With so many options seemingly available to you, choosing the right web hosting package for your new site isn’t always the easiest of decisions to make.
As you’ll already know if you’ve ever tried using a search engine to track down the best deal, there’s countless companies out there all competing for your hard earned money, tempting you forward with the promise of discount deals, unlimited bandwidth and outstanding service. For those of you new to owning websites, trying to navigate your way through all of that and pick out a plan that’s right for you can be like trying to negotiate your way through a minefield.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. By doing a little research, you’ll be in a much better position to sort the wheat from the proverbial chaff, narrow down your options and choose the best possible plan out there.
Not sure where to start with that research? Here’s a few things you might want to consider:
As any web expert will tell you, when it comes to attracting visitors to your site, speed matters. In today’s fast-paced, ever-changing world, web users simply don’t have the time -or the patience- to sit and wait for a slow-loading site to crawl onto their browser. They expect immediate access to your site, regardless as to how many other visitors are on there at the same time.
To cater to such a demanding audience, you’re going to need to have enough bandwidth allocated to your site. If your new online home is the sort of website that may only get a few passing visitors on an infrequent basis, then you’ll probably be perfectly fine with the limited amounts that most of the cheapest web hosting companies serve up in their basic plans. Expeting a regular influx of high-volume traffic? You may be better off finding a plan that promises unlimited bandwidth.
What’s included in your plan
Most web hosting plans come with a lot more than just a bit of storage space to dump your files and some bandwidth; they’re powerful, comprehensive packages designed to help you do most of the things you could hope to do with a website.
Not all hosting plans are created equally though, and it’s worth investigating whether the one you’re interested in has everything you need to create and manage the kind of site you’re planning to launch.
Building an eCommerce store? You’ll be looking at some of the more top-end shared hosting plans which come with shopping carts, payment processing, and greater security.
Building a site using a Content Management System like Joomla or Drupal? You’ll be hard-pressed to find a shared host that doesn’t support such platforms, but that’s not to say that all of them do, so it certainly pays to take a look in advance.
With the average cost of a first-term plan running at around £2 per month, almost all hosting packages seem like an absolute bargain at first glance. Once you get past that first term however, you’ll soon find the costs shooting up, often to as much as double the original sign-up fee.
Sure, you could always take the approach of constantly switching hosts whenever your first term runs out, but let’s be honest, that’s a time consuming and complicated endeavour if ever there was one. When you’re doing your research then, think beyond just the launch of your website and consider the long-term costs involved as what may seem like a great deal at first may turn out to be anything but when it comes time to renew.