Best Web Hosting Options for Small Businesses in 2023

Your e-commerce website builder may offer built-in web hosting. If not, consider these options.
Rosalie Murphy
By Rosalie Murphy 
Updated
Edited by Ryan Lane

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A web host provides the server space where your e-commerce website and its files, like text and photos, are stored. It's also home to your domain's email addresses. Choosing the right web host can determine how fast your website loads, what happens if there’s an unexpected surge in website traffic and how hacking attempts are thwarted.

Many e-commerce website builders include web hosting in their subscription packages, and some can also help you acquire a domain name. In general, we recommend choosing built-in web hosting if it’s available — especially if your digital skills are limited.

But if you’re using an open-source online store builder or your provider’s built-in offering doesn't meet your needs, you’ll have to find your own web hosting. Here are our top choices.

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Shopify
Shopify

Shopify Ecommerce

Monthly Fee 

$29

Basic Plan. Shopify & Advanced Plans Available. 

Best web hosting for small business at a glance

Hosting platform

Best for

Price

Bandwidth

Storage

Customer support

Bluehost

WordPress hosting.

Starts at $9.95 per month.

Unmetered bandwidth.

Starts at 100GB.

24/7 phone and live chat support.

iPage

Cheap web hosting.

Starts at $1.99 per month.

No set bandwidth limits, although high-traffic websites may outgrow iPage.

Unlimited storage.

24/7 live chat support.

Namecheap

Drag-and-drop website building.

Starts at $4.98 per month.

Unmetered bandwidth.

Starts at 50GB.

24/7 live chat support.

InMotion

VPS hosting.

VPS hosting starts at $14.99 per month.

VPS plans include 2TB or unmetered bandwidth.

VPS plans start at 90GB of storage.

24/7 phone and live chat support.

HostGator

Dedicated server hosting.

Dedicated servers start at $89.98 per month.

Unmetered bandwidth.

Dedicated servers start at 1TB of storage.

24/7 phone and live chat support.

Cloudways

Cloud hosting.

Starts at $14 per month.

Bandwidth starts at 1TB on DigitalOcean plans and 2GB on AWS and Google Cloud plans.

Starts at 20GB.

24/7 live chat support.

Bluehost: Best web hosting service for WooCommerce users

Bluehost offers affordable web hosting solutions, including a free domain name when signing up for some of its one-year plans. It also offers dedicated e-commerce web hosting plans for WooCommerce users, which are designed to support features like including online payments, gift cards, appointment booking and product wishlists.

WooCommerce is an open-source online store builder that runs on WordPress. Here’s how WooCommerce stacks up against Shopify, another leader in this space.

Here are Bluehost’s starting plans for small e-commerce businesses:

  • Online store: Starts at $9.99 per month. This hosting plan supports WooCommerce on WordPress. It comes with 100GB of storage, one year of a free domain, a free SSL certificate, malware scanning and daily website backups. 

  • Email: Starts at $3 per month per address. Access to Google Workspace includes Google Drive, Google Meet videoconferencing and Google Calendar.

IPage: Cheapest small-business web hosting

IPage offers unlimited file storage and unlimited bandwidth on all its plans, which start at $1.99 per month. You’ll also get a free domain name for a year, unlimited email addresses and an SSL certificate.

To use iPage for more than hosting — like building your website or tracking your inventory — you’ll have to upgrade to a costlier plan. A dedicated e-commerce platform may be more useful in that case.

Here are iPage’s options for small-business web hosting:

  • Web hosting: Starts at $1.99 per month. This shared hosting plan comes with no limits on storage or bandwidth, although iPage may intervene if your website uses an outsized amount of either. It also includes a free SSL certificate, free domain for a year and email hosting. 

  • Email: Unlimited addresses included in all plans. You can upgrade to Google Workspace starting at $7.20 per month.

Namecheap: Best for drag-and-drop website building

As the name suggests, Namecheap sells web hosting and domain names at low cost. Plans start at less than $5 per month and include a free domain name for the first year. Plus, you can use Namecheap to actually build a website.

Here are Namecheap’s starting plans for e-commerce businesses:

  • Stellar Business: $4.98 per month. Provides 50GB of storage, unmetered bandwidth, a free SSL certificate and one year of a free domain name. Backups run automatically, with formal backups twice a week. Users have access to a drag-and-drop website builder, too.

  • Email: Starts at $1.24 per month per email address. The Starter plan includes one mailbox and up to 5GB of storage. For more addresses or mobile support, you’ll need to upgrade. 

InMotion: Best for VPS hosting

VPS stands for “virtual private server.” That means your website gets dedicated space on your host’s server — rather than having to share that space with other websites, which is what “shared hosting” means. If shared hosting is reserving a table at a restaurant and counting on it to be available, then VPS hosting is like reserving a private party room.

InMotion offers seven different VPS hosting plans. They all include built-in redundancies to keep your website online, protection against DDoS attacks, servers optimized for PCI compliance and free SSL certificates.

Plans range from $14.99 per month to $74.99 per month. More expensive plans include unlimited bandwidth, additional storage and memory, phone support, and extra dedicated IP addresses.

HostGator: Best for dedicated server hosting

If VPS hosting is a private room, then a dedicated server is like renting out a whole venue. Your website doesn’t have to share a server with any others.

For most small businesses, shared or VPS hosting is probably sufficient. But dedicated server hosting may be useful if:

  • Your website is repeatedly lagging.

  • All your files and images aren’t loading properly.

  • You’re running out of storage space. 

  • You’re particularly worried about being hacked. 

HostGator offers three dedicated hosting plans, starting at $89.98 per month. The introductory Value plan offers 1TB of storage space — equal to 1,000GB — plus 8GB of RAM and unmetered bandwidth. All plans include DDoS protection, scheduled and manual backups, and a fully redundant network.

You can tack Google Workspace — including email — onto a HostGator plan for $6 per month and up.

Cloudways: Best for cloud-based web hosting

Cloud hosting doesn’t rely on a single physical server like the other options on this list. Instead, your website’s data will be stored across a network of multiple servers virtually.

Most small businesses probably don’t need cloud hosting, but you may want to consider it if:

  • You expect your business to scale very quickly.

  • You want an extra layer of data backup.

  • You’re worried about very large amounts of traffic impacting your website’s performance.

Cloudways gives you the option to choose from three different cloud servers: DigitalOcean plans start at $14 per month, AWS plans at $36.56 per month, and Google Cloud plans at $37.45 per month. All Cloudways plans include 24/7 support, free SSL certificates, free migration, unlimited application installation, dedicated firewalls, automated backups, regular security patching and real-time monitoring. There’s no cap on monthly visits.

How to choose the best web hosting for your small business

It can be complicated to compare web hosting services without significant technical knowledge. For the smallest businesses, most web hosts offer plenty of storage and sufficient security tools, and they can handle the traffic you’re likely to see.

But if you’re running a large retailer or a medical practice that has to store sensitive client information, you may need to spend a lot more on a web hosting provider. You may also want to invest in other best practices, like regular offline data backups and cybersecurity insurance.

Do the following when choosing the best web hosting for your business:

  • Consider your built-in option. Many e-commerce platforms come with web hosting that includes SSL certificates and, sometimes, a free domain name for at least a year. If that option is sufficient for your business, there’s no need to spring for a separate web hosting service.

  • Evaluate your storage and bandwidth needs. The biggest factor in your web hosting costs will probably be how much server space you need. If your business website includes lots of high-resolution photos and videos, you’ll likely need more space. But if your website is largely text-based, you may be able to get by with less.

  • Weigh your security options. An SSL or TLS certificate encrypts communications between your website and others and is an essential cybersecurity step for businesses that store customer information. DDoS protection can help guard your website against hacks that threaten to take it offline, though these are less common.

  • Decide what type of hosting you need. Shared hosting is sufficient for many small businesses, especially those with relatively limited bandwidth and storage requirements and straightforward security needs. But if you want to hedge against downtime or hacking risks, you may want to learn more about VPS and dedicated server options.

  • Note the cost of email accounts. Some web hosting companies charge for each additional email address, which can start to add up if you have a large team. 

  • Consider your future growth. If you don’t need much support now but anticipate lots more customers — and lots more customer information — in the future, look for a web hosting company with multiple service tiers so you can upgrade when you need to. 

A version of this article originally appeared on JustBusiness, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.