5 Best Hosting for Web Design Agencies in 2018
It goes without saying that the hosting company and hosting plan you choose for hosting your business website has some bearing on the success of your business. If you’re a freelance web designer with a small personal website promoting your services, you may get away with a shared hosting plan. However, as a web design agency, you may need to think twice before going for the simplest type of hosting. Of course, it all depends on what services your business is offering and what’s the message it tries to convey. In any case, it’s hard to imagine that a knowledgeable client will ever take your business seriously if a simple RDNS lookup returns 300 other websites that share your IP.
Apart from aspects related to the reputation of your business, the very nature of the services you offer your clients may command a more powerful hosting plan such as a virtual private server. VPS plans have the advantage of server resources allocated just for your needs, which means that the activity of other websites have no bearing on the reputation, performance or security of your website. VPS plans also give you full control over the type of software you choose to install on the server and the way you decide to customize it. In short, VPS plans are the closest alternative to a dedicated hosting plan, without requiring you to dig deep into your pockets.
Before I jump into details explaining how to choose a hosting provider for a web design agency, here is my list of top hosts I recommend:
$19.99 / mo
$19.99 / mo
$29.95 / mo
$39.95 / mo
$3.95 / mo
How to Choose Hosting for Your Web Design Agency?
While a shared hosting plan is definitely the most budget-friendly hosting option, as a web design agency, the nature of your business requires that you invest in a more sophisticated hosting plan. With a VPS plan, you can enjoy better performance, dedicated resources and full root access, which can give you a lot of freedom in installing the scripts and apps you need and fine-tune the server environment to match the exact needs of your business.
Apart from the exclusive use of resources, better reliability, performance and security, a VPS plan also allows you to make demos of custom solutions to showcase products or services like NGINX based live chat systems, JABBER based communications that require VPS, or solutions that might use rarely installed PHP extensions or other than MySQL databases like Cassandra, MongoDB, ElasticSearch, or to provide shell access to CLI tools for your customers, etc.
Just like any other hosting plan, VPS plans come in different configurations, and hosting companies usually line up at least 3 VPS plans that you can choose from. Good VPS plans come fully managed, with cPanel, backups, dedicated support, top of the line server infrastructure, SSH access, dedicated IPs, and significant amounts of RAM, storage and bandwidth. Some hosting providers will also include reseller access as well, allowing you to offer hosting services for your customers. VPS hosting may be more expensive than shared hosting, but it’s much more affordable than dedicated hosting all the while being considered its functional equivalent.
5 Best Hosting for Web Design Agencies
Where to look for a good VPS plan? Here is a quick rundown of our top choices for best hosting providers for web design agencies:
BlueHost is a hosting company that has been primarily catering to the hosting needs of WordPress users. They offer a vast range of hosting plans ranging from the most pocket-friendly shared hosting plans all the way to powerful dedicated hosting plans. Their managed Linux VPS web hosting plans are also on the radar of individuals and businesses looking for a range of affordable, flexible and powerful VPS plans.
At BlueHost, virtual private servers are built on cloud technology, which allows you to enjoy a great deal of flexibility, power and control. The 4 VPS plans offered by BlueHost (Standard, Enhanced, Premium, and Ultimate) are currently on sale, and monthly prices range from as low as $14.99 up to $59.99. Their Enhanced VPS plan is listed as their most popular plan, costing $29.99/month, and it includes: 2 CPU cores, 60 GB SAN storage, 4 GB RAM, 2 TB bandwidth, 1 free domain, and 2 IPs.
All VPS plans are provisioned immediately, come with cPanel, root access, SSH access, possibility to add extra storage on the fly, 30-day money-back guarantee, and dedicated support.
Whether you need an entry-level VPS hosting or a VPS plan with more power, BlueHost gives you the necessary tools to run your website as smoothly as possible.
InMotion hosting is a more business-oriented hosting company with a state-of-the-art cloud-powered server infrastructure, which gives your website the hosting environment it needs to thrive. InMotion provides Linux SSD VPS hosting plans that includes all the features you can expect from a best-in-line hosting provider.
InMotion has three VPS plans with free server management, free cPanel, CentOS and LAMP stack, real-time redundancy, advanced DDoS protection, free backups, optional root access, unlocked CPU cores, unlimited domains/websites allowed, unlimited MySQL databases, 90-day money-back guarantee, etc. The monthly prices of InMotion’s VPS plans range between $29.99 and $74.99. You can get up to 8 GB RAM, 200 GB storage, 4 TB bandwidth, and 3 dedicated IP addresses included. If you commit for a 6-month or 1 year period, you also get a free domain. InMotion also offers up to 30 free website migrations, and WHM reseller access as well.
Whether you need a VPS to run custom applications or third-party applications, or you just simply want your web design agency’s website to benefit from the performance boost conferred by a VPS plan, InMotion’s cloud-powered VPS hosting will help you achieve all that and more.
If you’re looking for a hosting provider with reasonable prices and performant VPS hosting plans, HostGator can be another option for hosting your web design agency website. HostGator has been an important presence in the web hosting industry with pocket-friendly hosting plans that meet the needs of individuals, small and large businesses. At HostGator, you can choose between fully managed and semi-managed VPS hosting, the difference being that semi-managed plans don’t come with a control panel included, but do include assistance with hardware, basic configuration or operating system related issues.
Fully managed VPS plans include cPanel with WHM, CentOS Linux with full root access, free website transfer, Free Reseller Club Domain Reseller Account, free IPTables Firewall, fully redundant network, multiple bandwidth providers, weekly off-site backups, unlimited domain hosting, unlimited email accounts, and many more features.
Prices for VPS plans start from $19.95/month for the Snappy 2000 (2 GB RAM, 2 cores CPU, 120 GB disk space, 1.5 TB bandwidth) to $39.95/month for the Snappy 8000 (8 GB RAM, 4 cores CPU, 240 GB disk space, and 3 TB bandwidth). HostGator manages to keep a perfect balance between a quality server infrastructure and good VPS plan configurations that meet a variety of hosting requirements.
GreenGeeks is another good choice for hosting a web design agency website, and they too offer a large variety of VPS plans. GreenGeeks has been independently owned and operated since 2008. They are notable for their green energy server infrastructure and award-winning hosting services. At GreenGeeks, you’ll find 5 different VPS plans for blazing fast speeds and excellent uptime.
All plans come with proprietary VPS management portal, cPanel/WHM license included, free backups, free quick provision, free migration service, free nightly backups, free eNom domain reseller account, 99.9% server uptime, 30-day money-back guarantee, local RAID-10 SSD Storage Array for fast and reliable storage architecture, tier-1 bandwidth, enhanced security (CSF Firewall, LFD, Mod Security, in-built Apache configurations, and MySQL/PHP optimizations).
Costs for GreenGeeks VPS plans start at $39.95/month and can go as high as $159.95/month. The most powerful plan lands you 8 GB RAM, 125 GB SSD RAID-10 Storage, 3,000 GB premium bandwidth, and 4 cores.
The fully managed VPS hosting offered by GreenGeeks are the best green energy VPS plans on the market with all the features you can expect from a top-level hosting provider.
Update: I no longer recommend ASmallOrange!
A Small Orange is another hosting company with a good track record in offering a superior hosting experience with all their plans. In terms of VPS plan, they offer the biggest variety compared to other hosting companies featured in our article. ASO focuses on flexibility by keeping pace with your evolving needs, and it allows you to seamlessly scale your resources whenever you need.
At ASO, you’ll find cloud-VPS servers with full root access, improved cPanel, enterprise quality hardware, free backups, dynamic customization with KVM virtualization technology, powerful firewalls, automatic failover protection, free migration, improved page load speed with SSD caching technology, near 100% uptime and availability, etc.
Prices for ASO cloud-VPS hosting plans are situated between $20/month and $150/month. You can get up to 8 cores CPU, 250 GB storage, 10240 MB RAM, and 5 TB bandwidth. If you commit to any plans for a full year, you also get a free domain name and 2 months off for your hosting plan. ASO’s VPS plans were created with performance and scalability in mind, and they best respond to the needs of fast-growing websites, which means you can start with a smaller plan and upgrade as soon as your website picks up more traffic and your clientele expands.
VPS hosting is the hosting of choice for many businesses that need full root access and exclusive server resources, but who don’t yet need the ultimate convenience and power offered by a dedicated hosting, or who don’t have the budget for one. Our list of hosting companies suitable for web design agencies includes both independently owned (e.g. GreenGeeks) and big-name brands (e.g. EIG owned BlueHost and HostGator), whose plans are configured for flexibility, performance, full control, and stability, without going overboard with pricing.