There are a ton of web hosting companies out there that offer reliable website hosting and will ensure that your website will never go down. With so many choices out there it can be difficult to decide which web hosting is right for you.
In the past if you went for a cheap hosting company, it usually meant that your website would yoyo (go up and down all the time). That may be fine if you have a small website and few visitors because a little downtown would not hurt your business.
However, nowadays with so much competition out there online even for local businesses, a 100% uptime is vital.
Plus, for this companies that need their hosting to stay up at a 100% rate because they have so many web visitors, down time is something they cannot afford to have.
Web Hosting Comparisons
Luckily today there are some very good companies out there that help you compare the best web hosting packages so you can pick the one that is right for you.
Not only that. You can get coupons from many of these websites so you can get a discount on any web hosting that you sign up for.
www.alreadyhosts.com is a site that I have used before to get my own web hosting for my own customers. The reason I use this site is because they have an expansive range of coupon codes and they also offer some great advice about hosting.
For example, not many of these websites that are offering their various hosting deals mention anything about Google Hosting. What intrigued me the most about the Already Hosts website is the up to date information they provide about all the various hosting options out there including a very rarely mentioned Google web hosting option.
Choosing the Right Web Hosting
With so many options out there that all look great, it is very difficult to decide which hosting company to go with. Luckily, I have a lot of experience because I have owned many websites over my time.
- Do you want an email address with your web site’s name in it?
I put this at the top of the list because one thing you don’t want to be doing is going off to another 3rd party company to get your email hosting sorted out. Therefore, if you need an email address with your domain name in it, look for a hosting company that also includes ‘Free Email’ accounts.
- Do you already own your domain or will you buy a new one?
If you already own your domain, then does the company that you bought the domain with offer hosting? It is often easier just have all your hosting and registrar (domain renewal) in one place. This makes the admin side of your website much easier to handle.
- Will you be hosting multiple sites?
Should you decide that you need multiple websites, then you can choose a web hosting company that allows you to use a shared hosting package where you can host all your websites on a single hosting platform. They will share the same IP.
One thing to note here is that if you start to get a lot of traffic to all or one of these websites, you may want to consider buying a dedicated IP and upgrading your hosting package for more speed.
- Are you expecting a lot of visitors?
If you are expecting a lot of visitors, then you will need a more powerful package. Nearly all web companies offer unlimited band width; however, that does not mean the server load can handle a huge number of visitors.
Often when you get a lot of traffic, it is not the bandwidth that is slowing down your website’s responsiveness to quires and requests. It is the server itself. If you are on a shared hosting plan, then there will be many websites all requesting for a piece of the server’s hardware.
Thus, if you are expecting a lot of visitors, get one of the more expensive packages that includes more features with it. Virtual Private Servers are often a good idea.
Having a virtual server just means you will be provided your very own server. That server can be dedicated to you.
- Do you have a large budget?
As with anything in life, budget plays its part in your final purchase decision. In all honesty, hosting is hosting. There is not a huge difference between all the hosting companies anymore aside from their marketing abilities.
For instance, GoDaddy and Hostgator tend to dominate most markets. This is because they have huge advertising campaigns. Bluehost is also another one. However, they also tend to be the most expensive web hosting.
Do not feel that because you did not choose one of the big 3, that you have gone cheap. Honestly, if you are on a tight budget, then budget hosting is OK. FatCow, iPage and JustHost (just to name a few) are all just as good as the big 3, it is just they do not have as bigger advertising budgets.
For those of you that have been in the business of hosting for a while, you will know Hostgator, GoDaddy and Bluehost are 3 of the oldest hosting companies around- hence, they have managed to build huge profits over the years enabling them to advertise as much as they do.
- How technical are you?
Not all of us are tech experts when it comes to web hosting. This means that you need something very simple when it comes to web hosting. I came across a company recently called ‘Onlydomains’. They are rarely heard of, but they have some great packages on offer.
Not only do they have great packages, their interface is extremely user friendly. Everything is in the most obvious places, so it is incredibly easy to find your away around. Whereas, even though I do like Hostgator and GoDaddy, I often find that their user interfaces are not too obvious.
Nonetheless, all this means is that it just takes you a little time to figure it out and work your way around.
That is all good and well if you are regularly visiting your hosting interface. For those that are only log into their hosting once in a blue moon, the process of finding your way around once again (because you have forgotten since the last 6 month ago) can be tie consuming.
In short, look at YouTube or any other resources available to you and type in the name of the hosting companies you have shortlisted. More often than not, you will find live examples of people using the hosting interface. This way you can get a good look and feel for each option that you have.
- Where are you located?
Currently the large majority of hosting companies operate in the USA. This means it is highly likely that most services you purchase will be hosted in the USA. That is not deal if your business is in Europe or Asia.
Although load times will not be hugely affected, techies are always concerned about their milliseconds. If you are in the United Kingdom, then you should be looking into a hosting company that has servers in the United Kingdom that you can host your website on.
- How big is your website? / What will it do?
Size matters when it comes to websites. If you are going to be hosting a huge website that does any of the following, then the site is likely to grow:
- Interacts with users
- Offers games/videos/movies/downloads
- Has a log on area
- Will continually grow in content at a fast rate
Now you can do all this on a simple hosting program no problems. However, once your visitor count grows, you start to get more members, then the server needs to be bigger and better.
Especially if you are offering any type of online gaming. You can imagine that the most popular games out there are located on servers around the world. Each one of those severs needs to be able to handle the load.
In most cases this is not something you will need to worry about if you are starting a new website. Nonetheless, it is good to be aware that sometime in the future you may want to consider the fact that you need better hosting as your website starts become increasingly successful.
Weighing Up All the Options
At the end of the day, choosing a hosting company is almost the same as choosing your next TV or even your next car. For many of us it is a new process; while, for others it is a walk in the park because we have done it so many times or it is like a hobby to us.
If you are not too fussy, and you just want to get a site up, then you are most likely best going with the cheapest option you can find. Just make sure that you use a website like AlreadyHosts or b2evolution so you are being given recommended options.
On the other hand, if you are particular about your webhosting, then take into account the points made above regarding number of visitors, the size of your website, location and so on. You will need to shop around. In this case, as stated above, treat it like you are looking for a new car.