There are a few different options when it comes to website hosting, and what you require really depends on your needs.
For example, do you need a hosting package for just one site or do you want to run multiple sites on the same package? Do you use shared hosting or a dedicated site. Do you know how much space you may require?
Now, obviously if you’re just starting our you may not know these answers yet, so my advice is to choose something with plenty of storage first. You can always upgrade later with minimal or no disruption to your site.
But other factors you should look at when choosing a web hosting provider are:
Hosting Reliability and Guarantees.
You want to ensure you have a reliable provider and ideally they can guarantee a 99% uptime. Occasionally every provider needs to update things, but you want to be sure your site won’t be going down regularly. the best way to find out about the provider is to simply Google search reviews and see if the good reviews outweigh any poor reviews.
You want to be sure your provider gives you plenty of storage space and also runs the latest PHP version (if running WordPress). You don’t want to get a site up and running and then find you don’t have enough space or it won’t run you site effectively.
Check the Pricing
Some hosting companies and web developers will offer you an introductory hosting price, and then hit you with a huge renewal fee 12 months later. Find out before signing up what the fee will be for the renewal.
Ensure your hosting provider gives you access to a Cpanel (control panel). The Cpanel is where important elements are manages, such as your hosting accounts, backups, PHP versions, domain forwarding, etc. Most good providers give you access to this so that you can manage your own account if needed anytime you want.
Make sure you read the fine print before signing up. Your hosting provider may have policies on the content you are hosting, and server usage, which if you don’t comply to they can terminate without notification. For example ‘Unlimited bandwidth’ may not actually mean what it says, so always read the policy carefully.
Work out what you need first
Ideally, the best thing to do is create a plan of what your site requires from your hosting. For example, will it need a database (eg for WordPress), will you need to run any particular software integration for your site, how much traffic will you need to cater for and will you be running any content that could use a large volume of bandwidth (eg, videos).
Most medium Shared Hosting packages will provide you with plenty of space and bandwidth, so this is probably the best package to start with if you are unsure. It is very affordable so you can always upgrade if needed.
Add On Domains
If you plan on building multiple websites, an affordable option to manage more than one site is to see if your hosting allows for Add-On Domains. This means you can take one hosting account and split it multiple times to give you your own hosting and email accounts for another domain on the same hosting package.
If you have a domain name you want to point to another existing site, you can ‘park’ it to forward it to the other site.
Recommended Hosting Services
There are many hosting companies offering good value rates, but check the main things such as storage space and bandwidth first and then compare prices.
Here are a few hosting companies I would recommend when initially starting up. Each has a good reputation and offers online chat and phone support for any issues: