Finding the budget for the huge expense of web hosting is a thing of the past, from a time when there were only a few large companies offering web hosting solutions. Web hosting is offered by many more companies and is relatively inexpensive. Independent web hosting firms are facing increasing competition for potential customers. The market for web hosting services is becoming more saturated, and businesses needing services find they have a wide variety of companies to choose from to help with their hosting requirements.
The race is on for web hosting firms to try and gain your business, and the resulting web hosting wars are good news for you. If your small company is searching for affordable web hosting services, you will find a variety of options due to the competitive market. Hosting service price, features, and customer service are tailored to gain your business and keep it from a rival firm. However, it is important to investigate your company’s options as soon as possible as there is a new trend that is consolidating smaller web hosting companies.
Why Are There So Many Options Now?
Web hosting companies originally came about to fulfill a need for server space. Serving files to the internet had to be done on a dedicated server with a constant data line available. The costs were high and maintenance was difficult, so outages were common. Entrepreneurism among engineers lead to the idea of sharing the cost of more reliable high-speed data lines as well as the hardware required for a web server. The servers and lines could be shared along with the hefty price tags.
When broadband became available, more web hosting companies were founded to take advantage of the increasingly successful business model. In less than a decade, competition has become fierce, causing the price decreases that have regularly occurred since the early days of web hosting services.
Today, the top ten web hosting companies are offering reliable service at affordable prices in order to stay on top and keep up with the competition. These are the best-rated companies that are deep in battle to gain your business:
- InMotion Hosting: Business hosting
- WebHostingHub: Business hosting
- GreenGeeks: Green hosting
- Fat Cow: Budget hosting
- iPage: Shared hosting
- WebHostingPad: Budget hosting
- Just Host: Inexpensive hosting
- Host Gator: Unlimited hosting
- Blue Host: Inexpensive hosting
- HostMonster: inexpensive hosting
These firms are all offering hosting at a bargain, along with features that could benefit your business. Deciding which hosting company is right for you is as simple as looking at what each of the companies has to offer that fits your business requirements.
The Price Wars
In the midst of fierce competition, many web hosting companies are offering services that are affordable for your small business, but some specialize in being budget-friendly. Depending on what your company needs, one of the inexpensive or budget hosting services could be the best solution. These companies can give you lower rates by offering basic services, which may be all your business requires for a website. If you need advanced features, be sure to check the fine print of the budget hosting services. You may need to pay a bit more per month.
Always check what the service costs after the introductory rate expires. In order to gain your business quickly, inexpensive hosting firms cut the introductory rate to almost nothing, but it could increase significantly after the term expires.
You may be interested in another way to save money using some of the web hosting services even if their prices are not as low. Perks included in the service can make up for higher hosting rates if you can use them, such as Google Adwords credits or free site builders.
The Feature Wars
The top web hosting companies that specialize in business services often compete with features. If your business requirements include something as common as unlimited email, you can choose your service by price as well as that feature. Other features you may need to compare include:
- MySQL databases
- Number of websites included on the account
- Number of domains and sub domains
- Email filters for spam and virus prevention
- Advanced features like php scripting language for managing page features yourself
In today’s web hosting wars, unlimited disk space and bandwidth is almost universal, but check the fine print for your business needs.
Another feature that web hosting companies are using to get your interest is the promise of green hosting. Some services pledge to use renewable resources for their energy needs. If your brand is associated with green energy or environmentalism, or if those causes are important to your customers, you can choose a green hosting service.
The Customer Service Wars
Another way web hosting firms vie for your business is with expanded customer service. Reading a few reviews will tell you that web hosting giants such as GoDaddy have experienced a decrease in customer service satisfaction. As a contrast, smaller firms promise top-notch customer service such as 24-hour phone help and automatic weekly back-ups.
How Long Can This Last?
Competition among smaller hosting services is good for your business, but how long will the web hosting wars continue to benefit you? A new trend in expansion may mean that the time of stiff competition is coming to an end. Larger firms are buying up small web hosting services, creating the possibility of fewer choices in hosting for your future. With this development comes some concerns of decreased quality in service, such as:
- Longer wait times for help
- Lack of knowledge transfer between departments
- Inconsistent troubleshooting
- Sales pushes for additional products instead of fixes
All of these customer service issues can result in longer outages. Without the personal service of firms that specialize in smaller clients, wait times for help and fixes are slower. If you are calling for help about an outage, every minute counts.
Who Will Gain Your Business?
Even though larger firms are buying up smaller web hosting services, the market is still competitive. You will have plenty of choices for personalized web hosting services in the near future. The top firms each still battle to offer prices, features, and customer service qualities that will fit your budget and requirements.