The best small business Web hosting services

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Check out the latest top small business hosting services that cater for everything from a home business all the way through to dedicated, managed servers for high traffic sites.

I've included a range of services that cater for everything from a small blog all the way up to an enterprise level eCommerce site.

I'll talk about how to choose the right service for you and your business at the end of this article.

[UPDATE]: Find the perfect Web host with our 2013 comparison table of the best Web hosting in four categories - hosted, shared, VPS & dedicated.

It's also important to note that I have included a few companies that aren't necessarily dedicated website hosting services. For example, some companies offer eCommerce Web software that is hosted by them, others offer file hosting service via the cloud. Since these services are often a good fit for small businesses, I've included them in the list for completeness.

Let's look at the world's best hosting companies:

GoDaddy Virtual Dedicated

GoDaddy is really known as a domain registrar, but they offer plenty of hosting options - and they've done a good job too.

I chose to include their virtual dedicated server plan because it is seriously cost effective and comes with plenty of support and value added features.

You can choose from a range of operating systems, their network has a 99.9% uptime guarantee, they offer 24/7 support, with network monitoring and security and a generous server resource package.

Plus you get a few hundred dollars worth of advertising on the various search and social networks. Nice!

Customer reviews (averaged across multiple sources): 78 out of 100

How much you can expect to pay

Between $30 per month and $120 per month depending on your requirements.

Dedicated WordPress hosting with WP Engine

With so many WordPress blogs and websites online, I had to include a service that specializes in WordPress sites.

WP Engine offers both standard hosting for WordPress sites as well as managed packages.

Aside from the advantage of having an expert support team (that doesn't have to waste resources learning hundreds of different platforms like conventional services), Webmasters using WP Engine also enjoy:

  • Performance and speed enhanced for WordPress
  • Scalable, so don't worry about crashes due to traffic
  • Free hacking fixes
  • Secure backups

If you are thinking about using WordPress, then WP Engine is the service for you.

Customer reviews (averaged across multiple sources): 85 out of 100

How much you can expect to pay

Free 60 day trial. From $29 per month to $250 per month, depending.

myhosting business VPS

I included myhosting business VPS because they offer a simpler, more straightforward service. There are far less frills and add-ons, but they're fundamentally good value.

What's nice about myhosting is that they offer real-time scalability.

This basically means that if your business blog starts driving real traffic, you can upgrade the server resources quickly and easily to meet the demands of larger traffic volumes.

Despite being a more cost-effective solution, myhosting still offers 24/7 support so they don't skimp out on the essentials.

Customer reviews (averaged across multiple sources): 88 out of 100

How much you can expect to pay

Between $19 per month and $60 per month depending on your requirements.

Yahoo! Small Business

Yahoo small business hosting offers 35% off for the first 3 months. Considering their value offering to start with, this is a great deal.

Yahoo's offer should only be considered if you are looking for something really basic. They offer great tools to design and create your website, and they handle most of the technical issues that you might face when hosting a site yourself.

If you want to get online quickly and cheaply as possible then this is the solution for you.

Customer reviews (averaged across multiple sources): 82 out of 100

How much you can expect to pay

From as little as $2.27 per month.

ServerPronto dedicated servers

ServerPronto dedicated servers are a serious business offering. These guys don't fool around with a 99.9% guarantee - they go that extra 0.1%. That's right, a 100% uptime guarantee.

The guarantee is just part of a service that is dedicated to providing the highest performance with the most power and reliability.

They provide fault tolerant redundant connectivity that makes it really, really unlikely that your servers will ever be unavailable. Combine this with a super high speed 100 Mbps Internet connection and you've got the making of a business website server platform that should handle everything you need until you reach IPO.

Customer reviews (averaged across multiple sources): 81 out of 100

How much you can expect to pay

$50 per month to $200 per month, depending on resource requirements.

InMotionHosting

I've included nMotionHosting because these are the guys I use. In the five years I've been with them, there has only been a single problem, which was swiftly deal with.

InMotion offers robust and high performance business servers (both VPS and Dedicated) and backs them up with good support. They're included here because I'm personally happy to recommend them.

Customer reviews (averaged across multiple sources): 79 out of 100

How much you can expect to pay

$40 per month to $320 per month depending on server requirements

What to look for

With all the different options available, making a decision can be as much about dealing with information overload as it is about choosing a service.

Focus on your requirements, and what you anticipate your needs will be as you grow. Armed with that information you can make choices about the amount of resources you need.

Here are some attributes that are common to all good services:

Up-time guarantee

Reliable and affordable hosting is of fundamental importance to startups, entrepreneurs, small and large businesses alike. If your website has ever gone down on a regular basis, you'll appreciate what it's like to enjoy hassle free, reliable hosting.

A good measure of the reliability of a hosting company is its up-time and up-time guarantee. An up-time guarantee is important because it means that the company is confident of their performance and is prepared to put their money where their mouth is.

Support

Using a great service should mean that you almost never need support. In reality, on the rare occasion you do need support urgently, it pays to have a company that provides it 24/7.

Providing support is fairly resource intensive in terms of human labor, so you might find companies that offer great support are slightly more expensive. My advice is to value support as one of the most important components of Web hosting.

You hope you'll never need it, but you're glad when it's there.

Other notable services for small business

I know that there are thousands of companies out there. Many of whom are very good. It's simply not possible for me to cover all of them in this list, but I'll include suggestions here and update the above list with any that I think are deserving.

If you think there is one that is particularly deserving of a place among the best services in the world, 2012, then let me know. In particular, I will consider services that offer something different, unique, innovative and generally out of the ordinary.