We researched the web hosting industry and found companies that we think provide the best services for small businesses. We prioritized each company's storage, bandwidth and security features, as well as their pricing and customer service. If you're just starting a business, or running a small operation, a shared hosting plan is the best place to start. Larger businesses and developed e-commerce platforms may need more powerful options, like VPS or cloud hosting.
Storage space isn’t necessarily talking about space on your site, but rather, space to store your files on the backend. (Things like HTML files, email, images, and scripts.) Essentially, storage is the filing cabinet for the site. You’ll want to be aware of available storage space before signing up for a hosting service, because once the filing cabinet is full, that’s it.
Web hosting is the service that helps you get your website online so you have an online presence. The web hosting service is actually what is needed to store the content found on your website. It's the place where all of your images, databases, videos and other pieces of your website are stored. While you will also need a domain name for your website, please note that domain name registration and web hosting are actually two different services. The good news is that you can actually register your name with A2 Hosting as well as host your website for ultimate convenience!
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While we reviewed paid web hosting services, there are also some free web hosting services out there. These provided businesses and individuals with a web builder and a no-cost hosting service. While some security and integration features may be present, they won't be as robust as the paid services. Some examples of free hosting companies are Wix, WordPress, Weebly and 000webhost. Again, while these services can provide you with a good free hosting option, their capabilities will likely pale in comparison to the paid plans. If you're on a budget, it may be a good idea to start out on one of these services and then eventually transition to a paid plan.
If you're not sure of the type of hosting your business needs, you might want to start small, with shared Web hosting. You can always graduate to a more robust, feature-rich package of, say, VPS hosting or even dedicated hosting in the future. Unfortunately, some hosts don't offer all hosting types. Consider how much you expect to grow your website, and how soon, before you commit to anything longer than a one-year plan. It's worth spending the time up front to make sure that the host you select with is able to provide the growth you envision for your site, as switching web hosting providers midstream is not a trivial undertaking.