Home > Guide > What to Look for in a Shared Web Hosting Company?

What to Look for in a Shared Web Hosting Company?

Published on 2/26/2011 by

A simple online search for shared web hosting companies will yield thousands of results.  With so many hosts to choose from, how do you know which web hosting company is right for you?

Determine your hosting needs

Before reviewing web hosting plans from any company you need to sit down and determine what your specific hosting needs are.  Someone in the beginning stages of putting together a large eCommerce web shop will have entirely different requirements than a casual blogger.  What will you need?

  • Space:  This is the amount of space your files will take up on the web hosting server.  Unless you’re hosting a large image gallery, you won’t need much space.
  • Bandwidth:  How many visitors do you anticipate will visit your website in any given month?  The more files you upload each month and the more daily traffic you receive, the more bandwidth you will require.
  • Subdomains:  Subdomains are extensions of your domain.  Will you need one, two, or more?
  • Add-on domains:  Do you need to host more than one domain name?  Add-on domains will allow more than one domain to share the same web hosting account.
  • Support:  Do you prefer a host that’s on-call 24/7 or one with set business hours?  And what sort of support works best for you—email, help desk, live chat or telephone?
  • Control panel:  Do you need a control panel to manage your web hosting account and if so, which one?
  • Scalability:  Do you need room to grow?  A scalable web hosting company will offer a wide variety of plans which allow you to upgrade or downgrade the size of your hosting package at any time.

Factor in the cost

Before venturing online and comparing web hosting packages, you need to figure out what you can afford.  You’ll find web hosting companies who offer both monthly and yearly web hosting payment plans.  Paying a few dollars a month seems like a bargain, but paying by the year will give you added savings. 

Read web hosting reviews

The only way to get a good look at what kind of support, uptime guarantee and reputation a web hosting company has is to read the words of current and former web hosting clients.  You can do this by reading honest customer and expert opinion reviews.  Web hosting reviews will give you something that flashy web hosting company pages cannot—and that’s real life testimonials from others who have used the very same service you’re interested in investing in now.

What sort of web host do you need?