What is The Best Hosting Service For a Small Start-Up?

Thinking of making a website for your startup? Great idea!

What’s the best hosting service? Well, we need to unpack that question first.

What’s the “best” for someone is not the best for everyone.

Before deciding on a web hosting service, it’s important to consider what a startup needs and how proficient that startup is with all the bells and whistles that come with a hosting service.

Regardless of what industry your startup sits in— understanding the market is essential. Standing on the shoulders of giants in your market can provide a lot of useful data for your small business website to avoid blindly stepping forward into the competitive arena of e-commerce.

For example, email, website content, and social media are the top three marketing tools used by small businesses today.

So it makes sense for a hosting service to provide said features to convey the right message through preferred channels. 

Let’s go over the essentials of choosing a hosting service.

Know Which Type of Hosting You Need

There are different kinds of hosting services but a startup can focus on whether they need shared or dedicated server hosting.

In shared hosting, many customers and websites share the same server. This is the cheapest hosting plan that is adequate for low-traffic, low-volume startups that are new to the game.

A good hosting service should give you room to grow. If a startup begins to scale, they’ll likely need to upgrade their web hosting plan. 

An easy migration process makes everything way less stressful when switching to a dedicated server.

What Makes a Startup Website Great? 

1) If You Build it They Will Come

Chances are your business wants to attract people that are already active online. Since people use the internet like we used to use a phone book, it’s good to optimize a website for mobile devices. 

The best hosting service should include:

  • User-friendly website builder
  • Desktop and mobile versions
  • Customer support throughout the building process

2) Credibility

Plain and simple…

Savvy customers expect a business to have their own website. Which makes sense, since a physical business address serves offline customers. This means a startup website shouldn’t be down during growth periods.

The best hosting service should include:

  • Fast loading times
  • 99.9% Uptime guarantee 
  • Reliability confirmed by reviews

3) Security and Support 

A hosting company’s infrastructure should protect your website. This means low vulnerability to cyber-attacks and backups of your information.

The best hosting service should include:

  • Monitoring services
  • 24/7 support
  • Firewalls and security add-ons

4) Owning Your Domain

As your startup grows, you’ll realize how many thousands of options there are for hosting services. 

But a crucial thing to do is to truly own your domain. 

In case you need a refresher, a domain is what people type in the URL bar to go to your website. No matter how many hosting services you switch to, the end-user should continue to visit the same web address they know and love. 

This also comes in handy when you want to register names for future products or services that are still in the incubation phase. A great web host service welcomes all your domains.

Which Hosting Services Match Our Criteria?

Now that you have solid expectations of what makes “the best” hosting service applicable to your situation, we can list some options that meet our requirements:

  • Dreamhost
  • Wix
  • Liquid Web
  • Cloudways
  • GreenGeeks
  • Netlify
  • Bluehost
  • Hostek

Data centers are expanding across the globe and what makes one hosting service better than another depends on the needs of the startup. 

But as we all know, competition is great for the customer. 

The guidelines listed above can help you ignore all the noise from hosting services competing for your hard earned dollars. Sticking with these suggestions can keep your startup focused on uncompromising reliability and performance.

Photo by Sean MacEntee

Dorian Koci

Dr. Dorian Koçi is a historian, Director of National Historical Museum of Albania and lecturer in Tirana State University, Faculty of History and Philology and New York University of Tirana.