Know your hosting needs
What kind of website are you going build e.g a WordPress blog?
How big or small can the website volume go? If you are creating a site to share with your family, free hosting may suffice, providing you are prepared to put up with the slow speed and the advertising.
If you are going to do anything more or are a small business, then you have to think about potential growth and flexibility. If this is the case, paid hosting will give you plenty of room to grow and all the flexibility that you will require, without the advertising or slow speeds.
Different types of web hosting
- In a shared hosting environment, the host puts a large number of users (thousands) on a single server.
A reseller hosting package is basically a shared hosting account with extra tools to help you 'resell' hosting space.
- A VPS (virtual private server) package is still a shared environment, but the way it is shared is very different from that of standard 'shared' hosting. The hosting company divides a server into 'virtual servers', where each website is hosted in it's own section of a server, thus, as if it was on the customers own dedicated server, but they’re actually sharing a server with just a few (unlike the thousands in 'shared hosting') different other users and only getting a segment of the server.
- With this service you rent an entire server to yourself or your business i.e there are no other users on that server at all, obviously, this comes at a cost and is usually the most expensive type of hosting
Uptime and Service
- Read reviews on the companies reliability to keep your website on the internet (referred to as 'Uptime') and their levels of service/support if you have a problem and need help.
This will include things like how many domains and sub-domains you are allowed to host on your account. The amount of storage space you get. Do you get a shared SSL certificate (telling your site visitors that your site is safe)? Basic scripts, WordPress installing script, web redirect scripts, email and email redirect scripts, ftp access (file transfer protocol allows you to upload and download items from your desktop plus allow software to access your website e.g social sharing software)
You have to strike a balance between price and the service you require, compare a few different hosting companies. Also check that the initial sign-up cost is the same as the annual renewal cost. Check the renewal terms, monthly, annually, every 2 years etc.
Here are four suggestions of good hosting companies for you to compare:
(click the links to go to the sites)