How do we decide if a web host is good? Do bandwidth and disk storage features still matter these days? Which type of hosting service should you go with?
Know your hosting needs
You can never get the right web host without knowing what you need. So before you go any further – put everything aside (including this guide you are reading) and think thoroughly on your own needs.
- What kind of website are you building?
- Do you want something common (a WordPress blog, for example)?
- Do you need Windows applications?
- Do you need a special version of software (ie. PHP)?
- Does your website need special software?
- How big (or small) can the web traffic volume go?
These are some of the basic questions you need to answer for yourself.
Investigate reliability and uptime guarantees.
Nothing is more important than having a 24×7 operating web host. You need a web host is operating on a powerful server and stable network connections. 99.5% and above is the recommended uptime score; anything below 99% is unacceptable.
Study web host upgrading options
Shared web hosts are pretty powerful these days.
On rough guestimation, a shared hosting account should be sufficient to support a proper-optimized WordPress blog with 30,000 – 40,000 monthly unique visitors.
Check prices on both sign up and renewal
Hosting deals, shared hosting especially, are normally selling very cheap on signup prices but charge much higher on renewals.
It is an industry norm.
Unless you are willing to hoop between two or three web hosts every two years, there is no way to avoid the pricey renewal costs.
In general, any shared hosting priced below $10/mo is acceptable but you might have a lower tolerance. So, to avoid any unpleasant surprise, you should check the TOS and make sure you are okay with the renewal prices before signup.
Check hosting control panel
A user-friendly and functional hosting control panel is very, very important.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a cPanel or a Plesk or a third party control panels (like what we have at GoDaddy) – we are okay as long as it is user-friendly and come with all the necessary functions. Without an adequate control panel, you will be left at the mercy of the hosting tech support staff – even if all you need is some basic server changes.