The choice you have when picking a shared hosting service has now reached an unprecedented level, so much so that if you wanted to see every package and make a choice upon what you’ve seen, you’d need 25 hours in the day. They change prices every day and offer new things every day, the services you reviewed first would have changed what it’s offering before you got to see what the last includes. The best practice is to consult review websites, like ours! We do the hard work for you, scouting out the best deals and presenting our findings as simply as possible.
If you want to make up your own mind on whether or not a shared hosting service is good value for money, you need a medium to compare it with. You can look at what the service includes and how much it costs, here is what a standard, $5/month shared hosting package comes with:
A free domain of your choice - Extremely important for a website. You don't want to be stuck on a subdomain of the hosting company, as this reflects badly on your website and is very hard to overlook from a user's point of view. If a service doesn't include a domain it's safe to say you should go elsewhere, it will save you time and effort and it is often the largest cost of a website's upkeep. If you don't pay for it in the subscription, be prepared to spend big further down the line. Most hosting offers do include a free domain and chances are in the offers that the other companies are running, you can find a plan which includes a free domain for the same price.
Unlimited Storage - Of course this doesn't actually mean unlimited in the standard sense, but instead as much as you can without surpassing their 'fair use' limit, which isn't a problem for anyone but those who want to host thousands of files on their site. If that's your plan, you might be seeing a few strongly worded emails shortly after setting up shop.
At least 5 email accounts - Almost every person with a website wants to have an email address associated with their site, so email accounts with a hosting service is a must.