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Brett Stone is the Director and Chief Developer at Stone Digital.
The best web hosting for Australian small businesses

No matter what industry you might be in, or the size of your business, in this modern digital world having a useable and functional website is vital to your success. The key to creating a functional website that users want to engage with, is using the services of a top web hosting provider.

Utilising a leading Australia web hosting service will ensure that your website is quick to load and very responsive. In this day and age, we are used to high speeds and instant access so a website that takes more than a few seconds to load will see users becoming disengaged and leaving. For a small business, those few seconds could be the crucial difference between securing a new customer and losing them forever.

It is not just about the speed for the customer though. Using a reputable web hosting provider will ensure that the performance, security and reliability of your site is as up to date as possible. This can have a very positive effect on your overall SEO too, with Google’s new BERT update giving preference to those websites with a higher quality of content and performance rather than pages which are focused on keywords.

How to choose the right provider

When it comes to web hosting for small businesses in Australia, there are a huge range of companies out there vying for your business. Although you might be tempted to simply choose the cheapest option, it might not be the best solution.

One of the most important things you want to check is that the provider is suitable for your type of business and is able to provide you with the service you require. You also want to read as many independent reviews as possible too – those with a strong reputation within the industry will be more likely to offer you exactly what you require.

You will also want to ensure the reliability of your website by looking at the issue of uptime and downtime. Significant periods of inaccessibility of your website will cost you customers and profit, so it is important to choose a highly reliable provider. This reliability is typically expressed in a percentage and whilst 99.8% might sound a very good figure, that will equate to almost an entire day of downtime every year. Many of the best web hosting providers will offer what is often referred to as the ‘five nines’, which is an uptime of 99.999% – or just over five minutes annually!

The top web hosting providers…

To help you make your decision, we have taken a look at our top three web hosting providers for small businesses in Australia:

Panthur

Overview

Based in New South Wales, Panthur originally started out in 2009 as a non-commercial organisation with the aim of providing as fast and reliable service as possible. Since then they have grown substantially and are now one of the leading providers in the country.

Focusing on providing the best customer service possible, Panthur offers its clients 24 hour customer service support via phone or email seven days a week. With a large clientele list, they are able to provide a very diverse range of services and they also offer a choice of flexible and scalable services to cater for every need.

Pricing and Plans

With options for every size business, Panthur offers three packages:

Economy

The economy costs start at $6.00 and rise to $16.00 a month, depending on the level of storage, the bandwidth and the addon domains you require. This package has been created for small and mid-level companies looking for a cost-effective websites.

Business

Created for those companies that experience high website traffic or are selling products online, the Business package starts at $21.00 a month and rises up to $61.00 a month for unlimited bandwidth and addon domains.

Stealth

This is the highest package available and is specifically designed for those businesses running resource-heavy websites. Prices start from $50.00 a month and rise to $150.00 for the highest possible service levels.

Pros and Cons of Panthur

Pros

  • Australian-based and a respected name in the web hosting industry
  • Operate thousands of sites across a huge range of industries
  • Very knowledgeable and friendly customer service team
  • Free website migration
  • State-of-the-art hardware, guaranteeing the highest level of security

Cons

  • Is a subsidiary of US-based Deluxe Corporation, although there are no plans to migrate servers to America
  • Uptime average is 97.3%

VentraIP

Overview

Launched in 2010, VentraIP is a privately-owned company that currently supports hundreds of thousands of clients across Australia. They are well respected and solid web hosting provider and is the country’s leading SSD hosting provider.

They offer a range of scalable hosting packages and also let customers add on key features such as additional storage space and databases. They also offer their clients 24/7 support and can also migrate existing websites and databases across to your new VPS.

Pricing and Plans

VentraIP offers a wide host of packages to suit every budget, with three main options available:

Starter

This basic package is aimed at those micro businesses and the self-employed who require a basic yet functional website. Starting from $8.95 a month it offers unlimited bandwidth, addon and email accounts.

Freedom

The freedom package is aimed at small businesses who require a shopping cart and photo galleries on their site. With 15GB of high-speed SSD storage, the Freedom package costs $18.95 a month.

Premier

VentraIP’s leading package offers 25GB of high-speed SSD storage and is ideal for websites that will feature high traffic. This package costs $28.95 a month and comes with a free Comodo SSL Certificate.

Pros and Cons of VentraIP

Pros

  • Optimised for use on WordPress
  • High-grade SAS SSD Storage
  • 24/7 sales and support from staff based in Australia
  • 45-day money back guarantee

Cons

  • Limited basic storage
  • Extra add-ons can be expensive

Net Virtue

Overview

Since being founded in 2011, Net Virtue has steadily grown to become one of the market leaders. The 100% Australian owned company focuses on providing high-quality customer service combined with a wide product range.

Focusing on continuously reinvesting in the company, New Virtue currently offers web hosting, VPS, SMS and dedicated servers. They also offer scalable add-ons which makes them a popular choice for small businesses who want to increase their websites as their business grows.

Pricing and Plans

Net Virtue currently offers four packages for businesses:

Entry

Perfect for small start-ups, the Entry package costs $6.95 a month and offers 5GB of SSD storage and unlimited bandwidth

Intermediate

The next step up sees the monthly fee increase to $16.95 and offers 20GB of SSD Storage and is specifically designed for those websites who need more space.

Advanced

With boosted resources and capable of supporting multiple sites, the Advanced package offers customers 30GB of storage and costs $26.95 a month.

Ultimate

The highest package on offer comes with 40GB of SSD Storage and is designed for websites that require high resources. The monthly cost is $36.95.

Pros and Cons of Net Virtue

Pros

  • Australian based, with servers in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane
  • No lock-in contract
  • Reasonable priced
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Great customer service

Cons

  • Do not offer the same level of security as some other providers
  • Live Chat only available during business hours

Final Thoughts

No matter which web hosting provider you choose, you should ensure that they meet your exact needs. The three highlighted in this article are just some of the quality providers out there currently providing services for small businesses in Australia.

Once your hosting has been decided, your next step is to create a truly beautiful and functional website. Here at Stone Digital, we endeavour to transform our client’s digital presence and can work with you to design and develop your website, boost your SEO and create innovative E-commerce store development – so get in touch today to find out how we can help you.

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