Just as ‘business’ hosting is a happy medium between shared and VPS hosting, VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting is one step closer to a dedicated server – without the added price tag. With a VPS hosting plan, you have a ‘virtual server’ that acts like a dedicated server, but within a shared space – kind of like having an apartment in a shared block of apartments, rather than a detached house.
If you want the security and privacy features of the above solutions while not paying too much, Rackspace offers the best alternative. In fact, they claim “256-bit Encryption in transit and at rest.” Rackspace offers a basic plan at $2/user/month, with huge 25 GB mailboxes, 30 GB cloud storage and unlimited email aliases. You can run your emails from Apple Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird and Microsoft Outlook.
While most businesses will have such suites in place, it often falls to the email service to provide an additional layer of anti-phishing and anti-malware protection. Our reviews found a surprising variance in this department, however, ranging from very robust to completely non-existent, so be careful. Since it's such a huge liability for business owners, this could be one of the most important factors in terms of background features. At the very least, it's better than filing an insurance claim or outright losing funds due to simple social engineering tactics.
Something you’ve probably noticed is that I didn’t feature WP Engine on this list. This is no mistake (or at least I hope). As awesome as WP Engine can be, it’s just too expensive of a product to recommend to most small business websites. If you’re lucky, the price tag will be $19.33 / month = $232 / year, and potentially a lot more. This is just not the kind of investment that most small business owners will be eager to make.
You can create a free website with Wix that comes with a Wix domain. To instantly look more professional online, get a custom domain name. It adds credibility to your brand and helps visitors find you online. You can start building your brand by using your domain in a custom email address ([email protected]), your social channels, email marketing campaigns and more.
Along with specialized uses for email, you should investigate how your users are emailing on a daily basis. Email has come a long way in 40 years and the way people use it has significantly evolved. That's important because it will impact the tools and features you need to look for in your hosted email provider's client software. Sure, Microsoft Outlook is still the most popular on-site email client, but a fast-increasing number of today's email users are opting for other email clients, such as Thunderbird, or all-web clients, such as Google's hugely popular Gmail. These clients can be very sophisticated and, depending on what your users are doing with email, they can have a big impact on your day-to-day business process.
PCMag understands that no two businesses have the same web hosting requirements, so we've rounded up our best-reviewed web hosting companies for small businesses and detailed their offerings in the table above so that you can get a jump-start on picking a service. If an offering catches your eye, make sure to click the appropriate link from the capsules below to read the in-depth review of the service in question.
GoDaddy has a fine range of Linux- or Windows-based shared web servers. For example, the Economy basic shared hosting package (starts at a $1-per-month introductory rate, renews at $7.99 per month) includes 100GB of storage, the ability to host one website, unlimited monthly data transfers, and a free year of Office 365 Starter Email. Microsoft's mail plan comes with just one email address, but you can upgrade to more accounts for a fee. See the Email Hosting section, below, for more options.
Heavily trafficked sites will favor 1&1 Ionos . The co-Editors' Choice has the specs (16-core CPUs, 48GB of RAM) and prorated plans that big businesses crave. In addition, 1&1 Ionos offers customizable servers that you can build from the ground up. Those, of course, cost big bucks. You should reach out to one of the company's customer service reps for pricing information.
Data protection is another key email security concern. Inboxes often contain GBs of business-critical and personal data, so not just hackers but also legitimate marketing companies can make big money off mining email data—and this sometimes includes the very company that is providing the email service to you. Fortunately, most companies, including your hosting provider, are pretty good about keeping out of private data, but it's important to be aware of when these policies have failed. Security breaches are commonplace and it's important to know how your data is being managed. To protect yourself, be sure to inquire about data safety capabilities on the provider's side, especially around encryption and malware scanning. But be sure to implement additional measures on your side, as well, including encryption for those using local email clients as well as deploying personal virtual private networks (VPNs) to folks accessing their email from multiple locations.
The Deluxe plan (starts at $7.99 per month, renews at $10.99 per month) builds on the Economy package by adding unlimited storage and domains. The Ultimate package (starts at a $12.99 per month, renews at $16.99 per month) adds double the processing power and a one-year Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate. FYI, GoDaddy tosses in a free domain name if you sign up for an annual plan.
If you want to purchase email, here's the breakdown: Email Essentials (starting at $4.99 per month or $3.99 per month with a two- or three-year commitment) gives you 5GB of email storage. Online Essentials (starting at $9.99 per month or $7.99 per month with a two- or three-year commitment) ups the email capacity to 50GB and adds 1TB of cloud storage. Business Premium (starting at $14.99 per month or $9.99 per month with a two- or three-year commitment) raises the email storage capacity to 50GB and adds unlimited web conferencing and access to online Microsoft Word and Excel. Premium Security (starting at $24.97 per month or $14.99 per month with a two- or three-year commitment) tosses in encryption and Microsoft Office mobile applications.
GoDaddy’s shared pricing plans range from $2.99/month to $12.99/month. Each plan builds on the previous set of features, working up to the most powerful ‘Maximum’ plan, which has four times the processing power and memory of the Deluxe and Economy plans (plus an SSL certificate for the full term). It claims to support ‘multiple complex sites with high-res photos and videos’, but we’d still recommend a VPS for such sites.
Our Website Backup automatically backs up your data – every day. And in worst-case scenarios, if disaster strikes, it’s ok – you can restore your data with a single “click.” So, get Website Backup and stop worrying about data loss. Get back to doing what you do best – running your business and making money. And speaking of money, here’s the best part – we’re offering it for only $2.99/mo.
Absolutely. You have the option to customize your website based on your business needs. You can add site content wherever you’d like in a variety of sections; from multiple site pages, to scrollable sections that you can add to each of those pages, to a gallery of images, menus and price lists, and YouTube or Vimeo videos. Each section in your website is customizable as well, from the name of the page, to your website’s navigation bar. You’ll also have the ability to change text colors, styles and font. It’s important to have a mobile and desktop-friendly website. With Website Builder you’ll be able to choose tablet and desktop layouts to give your visitors the experience you want them to have.