It’s the last lap of the web development build and time to look at web hosting companies, who run the gamut from cheap shared plans to expensive enterprise systems. While it is surely tempting to jump at the low price deal, here are a couple of considerations when looking to host your WordPress or other CMS / custom database-driven website.
Cheap Webhosting Plan Types
The very cheapest type of hosting you will find will be a company’s Shared Web Hosting style package. This means that you and many other clients will share the same server, like tenants in an apartment building. The webhost allots each of you a set of resources, and keeps an eye out that no one hosting client is overextending their bounds or causing trouble.
Shared webhosting (cheap or otherwise) is a great entry-level starting point for most websites. Having your own server is never a bad thing, but the cost savings from a shared plan are undeniable. Often it is the difference of paying $15 versus $100 dollars (or more) per month to keep your site running.
Cheap Hosts and Performance
The old saying “you get what you pay for” certainly does apply to the shared web hosting industry. A web development professional quickly learns which hosts have outdated (or strange) service platforms, and which hosting companies are known for subpar results.
One extremely popular internet hosting company (it rhymes with “slow paddy”) has a longstanding reputation of crowding their servers and slow performance for database sites. There is nothing that can be done in these instances except switch hosts or try a higher level plan.
Customer Service and the Hot Deal Webhost
A webhost’s job is to keep your server up and running and keep the operating system secure. They are responsible that email is sent but not for delivery – for example, if your server gets email blacklisted and your sent emails end up in spam boxes. It is advantageous to choose a host with good customer service who will occasionally overserve you even if they don’t have to. Low cost providers will most quickly tell you “Sorry, third party scripts! We don’t help with that!”
Communicating with the hosting company on your behalf is a service we will provide, but it may negate the initial savings. It is a similar situation if the website needs to be migrated after it doesn’t work out with the cheap host.
Niche Hosting Packages of All Price Points
No matter what server provider you decide to go with, it is important to check with your website design and development professional prior to purchase. They will advise you if there is anything your website needs to run and function that will not be available on the plan of your choice.
Lastly, we highly recommend that you choose standard Linux shared hosting – there are some really terrible “WordPress Hosting” packages out there that have removed helpful features your development team will need.
If you are serious about serving your content and keeping your business online, be prepared to put a dollar figure on that. Most hosting packages give a decent discount if the year is paid up front and will allow you to up-plan if necessary.