Small businesses have specific needs when it comes to hosting their websites. Being small, they often lack in-house technical IT experience and so require hosting solutions that are simple to manage and where there’s support on tap to help them with issues they cannot handle on their own.
They’ll also want their hosting to take up as little of their time and their budget as possible. Of course, they should also expect to receive hosting that is fast, reliable and secure. Robert King, Director of Webhosting UK, explains what small businesses should look for in a good cPanel hosting provider.
But before that, let’s overview the web hosting company.
About Webhosting UK (WHUK)
Since its founding in 2001, Webhosting UK has grown to rank among the top UK web hosting companies. The hosting company provides a wide range of services, right from dedicated server hosting, cloud server hosting, Windows hosting, cPanel hosting, WordPress hosting, email hosting, reseller hosting, to VPS hosting.
In addition, the hosting provider provides a number of security options, including SSL certificates, spam specialists, Imunify 360, Acronis backup, and backup tools. One can purchase these security tools along with the hosting package.
With over 35,000 customers, WHUK promises to host websites with a global audience of over 1,000,000.
For small businesses, simple hosting management comes from a combination of two important things: managed hosting and a great control panel. With managed hosting, essential but technically challenging and time-consuming tasks, like updating operating systems and server optimisation, are done for the customer by the host.
Customers can simply forget about them. For all other tasks that a small business might want or need to do on their own, a good control panel makes these much easier to do.
cPanel hosting gets its name because it comes with the cPanel control panel included and these particular types of plans are designed with the small business in mind. cPanel gives users exceptional control of their hosting, providing an extensive collection of management tools that make tasks like adding new websites, installing software, creating email accounts and managing files and folders simple and straightforward.
cPanel has an intuitive, easy to use dashboard and even comes with a built-in help section that guides small business users through the actions they are carrying out.
Big Performance for Small Budgets
In general, if customers want greater storage and performance from their hosting, they need to upgrade to more expensive solutions, like VPS, cloud or dedicated server. As budgets for smaller businesses don’t always stretch that far, entry-level shared hosting is usually the chosen option.
This doesn’t mean, however, that a company should expect poor performance. Owners should look carefully at the quality of the hardware on which their shared, cPanel hosting is run. If this includes high-performance Intel Xeon processors and modern, super-fast SSD drives, then firms will certainly get great performance for what they spend, which will be more than adequate for most small business websites.
Expert Support on Tap
While websites are playing an increasingly important role in business, most small companies don’t employ people with expertise in hosting. Indeed, for many, the job of managing the website is done by the owner. This means when issues arise, especially if the website goes offline, the company can feel out of its depth when trying to resolve matters.
Many firms can end up losing revenue because the website stays offline or does not work properly, while others spend excessive amounts paying third parties to solve the problem for them.
Neither of these options is acceptable. Instead, a good cPanel host should provide free, 24/7 technical support as standard. This means that should issues like internal server errors, software conflicts, malware or ransomware infections happen, there will be a qualified technician there to help, regardless of the time or day. What’s more, in 2022, this should be available not merely by phone, but by ticket, email and live chat.
Technical support, however, should only be one part of the support package. Hosting providers that genuinely put their customers’ needs at the heart of their services should also be providing help in the form of community forums, knowledgebases and regularly updated blogs.
Free Daily Backups
The loss of website files and data, whether the result of a cyberattack, hardware failure, software corruption or human error, can put small companies out of business. The only insurance against this is to back up the website. Unfortunately, as an entry-level package, cPanel shared hosting seldom comes with a backup solution included, leaving customers having to pay more for this essential service.
For many, this will cost more than the actual hosting, effectively doubling monthly budgets. Companies seeking cPanel hosting should look out for packages, like at Webhosting UK, where free daily backups are included in the plan.
Email is the most common way that businesses and their customers communicate, yet surprisingly, not every cPanel hosting plan comes with email hosting included.
As with backups, this leaves companies having to pay extra for an email hosting account, without which, they would not be able to make use of their professional, domain-name email (e.g., @mybusiness.co.uk) which is so important for branding and trust.
Ironically, cPanel is ideal for email hosting as it can be used to create addresses, manage accounts, and set up forwarding and auto responders.
To cut costs and reduce the complexity of hosting a website on one account and email on another, look for cPanel hosting with email included. Businesses should also check that the email service provided is up to standard, i.e., it can be used in conjunction with clients like Outlook, is defended by spam, phishing and malware filters and offers features like contacts, calendars and tasks.
With reliability being so important for small business websites it seems inconceivable that their host would deliberately take their website offline. This, unfortunately, is what can happen when a service provider imposes a bandwidth limit on their customers.
If the website reaches that limit because it has had a lot of visitors or sent a lot of information to them, then it will disappear from the internet until the next monthly accounting period begins.
Essentially, this is a way to coerce successful websites into opting for a more expensive plan with a bigger bandwidth allocation. To avoid this completely, choose a cPanel hosting provider that offers unmetered bandwidth where, provided the fair use policy is respected, there are no bandwidth limits.
Guaranteed uptime is a commitment from a web host, written into their service agreement, specifying the minimum percentage of time, each month, that the server on which a site is hosted will remain online.
This, of course, does not guarantee a website will always be online, as there may be other issues (e.g., the customer accidentally deleting it) that cause problems.
What it does do, however, is give small businesses the reassurance that if the website itself is in working order, it will be available on the internet for at least the time guaranteed.
In a 24-hour market, the higher the guaranteed uptime, the better, as downtime can impact sales, reputation and Google ranking. Unfortunately, 100% uptime isn’t possible on cPanel shared hosting as the host may need to reboot the server when installing operating system updates and security patches – something usually done in the middle of the night when visitor numbers are at their lowest. However, with this in mind, look for cPanel hosting with a minimum uptime guarantee of 99.9%.
All small business owners should be concerned about the security of their websites. Not only can cybercrime be a threat to the business itself; issues like stolen data can also have consequences for customers. For this reason, security should be an important consideration when choosing a service provider.
Look for a web host that delivers a broad range of security features, such as advanced firewalls that can detect and eliminate malware and hacking attacks; free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates that secure payment transactions; the ability to restrict access to your site and password-protect directories; and tough protection of email from malware, spam and phishing. All these things should come as standard in a cPanel hosting plan.
WHUK cPanel Hosting Plans
At WHUK, one can obtain a cPanel web hosting solution starting at 2.99/month. WHUK offers 4 plans to choose from, namely cPanel Starter, cPanel Premium, cPanel Advanced, and cPanel Developer.
A pretty easy-to-use interface helps set up, control, and configure a hosting account with the cPanel control panel. A 99.9% uptime guarantee ensures reliability and superior performance.
With the next-generation SSD storage, one can obtain quick page load times and access and retrieve data in a flash. Install popular and convenient applications like WordPress, Joomla, phpBB, and Drupal in a single-click with the help of the 1-click application installer. Create unrestricted emails, auto responders, and forwarders.
A 24×7 support solution ensures that every and any problem a website may be facing will be resolved in no time. And a daily offsite backup, that is retained for 7-days, ensures that data is always safe. Additionally, the data can be retrieved numerous times at no-added cost.
cPanel web hosting is ideal for small businesses as it’s easy to manage, cost-effective and doesn’t require boffin-level technical know-how. However, while there is a multitude of web hosts providing this service, the quality and range of features these plans offer vary dramatically from provider to provider. Hopefully, the points discussed here will help business owners find the plan that’s right for them.