Best website hosting providers for South African businesses

South African business owners have several providers to choose from to host their websites.

The Covid-19 pandemic brought into stark relief the importance of having a digital presence.

While economies were hard hit by lockdowns that severely limited physical movement and in-person activities, some companies were able to offset the impact by moving some of their operations and offerings online.

One of the best starting points for a digital presence is a website.

Aside from potentially reaching a much wider audience who can see what you have to offer from anywhere they have an Internet connection, it can be used as an additional contact point for your existing customers.

A website can also increase your business’s credibility and convince more people to buy your products or take up your services.

All these elements contribute to generating more revenue and growing your business.

However, running a website on your own infrastructure or with in-house support staff can be costly and time-consuming, especially for small and medium-sized businesses.

A reliable web hosting provider takes over some of those technical responsibilities, including handling essential security and server maintenance in the background.

South Africa offers a plethora of web hosting companies, so choosing an optimal provider can be challenging.

Below are three top-notch options you can consider — with well-established reputations and plenty of expertise.


Afrihost

Gian Visser, Brendan Armstrong and Peter Meintjes, the three co-founders of reputed Internet service provider (ISP) Afrihost, originally started experimenting with Linux Web Hosting in the late 90s.

The ISP now offers seven such hosting packages starting at R49 per month and going up to R439 per month.

The entry-level Silver Home package includes free setup and a .co.za, .site, .online, .store, or .tech domain, unlimited web traffic, and storage space of 1GB.

In addition, you receive 50 email accounts linked to your domain and a MySQL database.

Businesses with more demanding requirements can go up to the Platinum Pro product, which provides all of the above but adds a further 49GB of storage space, unlimited email accounts, and unlimited SQL databases.

Afrihost also provides Windows Shared Hosting and a range of Cloud Hosting and Specialised Hosting products.

The company has won several awards from MyBroadband over the past decade, including ISP of the year in 2013 and 2014, while Visser has also won the IT personality of the year on three occasions.


Absolute Hosting

Absolute Hosting is another solid choice with a well-established history of service in South Africa. It currently has around 4,000 active hosting clients across its solutions.

The company was founded by Jade Benson in 2011 and initially focused primarily on resellers and dedicated clients.

Benson previously worked in the managed hosting division of Internet Solutions (IS) before it was acquired by Dimension Data.

In this role, he was responsible for large corporate customers such as Avis, Barloworld, Mutual & Federal, and Plascon, among others.

Since 2016, Absolute Hosting shifted its strategy to focusing more on end-user and small-to-medium enterprise hosting and virtual servers.

Among its specialities is high-performance hosting using newer web servers, including AMD Epyc options.

It also features Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting that supports the virtualisation of dedicated resources on multi-user servers.

The AMD Epyc VPS packages are run on dual Epyc Rome 7552 48-core/96-thread processors and use enterprise Samsung NVMe SSDs with Raid for redundancy.

These packages range from R100 to R200, with vCore counts of either 2 or 4, and RAM options in 1GB, 2GB, and 3GB.

Windows VPS, Linux Web, Windows Web, WordPress, cPanel Web, and Email-only hosting services are also available.


Axxess

Axxess is another reputed service provider that provides a range of web hosting packages for businesses.

Founder Franco Barbalich started providing website hosting and design packages from his one-bedroom flat in 1997, when the company was called Axxess Africa.

It later expanded to provide Internet access at several Internet cafés before starting to sell hardware and home connectivity packages in the early 2000s.

Today, it sells several different types of hosting packages and services to businesses and individuals, including:

  • Linux Shared Web Hosting — From R49 to R399 per month
  • Windows Shared Web Hosting — From R65 to R545 per month
  • WordPress Web Hosting — From R99 to R439 per month
  • Email Only Hosting — From R25 to R45 per month
  • Linux Cloud Server Hosting — From R339 to R1,499 per month
  • Registration and parking of domains — From R9 to R24 per month

Axxess also offers a free .co.za domain and SSL certificate on selected web hosting services.

The company won MyBroadband’s ISP of the year award in 2009, 2015, 2016, and 2017 and was also voted the most-respected telecoms company in 2016.


Xneelo

Xneelo‘s business is built around offering robust and consistent domain, hosting, and server-related infrastructure and services.

The company currently supports over 500,000 websites and has received several awards for its performance in the industry.

Xneelo promises a 99.9% uptime on its web hosting packages, which start from R99 for Basic and go up to R439 for the Master plan.

The entry-level product gets you a website with unlimited traffic, 5GB solid-state storage, 100 mailboxes and email aliases with spam filtering, up to 10 domains, and 5 SSD-backed databases.

All packages offer SSL/TLS encryption, web application firewall support, and DDoS protection and mitigation. They also provide free backups and 24/7 technical support.

In addition, Xneelo sells a Managed WordPress package at R149 per month, ideal for small ecommerce stores that require demo content and plugins, with support for WooCommerce and Yoco.

This package offers many of the same features as the web hosting products, including 99.9% uptime.

Xneelo also provides a Volume Plan for companies that administer multiple websites, at a fixed monthly fee of R595, not including domain registrations and renewals.


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Best website hosting providers for South African businesses