Choosing hosting for a website can be challenging for the first time website owner. There a many options at many different prices and it can be difficult to make a choice. Take some time to compare the features and prices of various companies. Keep in mind that many of the cheapest options are going to be on overloaded shared servers. This creates slow response times, which do not make a good impression and can drive away visitors.
Shared vs Dedicated
The first option to consider is whether you need a shared or a dedicated server. A shared server is when a single computer hosts many different websites on a single computer. A dedicated server dedicates all of the available hardware to one website. A shared server is the most economical choice. Most websites do not generally need all of the resources of one computer, so it makes sense to use those resources to host many sites. That being said, there comes a point when a shared server becomes “overbooked” and can impact your sites speed and reliability. Go with a dedicated server for high volume websites or missions critical software.
How Can I measure performance?
For the most part, bandwidth is not going to be a limiting factor unless you are hosting videos and large images. Determine your average file size and multiply that by your expected amount of views in a month. This will give you the bandwidth you need. Remember 8 bits in a byte, 1024 bytes in a kilobyte, 1024 kilobytes in a megabyte, and 1024 megabytes in a gigabyte.
How do I calculate how much space I need?
What sort of content will you be hosting? Do you have lots of photos or videos? These will add up quickly! Add up all your files and see what kind of space you will need. Space is very often a limiting factor, especially on shared hosting. If you do need a lot of space look into either a dedicated server or a service that specializes in bulk storage. Keep in mind that email accounts will also add to your total storage amount.
Make sure you know what the web host provides, and what they don’t. Often the lower the price, the less support is available.
Will you require MySQL databases? Do you want email addresses? If it is a dedicated server, is it managed? Will your site require PHP? These are questions that you should be able to answer before you hit the checkout button.