Choosing the right Shared Hosting plan for your needs can be challenging. With so many providers, so many variations, and so much jargon, it can feel like you need an IT degree just to pick a shared hosting plan. To help, we have compiled these 5 steps to help you find the best Shared Hosting for your website.
1. Know What You Need
It may seem obvious, but before you can pick the right hosting plan you need to know exactly what your site needs. What kind of site will you build? What sort of resources will it require? How many people do you anticipate visiting it each day?
If you have never built a site before or have no idea how to answer those questions, starting small will probably serve you best. Upgrading your hosting plan is usually quite simple, so why spend extra on things your site will not need?
Also, make sure your hosting plan will keep things simple for you. The biggest benefit of shared hosting, aside from cost, lies in its ease of use. So, why get shared hosting from a provider that does less to maintain your hosting environment?
To state this step differently, you want to find fully-managed solutions that offer easy upgrades and affordable prices.
2. Compare Shared Hosting Plan Features
Shared Hosting features will be the second thing you want to look at when selecting a Shared Hosting plan. Do you get unlimited bandwidth? How many domains can your plan host? Will it include free email? Any add-on software, like a CDN?
This usually becomes the trickiest step of the process, as different web hosts often offer different sets of features. First try to compare a list of features from several different web hosts to identify items they have in common (e.g., number of domains, email addresses, disk space, bandwidth, etc.). Establish a baseline of what the market commonly offers at various price points.
Then look at any additional features each host might offer. Some of these may prove more useful than others. Avoid getting too caught up in list length and focus more on the value they provide to you. For example, you might find a free SSL certificate much more valuable to your goals than a proprietary site building tool, especially if you already know what you want to use to build your page. If in doubt about what value various features provide, search the web for information about that feature or speak with someone with more experience. InMotion Hosting’s friendly and dedicated salespeople, for instance, will be happy to answer all such questions about features.
3. Carefully Study Hosting Prices
While you may operate on a slim budget, you should not always choose hosting based solely on lowest price. If you have already compared features you will notice that some hosts provide far more or less than their competitors for a product at a similar price point. Similarly, you will want to look at not only the initial signup cost, but also renewal rates. Web hosts commonly charge an introductory rate for the first term of service, then increase the rate upon your renewal. You may also find that the cost listed on the main sales page of a host’s website lists a price only available if paid in advance for a longer term (often one or several years). Either choose a plan that fits within your budget constraints, or adjust your budget to take advantage of discounts for new customers and longer terms.
4. Find Shared Hosting with an Easy-to-Use Control Panel
Almost every shared hosting provider will have some sort of control panel to help you manage your server. Unfortunately, these control panels do not always compare well with one another. Products like cPanel and Plex have come to be recognized as industry standard options. However, some companies provide their own proprietary control panel. While this practice is not necessarily bad in and of itself, some of these proprietary systems can prove quite tricky to use. If the web host provides a non-standard control panel option, check reviews to see what users think of it. If you see descriptions like “best for advanced users,” or “steep learning curve,” you may want to look elsewhere.
5. Uptime and Reputation
Finally, you need to consider the reputation of the Shared Hosting provider you choose. Check professional online reviews and look for companies that consistently rate highly. This will generally ensure your experience runs smoothly. Also, pay attention to uptime guarantees. Most companies boast something close to 100% uptime, but you should make sure the reviews corroborate that. After all, few things can harm your online business more than a site that does not load.
Once You Compare, You will Find InMotion Hosting at the Top of Your List
We feel certain that once you look at the mix of features for value, the ease of use, the superior customer support, and the reputation of InMotion Hosting, your choice of Shared Hosting provider will be easy. For more information, check out our Shared Hosting page today.