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?

See what websites the hosting provider hosts and run them through a time to first byte test like The lower the better! Content delivery networks like CloudFlare can alter results, so make sure the site you are testing is not using one for accurate results.


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?

For example, the average web page on the internet is 1600 kilobytes. If you anticipate receiving 10000 page views then you need to have 16 gigabytes of bandwidth!


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.

Alec Thomas
MVSG Consulting has several packages available and will offer free consultation for your hosting needs. We will advise you in the best solution, even if it isn’t with us.