A lot of people have absolutely no clue as to what they need, so they get ripped off most of the time. Some are fooled to pay $40 for something they can get for $20, all thanks to marketing gimmicks and buzz words. Some purchase unnecessary addons such as “website security solutions” and “sitebuilders” which aren’t even useful at all.
It would help a lot if you knew what exactly you need and how much you’re willing to pay for it. Here are some pointers to help you identify your web hosting needs.
Having a specific budget in mind would help a lot in looking for a web host. Set a budget of $1/month and you’re most likely going to be with a crappy host. A reasonable budget for shared hosting is around $5 to $15 per month, depending on how much resources you require.
The reason for knowing your space and bandwidth requirements is obvious. Hosts set different limits, so it’s best that you know how much resources you’re going to use. There is no point in purchasing a hosting account with 10gb space and 500gb bandwidth if your site only occupies 500mb of space and consumes less than 10gb of bandwidth a month.
The number of domains you’re planning to host matters as well. Some web hosts allow their clients to host any number of domains, but some have limits. Budget web hosting plans usually allow 1-10 domains. If you are planning to have multiple sites then choose a host which allows multiple domain hosting.
Shared web hosts offer pretty much the same thing, but a few differences in the features they offer can make one host better than the other.
Some common questions regarding hosting features:
Support and communication are important. Every good web host has a support ticket system where you can ask for help and inquire about server issues. The ticket system would usually suffice since good hosts have an excellent response time anyway (usually 10-30mins). But if you prefer real-time communication and if you feel that you’re going to need help frequently then it would be ideal to go with a host who offers live chat and phone support.
Most shared web hosting companies have strict rules on the content you can host. They generally do not allow adult, pharmacy, gambling, and other related content. If you’re unsure whether your prospective host would allow you to upload your content to their servers then it would be best to contact them first before signing up!
In most cases, server location doesn’t really matter especially now that content delivery networks are popular. However, if most of your users come from a certain location, then it might be ideal to choose a host which has servers at a location near your users. For example, if your website is about a local business and most of your users are from California then you should choose a web host with West Coast servers.
It is important to note though that the difference in latency caused by server location is negligible if you are just hosting a small to medium website and not a game server or anything of that sort.