To determine the best web and cloud hosting services for small business, we compiled a list of over 35 web hosting companies. We added vendors we found on reputable news and review websites as well as companies that have pitched their web hosting services to us. We also considered companies we've reviewed in the past or found in our preliminary research.
Java is an object-oriented programming language for applications and websites that was first released by Oracle in 1995. While Java has lost some of its popularity as a client-side programming language, it still sees heavy use in server-side applications — especially at big sites like Amazon and eBay. If you want to implement server-side features powered by Java, you'll want to make sure that your website host supports the use of Java.
If you're not sure of the type of hosting your business needs, you might want to start small, with shared Web hosting. You can always graduate to a more robust, feature-rich package of, say, VPS hosting or even dedicated hosting in the future. Unfortunately, some hosts don't offer all hosting types. Consider how much you expect to grow your website, and how soon, before you commit to anything longer than a one-year plan. It's worth spending the time up front to make sure that the host you select with is able to provide the growth you envision for your site, as switching web hosting providers midstream is not a trivial undertaking.
If you are just starting out with an ecommerce store and you don’t have a massive budget to play with, you are probably best sticking with a VPS or even a shared plan for the time being, until your shop starts to make a move. You are talking three figures a month in hosting costs to cover a dedicated server, so it’s not a small-scale commitment for a start-up project.
Choosing is simple: select hosting that will support the script, platform, or CMS you want to use. And if you aren't sure, go for Linux hosting. For example, WordPress will run on Linux and Windows, but hosts generally recommend that you run it on Linux. However, if you want to use a Windows-specific technology like ASP.NET, you'll need a Windows host.
If you require a lot of functionality and versatility from your website, you’ll benefit from programs and applications that can help you build your site. Our Web hosting plans give you access to free, server-side applications that can be used to develop and customize your website, including popular Content Management System (CMS) applications like WordPress® and Joomla!®. You can even add a Dedicated IP if you plan to add an SSL Certificate later.

All your hosting company has to do is adjust the allocated disk space, CPU usage, or bandwidth and you can immediately start accommodating lots more site traffic. This is great if your website suddenly starts getting a large number of visitors. Rather than harming your site’s uptime while you scale up, your resources are automatically added to your hosting plan.
Cloud hosting is relatively new and has the potential to be the best option for everyone because, in theory, your website will never go offline. It’s not tied to anyone particular server, so if one fails, your site will bop over to one on a different cloud. And you pay for only the server space you use: you’ll pay less when you have slower traffic and more when you have a traffic spike. The downside is that it’s new enough technology that security is a concern — no one is quite sure how safe information in a cloud can be.
No matter what you plan to build, TMDHosting is one of the best web hostings for your personal website. By the way, you sure do need to host your page somewhere to make it appear on the interweb. Instead of searching elsewhere, consider TMDHosting. Not only is it ridiculously cheap, the fully managed hosting rocks the latest technologies for the best performing websites out there. For your information, premium hosting starts at only $2.95 a month.
The company doesn't list a virtual private server offering, but they bill their Elastic Sites service as a VPS alternative, offering the ease of use of a simple shared hosting plan and the performance and scalability of a VPS. GlowHost also offers a number of different cloud hosting plans, with special attention to providing enterprise-grade services.
Storage and bandwidth: The amount of storage and bandwidth you need depends on what you plan to host on your website. If your website depends on a lot of high-resolution images or if you have a huge inventory, look for more storage. Bandwidth determines how fast information travels to and from your site. Therefore, if you have high traffic, videos or downloads on your website, look for plans that give you a lot of bandwidth. Be sure to include room for traffic spikes and growth. It's important to be aware of "unlimited" plans. Know that unlimited never means infinite. You'll see this term a lot when looking for hosting services. Most of the time, these plans base their claims on the average customer. If your website exceeds the average by a reasonable amount, you may be charged extra or asked to move to another plan. You should check the terms and services or ask about the specifics of the plan.
Hosting is invisible to your customers, but it’s really important for their experience. Bad hosting can even affect your chances of securing the sale – a fractionally slower page can frustrate buyers and will alienate a percentage. Depending on the type and size of ecommerce site you are setting up, your budget, and your expected volumes, there are a number of hosting options available to choose from.
We got answers when we posed our questions to BlueHost’s customer service reps, but it wasn’t as easy as with some other companies: our questions in the live chat were answered vaguely (“We have servers around the US”), and we had to prompt the representative to answer our questions more thoroughly after they suggested we check the homepage for more information about pricing. Granted, quality may vary between reps, and BlueHost’s were very responsive, just not the most forthcoming with their advice and expertise.
For more than a decade, Jeffrey L. Wilson has penned gadget- and video game-related nerd-copy for a variety of publications, including 1UP, 2D-X, The Cask, Laptop, LifeStyler, Parenting, Sync, Wise Bread, and WWE. He now brings his knowledge and skillset to PCMag as Senior Analyst. When he isn't staring at a monitor (or two) and churning out web... See Full Bio
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