Over 90% of all the websites found on the Internet use shared hosting, websites such as small businesses, forums, e-commerce stores, startups, social networks, bloggers, and many more. Due to the fact that there is such a wide range of features offered by web hosting companies in their shared hosting plans, it is imperative to both know and understand the various aspects of what you are looking at before committing to a long-term account. One of the most important aspects of shared hosting is its low cost. These low rates allow businesses to both quickly and affordably publish information on the Internet in reliable, secure, high-speed, and publicly accessed networks.
Generally shared web hosting plans start around $3 to $5 per month but sometimes you can find hosting companies offering plans as low as $.99 per month. If you’re getting web hosting that is platform specific for WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal (CMS Scripts) this averages around $20 per month. Website owners need to determine whether they are looking for the lowest overall pricing in a web hosting company, or they need both the expertise and technical support of a more platform specific host who offers plans based around specific content management systems (CMS).
When determining between which shared web hosting company you are going to purchase you must be sure to read the fine print and compare all of the account features closely before making your final purchasing decision. There are many features to choose from when deciding which web hosting company you are going to choose, but you need to make sure to compare some of the main features which often times include:
- Unlimited Domains
- Unlimited Storage
- Unlimited Email Accounts
- Control Panel (cPanel)
- Domain Management Tools
- One Click Installs
- High Performance Servers
- Promo Codes and Special Offers
- 24/7 Technical Support (phone, live chat, etc.)
It is absolutely imperative that you do your due diligence and compare the wide variety of features offered by most shared web hosting companies in this very competitive industry while also making sure to read the fine print and do proper and accurate price comparisons between various providers. I also highly recommend that you search for independent reviews from actual customers to see both the positive and the negative viewpoints about the company while paying close attention to frequent complaints to see if the company’s product matches what the actual customers are receiving.
It is important to also recognize that smaller web hosting companies often times develop innovative and platform specific hosting frameworks that are fully optimized around specific content management systems or CMS scripts and they often times employ knowledgeable experts that are technically inclined to work on these particular CMS scripts. Often times I have found that these smaller more platform specific hosting companies can easily outperform the larger hosting companies largely due to their expertise and also because they offer platform specific website development tools.
It’s my personal opinion to develop a website on the shared hosting platform and only upgrade from that shared hosting to a new server if the amount of traffic that website is receiving exceeds the amount that platform is able to support. I also recommend you avoid unlimited hosting plans because often times they are incorporated with extremely strict limitations and often times they limit the use of CPU processing power a site is able to use. If this happens during peak user activity it often times can lead to a website going off-line. It is also advantageous to find a hosting provider that continually upgrades their server architecture to help them stay one step ahead of the competition which often times will lead to a better user experience.
When making your final decision and finally pulling the trigger on which shared web hosting plan you are going to use the cost needs to be weighed against the number of features available, technical support, and the server architecture to determine between your final choice and the runner-up. By paying close attention to these factors it can help you avoid having problems with your hosting provider and can also save you the time, energy, and resources needed to move your site between several different hosting companies before you find the one that is the most efficient in keeping your website performing optimally.