How to Find the Best Web Hosting Plan For You
Choosing the best web hosting plan can be complicated. But it’s important to understand. You don’t want to waste your money buying a hosting plan that’s too advanced. But you also do not want to fall victim to not buying enough capacity, which results in a slow or inaccessible site.
Think of your website hosting options like workouts. Each type of website hosting solution will be compared to a common training objective. If you can position your website in a similar way you will make a better website hosting choice.
Shared hosting is the most basic level of hosting but that does not mean it is not a good option. For many websites it’s ideal - like going to the gym with the objective to keep fit and healthy. This is the most common reason for going to the gym and it’s something that millions of people do every day. You need good quality equipment, basic knowledge of exercise, and a simple diet plan and training routine. With that you are ready to go and are unlikely to need much more.
The same applies with shared hosting. It’s suitable for the vast majority of websites so long as the quality of the servers and the product specifics are good. Shared hosting means your website is on a server along with other websites. The resources of that server are shared. But unless you have a high traffic website, it’s usually okay.
Things to look for in a shared hosting package include:
- Hosting space (unlimited is best)
- Data transfer limits (unlimited is best)
- Website design and marketing tools
- Freebies like domain names and email
WordPress is used to build millions of websites. So, it’s not surprising that web hosting providers offer WordPress-specific plans. In our workout analogy, it’s like training for a specific goal, like getting into that dress for your friend’s wedding. This sort of training is more specialized and requires a different focus than simply training to stay fit.
The same applies with WordPress hosting. Other types of hosting can run WordPress websites but WordPress-specific hosting is optimized so that your website is easier to set up, and runs better. Look out for customized themes, enhanced speed, and pre-installed plugins. One thing that iPage offers that stands out from the competition is a sandbox testing environment. This is the sort of specialized service that you cannot get with regular hosting. This testing environment lets you try out different themes without actually publishing them on your website.
VPS hosting is aimed at larger websites that get higher levels of traffic. In our workout analogy it is similar to training for a specific event – like a marathon. You cannot just go to the gym every couple of days to workout and then expect to finish a 26.2 mile marathon with any degree of dignity, regardless of how generally fit you are. Instead you need a specific program that conditions your body and mind so that it can handle a high mileage run and finish it in a good time.
VPS hosting delivers the same for your website. Other websites are on the same physical server but your site will have dedicated resources allocated to it. These resources are adjusted depending on the size of your website and the level of traffic you expect. This means your website will not crash (or hit the wall) whenever it starts getting a lot of visitors.
Dedicated hosting is the final type of hosting that’s available. This is where your website is located on its own physical server so that 100 percent of the resources are available to you. In our training analogy this is the difference between doing sport for fun and competing at a serious level. At the serious level you need almost full-time training and specialist skills. It’s not for everyone.
You don’t need dedicated hosting if you do not have a large and high traffic website, just like you wouldn’t train like a professional athlete if your objective is to simply stay fit. Similarly you would not get too far in a top quality competition if you trained casually in the gym three days a week. The same goes for your website. So choose a plan that best suits you.