Choosing Web Hosting Provider for Your Small Business Website: Established or New?

small business website hosting provider to choose
Business website hosting provider: Established vs. new
When choosing a web hosting provider to host your small business website, you need to consider many things, depending on the purpose of your website. However, there is one major issue you need to decide on before exploring further: Should you sign up with established web hosting or a relatively new one?

This is a trivial issue; in one hand, established web hosting providers are certainly more experienced than the newer counterparts. In the other hand, new web hosting providers are generally more aggressive in their pricing and in implementing new, cutting edge web hosting technology.

Before you decide, you need to consider the pros and cons of each option.

Established web hosting providers

Small business websites need to be hosted on highly reliable web hosting provider for one obvious reason, they are strong branding and marketing tool for your business. Whether your website is a small business blog or an e-commerce site, you want a reliable web hosting provider – you can’t afford losing visitors due to unreliable web hosting service.

When you are considering the established route, the main benefit of doing so is due to the fact that they have strong reputation (of course, when deciding on any web hosting providers, you need to choose the best one – bad reviews and such raise a red flag!) A web hosting serves customer for 10 years for a reason: Trust. Unfortunately, established web hosting providers bear risks – old technology, old pricing model. Some do evolve along time, but some others just stick to what they have.

A friend-slash-client of mine was once hosted his business websites on such web hosting provider. The web hosting company has been around for decades. Unfortunately, their pricing is much higher than the newer web hosting providers, partly due to the higher costs running old IT infrastructure. What’s more, such infrastructure is outdated – it’s not new customers-friendly.

I once had a chance to work on my friend’s site on such web hosting provider. I have to work extra hours just to grasp what’s going on with my friend’s site. The conclusion: The web servers and services are not as updated as the newer web hosting providers, and they costs a lot more for a client. (I remember we had to pay $10/month extra just to activate database capability – I’d say 99% web hosting today offer databases for free.)

One more thing: Do established web hosting providers offer better customer service? The answer is – not really.

New(er) web hosting providers

New or newer web hosting providers are usually responsive toward changes in web hosting industry. When a new technology introduced – such as cloud computing, many of them are scrambling to offer such service. When a web hosting trend is on the rise – such as wordpress hosting – many are offering such niche service for customers who own WordPress-powered websites.

All of those are benefiting us – the customers. Not mentioning the fierce competition and lower technology costs that results in attractive service pricing. However, new web hosting services also present us with some risks. Let’s take cloud hosting, for instance.

Cloud hosting offers something different – always-on (most web hosting providers offer 99.9% uptime guarantee) due to the nature of cloud computing technology adopted by cloud hosting providers, and it’s scalable, meaning you pay only what you use and you are allowed to switch hosting plans in real time, without service interruption.

Sounds good? You bet. But you need to realize that cloud computing and cloud hosting are new things, and hiccups do happen occasionally. The web hosting service is on is actually a cloud hosting. It was offering cutting-edge technology that promises high service reliability – something that interests me.

Unfortunately, my provider is having implementation difficulties for months, and finally decide to divest, and bring all customers back to the main web hosting company (the cloud hosting services were launched as a sister company.) The impact is not that disruptive, but pretty annoying.

How to decide?

So, there you go – you now have two alternatives at hand. Now it’s decision time: Which web hosting provider to choose: The established one or the newer one?

The answer is: It all depends on your business vision. But if you ask me, I’d go to newer web hosting provider that run its web servers on not-so-cutting-edge-but-reliable technology that is time-tested. This way, I don’t expose my business sites to new technology glitches.

The choice is yours.

Ivan Widjaya
Choosing the right small business website hosting
Image credit: renjith krishnan /