Finding the right hosting plan is the first step towards launching a website. No matter what people say about ‘free’ hosting providers, there is nothing called complete free hosting. With such services, you either have to add an extension of the host to your domain or will have to compromise on services, bandwidth and storage. If you want to build your own website, we have a go-to guide for selecting a hosting plan.
Consider servers first
Cheap hosting is usually offered on shared servers. A shared service is shared between websites, and the performance of your website is dependent on the load that other websites have on the server. Shared servers also have a few restrictions. The other option is a dedicated server, which should be your choice if security is your prime concern. Shared hosting is not bad per se, depending on the website you want to host.
Bandwidth and storage
Most hosting services charge customers based on bandwidth and storage. Earlier, uptime was the foremost concern, but the best hosting companies don’t have uptime issues anymore. If you expect the website to have continuous flow of traffic, you have to go for high bandwidth, while storage depends on the amount of files you plan to store of the website. For example, the storage requirements of an ecommerce site will be a lot more than a standard website.
People often believe that just because they have selected a reliable hosting provider, they don’t have to bother about tech support, which isn’t the case. If you are making your first website, you will need technical assistance now and then, so make sure that the host is accessible at all times. Email support is okay for basic questions, but when you have glitches to fix, you need phone and live chat support. Stay clear from hosting companies that don’t have a hotline number.
Your website will grow with time, and it is quite possible that you want to launch a second website soon. The hosting plan you choose should be flexible and must allow you to migrate to a better plan or a second service, if and when required. What you can do with your hosting account is also something that matters. You want to be sure that the control of your website remains with you.
BlueHost, HostGator and GoDaddy are good options, so check their plans before taking the call.