There doesn’t seem to be an end to the number of companies offering web hosting solutions. To make things even more confusing, they all offer different packages with varying features and costs.
If you’re new to the Internet, you may be confused about which hosting company to choose, and what type of features your site will require.
Since different types of websites can have vastly different needs, web hosts offer a variety of features. For example, a site dedicated to storing images and media will need a hosting plan which emphasizes storage space and bandwidth (the amount of data your visitors can download from your site in a given time period).
Similarly, if your website will receive high traffic, you would require a server that efficiently balances the data load and keeps your website available on a consistent basis.
Depending upon these features, the cost of each hosting plan is different. When comparing web hosting providers, you will see that their price structure normally depends on the operating system, storage space, security options, availability of a dedicated server, the number of email addresses, and dozens of other features. Your decision to choose a hosting plan depends on how many of these requirements you want, and, of course, your budget.
If you have decided to buy a hosting plan for your website, you can often save money by getting domain registration and web hosting in one package. However, this is not a necessity, and many people choose different companies for both of these services.
For small sites, don’t be oversold or wowed by big numbers. You likely won’t use anywhere near some of the storage and transfer limits offered by many hosts in their premium packages. Stick with the basic package and upgrade if it becomes necessary.
For sites with higher performance or security needs, a virtual private server is recommended. While a VPS is more costly than other hosting plans, it ensures that your site will not share as much of the server with the hundreds of other sites that may be hosted there.
For enterprise level sites, a fully dedicated server is recommended. Sites on a dedicated server do not share any resources whatsoever with other sites.
Regardless of the size and type site you plan to host, look for things such as customer support forums, optional phone support, and reasonable prices. Remember that rock bottom pricing is sometimes a signal of poor quality, and opt for hosts which offer reasonable service at a fair cost.