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How Do I Choose the Right Shared Hosting Plan?

April 14, 2014, Written by

When it comes to shared hosting, there are options galore available to you. So how do you know which plan best fits your online presence?

Let’s take a look at some of the important features of shared hosting plans and how they impact your business and your website. Choosing the right plan all comes down to finding the package that is the ideal match for your specific needs.

Price

Shared hosting is already a very budget conscious option. It is the most inexpensive type of hosting there is. However, when you research hosts, you’ll note that there are many different price ranges out there. Remember, you get what you pay for and cheapest is not necessarily best. Choose the option that has all the features you need and consider the reputation of the host in your decision.

Here at LFC, our prices are middle of the line. We’re not about being the cheapest – our focus is on the quality of our service and our in-house support. Our pricing reflects that commitment.

Space and Bandwidth

The amount of space you need depends on the number and size of your website pages, images and graphics, multimedia features and other elements. For a small, personal website, you can normally get by with a minimum amount of space. When it comes to bandwidth, the more website traffic you get, the more you will require. It’s crucial that you select a plan for your website with the right amount of resources, otherwise you may experience issues with load times or even worse, downtime.

Since every business is different, we really can’t suggest how much space and bandwidth you might need without talking to you. But we did run a report for average usage for our customer base (13,000+ customers) to give you a general idea…

  • Average Disk Space Usage: less than 1GB
  • Average Bandwidth Usage: less than 3GB

As always, the best thing if you’re not sure what you need is to just get in touch with us. We’re always here to offer our expert advice.

Number of Domains

This is important if your business uses several domain names. If you do, you must be sure that the shared hosting plan you select matches your requirements.

Security

Shared hosting also varies in terms of the security features on offer. Things such as backups and SSL certificates may or may not be included. If you’re running an e-commerce site, you must ensure that you have SSL certificates to process credit card transactions and collect other personal information.

Scripts

It’s also important to think about the scripts and programs that you will be using for your site and how easy they are to run on the hosting plan. So if your website is WordPress based for example, ideally you want to select a service that offers an easy, one click installation.

Some shared hosting options have limits in terms of the types of scripts that you can install and run. Make sure that the scripts you need are supported.

You also need to consider how many MySQL databases (which are needed to run scripts) are allowed in the plan. Many hosts, including us, offer unlimited MySQL databases. Others do not.

Reseller Abilities

Are you a web design shop or an IT consultant that wants to resell hosting as part of your services? Not all hosts offer reseller packages, so consider this as you’re doing your research.

Other Features

Shared hosting plans also offer other features that may or may not be important to you, such as an easy to use control panel, website building tools and integrated shopping cart capabilities, to name a few examples. Don’t forget to carefully consider the email set-up – look for webmail as well as the number of email addresses you’re allowed.

When it comes to choosing a shared hosting package, it’s crucial that it offers the features you need to run your business. Not all web hosting is created equal and you want to eliminate any possible roadblocks or challenges by selecting the right type of plan.

If any of the above leaves you feeling a little confused or if you’re just not sure the route your business should take, we’ll be happy to discuss our different shared hosting options with you. Reach out anytime!

Andrew MacCorquodale