How To Choose The Best Web Hosting Platform For Small Business 2021
"Choosing which webhosting to use for safely storing and serving your websites is a big decision. Especially since it can determine the performance and safety of your website." (Bill Gates, Microsoft)
With so many different options on the market, from shared hosting to dedicated hosting, SSL requirements to location servers, it can be a minefield when trying to work out which service is the right fit for you.
One of the most important things to do when you’re choosing which web hosting service to use is to do an adequate amount of research on each of those that feature on your shortlist. Understanding what each web hosting provider offers will help you to find the one that will do exactly what you want it to do.
For your convenience We’re going to evaluate three different web hosting companies:
1. Justhost - “Professional Hosting from Just Host”
Justhost is one of the most popular web hosting providers on the market as it gives those on a small budget the functionality they need to host and build a respectable website. Many of their hosting features are free: domain name, website builder and a free email address to register with. Alongside free features is a very low budget three-tiered plan offering, including “Basic” at £2.96 per month, “Plus” at £5.20 per month and “Choice” at a reduced rate of £5.20 (for a limited time only).
Justhost also supports PHP 5 and 7 meaning your website will be fast and efficient without the need for any extra work from you in the background.
Pros to using Justhost
The costs for each of Justhost’s plans are significantly lower than its competitors.
Website storage space and bandwidth are not limited for Plus and Choice plans meaning there’s room for growth on your website.
Each plan comes with a free SSL certificate meaning your website can is safe and secure (this is also recommended as a symbol of trust for your potential users and customers).
They offer the use of subdomains included with each plan (unlimited for Plus and Choice plans) for bigger companies that need the use of them.
Justhost have a 24 hour customer service team available to help you with your web hosting and website building needs
Cons to using Justhost
Website backups are hugely important for any company, regardless of their size. Most services offer website backups as a standard but Justhost can’t guarantee that websites will be automatically backed up.
Website downtime is common for all websites but getting alerted to it and the risks of it happening can be greater when hosting through Justhost, mainly because it’s not managed provider like WP Engine is with WordPress.
Additional costs can be incurred depending on which plugins and add-ons you wish to install onto your website
All of which have a substantial user base across the world, hence being some of the most well-known companies in the web industry. We’ll highlight the pros and cons of each of the hosting platforms, making it easier for you to distinguish between those that will help you achieve your website goals and those that won’t.
2. WP Engine - “WP Platform Of Choice”
WordPress is undoubtedly one of the most recognised content management systems, mainly because it’s extremely user-friendly for both the average user and for the advanced developers wishing to use the HTML plugins. Its catalogue of functionalities and constant evolutions of new technologies has helped it to become a market leader in its field, putting itself at the forefront of CMS and web hosting service providers.
WP Engine is a web hosting platform that allows you to host and grow a website with ease. It is managed and hosted via WordPress meaning you’ll need to be a WordPress user to get access to this service but means you’ll get the added security and support of WordPress’s constant maintenance work and optimisation features. It also means you’ll login via WordPress as opposed to the standard cPanel login process making it a little easier and quicker. Starting from as little as $25 for its basic plans, all the way to custom plans that let you shape your website set-up exactly how you want it, it offers solutions for both companies small and large.
For those looking to build a small website, maybe it’s a start-up company or a blog site that you want to develop, the basic WP Engine plan is the perfect solution. It requires a small budget with a discounted rate for the first year and 50GB storage space per month.
Growth and Scale plans allow for a more advanced web hosting experience, with more functionality and higher allowances when it comes to website visits and storage space.
Pros to using WP Engine
Engine is known for being one of the easiest systems to set-up. Users with minimum experience can use the platform to host a website without having to spend time fiddling with unnecessary code or learning about servers.
The Growth and Scale plans include multiple sites that you can host meaning you can extend your offering on multiple websites at any one time.
It’s a highly powered web hosting platform that works fast and efficiently with rarely any website downtime to cause revenue loss.
They offer 24 hour customer care so if you encounter any problems with the service, there’s always an advisor on hand to support you through fixing the issue
Cons to using WP Engine
Unfortunately, WP Engine limits the amount of visits your website can receive per month meaning your peak visits can only ever reach 25,000 for the basic Startup plan,100,000 for the Growth plan and 400,000 for the Scale plan. Depending on your brand, this could be very detrimental to scaling your business.
Storage space is limited meaning you’ll have to be careful not to exceed the limits WP Engine have placed on your plans. Although 50GB might sound like a lot, it can quickly
be taken up when you build more and more pages with advanced functionalities
WP Engine’s pricing is higher than its competitors but is balanced out with its extensive product offering that many of the other web hosting services don’t offer
3. iPage - Domains & Hosting at Affordable prices
iPage is one of the most affordable web hosting providers on the market, starting at just $1.99 per month for its “Go” Plan. It’s a great solution for those looking to start a small website and only takes a few minutes to get your website running. It’s fully customisable and allows for website optimization alongside guarantees of a fast website or your money back (within 30 days of hosting).
iPage is popular with users because it’s proven to be one of the easiest to use. It’s website builder doesn't require users to have any previous experience, guiding them through every step of the process. The hosting service has an iPage website builder, 1-click installation for WordPress CMS or a different CMS that you’re familiar with and code-free layouts making it easy for the average user to design, use and change their website.
Your iPage web hosting plan will come with a free SSL certificate that will ensure all data stored on your website will be encrypted, safely securing payment details and personal information of your customers. It also has unlimited MySQL databases meaning that you can generate as many databases as necessary on any plan, without any limitations.
Pros to using iPage
Their low cost plans are very cost-effective with each offering unlimited websites, unlimited storage and a free SSL certificate.
Users get access to 24 hour customer support to help them maintain and manage their website.
Free website builder, domain (for 1 year) and email address connected to the account.
1-click app and plugin installations making it an easy option for new or inexperienced website owners.
Website monitoring from their many serves is included to ensure website downtime is always reported alongside website traffic reporting
Cons to using iPage
Users can incur extra costs for 3rd party applications, plugins, add ons or additional services. Renewals can also incur extra charges
iPage charge $150 per website for any site migrations you need to make which could work out expensive depending on how many migrations you require
If you have a bigger-than-average site, or your site grows to this, you’ll struggle with resource limitations on iPage which could prove tricky should you have thousands of files
Hosting and building a website requires a lot of work, whether you’re a start-up company or well-established brand. All web hosting providers offer a catalogue of features and functionalities that fit companies in different ways. For example, if you’re looking to host and build a blog website, there would be no need for an SSL certification or massive storage space. If you’re going to build a website with an e-commerce store on the other hand, these things will be at the top of your list.
WP Engine, Justhost and iPage all offer an array of features, each different to the next although each hugely sufficient for web hosting. Make sure to choose the web hosting provider that is suitable for your website needs and goals before investing and pick a solution that gives you the best value for your budget.
We hope you enjoyed this review.