It may seem like there is a tremendous number of web hosting services each offering multiple plans, features and prices. So with so much choice, just how do you figure out which is the right web host for you?
The easiest way to choose the right plan is to start with who you are and what you need. We can do that by asking a few simple questions.
How tech savvy are you and how much time do you have?
If you are not tech savvy or don’t have a lot of time on your hands we wouldn’t advise you to start downloading and installing open source software to build your website. You’d be better suited to a preinstalled or one-click option that plenty of web hosts offer. It is important to find out what web builders come with the plan and if they offer attractive easy to use templates. Some builders allow you to drag and drop features like contact boxes, photos and maps into place, others are prebuilt and allow you to replace images and add text to the page. It is important to find out if you like the design and the method of editing it to make sure the site looks good and has the functionality you need. Although WordPress is the most popular content management system it can have a moderate learning curve so even if you think you will be using WordPress it is good to have a backup option that allows you to get a site up quickly.
What kind of business do you have?
This is important for several reasons, certain types of businesses like photographers and videographers need a lot more storage space and bandwidth than a traditional small business. If this is the case, you may want to look at VPS or Dedicated Hosting or keep in mind that you could outgrow a shared hosting account. For this reason, it is important to choose a host who can easily upgrade the account and offers a high level of customer support.
Another reason is if you want to operate an internet only business and need a shopping cart. It is important to do the same due diligence on the shopping cart design and function as you would regarding a website builder, even more so to make sure you can easily integrate it with the payments platform of your choice.
What features will your website need?
If you are running a blog or multiple blogs and using WordPress you may want to see if the host offers a customized plan for WordPress to help with ease of use, speed and security. If you have an older HTML site that you are transferring from another host then you may want to see if they have a mobile site builder that will automatically pull the content from your website and create a mobile version. Does the host offer a security app, website file backup, 24/7 support, marketing tools, business email? It is important to make a list of tools and features that are most important to you and check them off the list for each host you are comparing.