like SiteGround and InMotion offer many attractive features at very low prices, and won’t lead you into the pitfalls that customers of EIG-owned hosts experience.
Don’t risk server downtime or lack of support by choosing the host that shows up at the top of your Google search. Explore the many hosting features that SiteGround and Inmotion can offer your business today, and the many ways they can accommodate your business’ future growth.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small compensation from the companies I recommend. If I post an affiliate link, it is to a product or service that I use in my own business or that I personally recommend to all of my own clients. I do not write sponsored posts in exchange for affiliate income. I only write reviews based on my experience and recommend services if I think that the company is the best in the industry.
Lisa M Gale Digital Marketing helps service professional business owners improve their online presence and visibility to attract new clients. We develop systems and processes to improve digital marketing efforts and help entrepreneurs reach their business goals. Download your Digital Marketing Made Simple for free here >>