There is an infinite struggle that exists for business owners and individuals looking to start a website – finding the perfect hosting plan. In this article, I am going to initially cover some factors you should think about when choosing, and then offer a few suggestions for you.
Factors To Consider
Price – To be blatantly honest, the pricing scheme of the hosting industry is MESSED UP. Thousands of hosting companies exist – many being disguised re-sellers of major brands. The re-sellers obviously have higher prices for the exact same features, and small home-grown web hosting companies will either gouge their prices down for market share (which won’t last long) or will offer higher prices for less services due to their size. I’m starting to get confused just writing about it. Price is no longer an indication of value here, so we recommend you look at the other factors and just use price as a “means of acceptability”. (meaning, don’t buy solely based on price – whether that is high or low)
Bandwidth Usage – For those not familiar, bandwidth is essentially the amount of data transfer your website can handle each month. Video and image heavy sites will transfer much more data than text heavy sites. Most hosting companies advertise unlimited bandwidth usage, but this obviously cannot be the case. On shared hosting plans (the best starting option), you share the server with others. If your site is taking up too much of the servers bandwidth, automated systems often kick in to slow the performance of your site. The proper term is “throttling”. So be sure to be choose a reliable and trustworthy company. Don’t choose simply on the basis of the word “unlimited”. We will be providing our recommendations at the bottom of this article.
Quick Installs – If you already have your website designed and ready, this won’t be necessary for you. But many cheap hosting plans have auto-install software that enables you to create a nice looking site very quickly without any tech knowledge. WordPress is a great platform to choose if you are looking to do this. Quick Installs will not only allow you to install software for information based sites and blogs, but also will allow you to create higher tech sites like social networks and forums very quickly and easily. This can save tons of money on development costs by not having to pay a programmer! All of our recommendations contain this feature (whether you choose to use it or not).
Multiple Domain Hosting – This concept is a pretty simple one. When you pay for a monthly hosting plan, it’s intelligent to pick one up that will allow you to host multiple domain names on it without having to pay for additional hosting plans. In the future, if you decide to launch more websites, you will only have to purchase the domain name and can save yourself from spending a new monthly fee for additional hosting. Unless of course, you hate your future self and want to punish him or her. This is a pretty standard feature across hosting plans, but just check to make sure that yours will have it.
Money Back Guarantee – If you make an educated decision in the first place (which we assume you are, since you are doing your research), this shouldn’t play a huge factor into your chosen plan. Nonetheless, if you can find a company with a money back guarantee, you are providing yourself with a safety net when walking into uncharted territory. I find that it’s helpful just from a mental standpoint.
Bottom Line + Our Recommendations
Don’t make your decision more complicated than it needs to be. If you can find a cheap web hosting company that fits the characteristics above, you will be set. Since there are performance standards in the field, an invisible hand pushes the larger companies to hold most of the same features as well. We’ve been creating websites for the past 8 years, and have had just about every hosting experience possible. Below are some of our recommendations as well as coupons to save money with your order.