At some point hosting will be on your mind, the web is full of deals pay £1 a month, pay nothing for 1st year but why choose one over another?
Any website needs good performance metrics, performance is still key for choosing one hosting company over another. This is where if not properly researched can caused you headaches in the long run.
For most people “Shared Hosting” is a good place to start, however you will need to look at what sort of website your aiming for. If its contains a lot of rich media i.e. big high resolution images then a lot of these cheap sites do not hit the mark.
You also have to look at latency, i.e. how quickly the sites hosted on any service respond, in some cases I have seen simple websites take more than 12 seconds to start to actually download page headers. People want instant response and if they don’t get it then many close the window and move on to someone else’s website .
So your actual sites design and platform on which its built upon will decide a lot of the features you need from a host, you will need to be under no illusions that a cheap host will undoubtedly not be able to handle a growing site.
There are options other than shared hosting but that doesn’t mean that shared hosting is a no go area, there are some that simply do not perform as good as others, and unless you want to spend a lot of money on a dedicated server or indeed virtual servers or cloud servers starting with a shared service is something that can be painless and cost effective while you grow your website and service the visitors arriving there.
The problem we face with hosting is 9 times out of 10 you want a service that you can count on, it needs to provide great support and performance but there is a gap between a simple cheap service which can be picked up for £1.99 a month and a £10.00 a month which you would think gives you 5 times the performance? well unfortunately no. Many hosting companies offer a simple low end service for a low end price, yes it will work but wont be great but may do you for what you need at this time, but then they focus on a better level of service but that service is usually based around allowing you to add 100+ websites on the service..
Adding 100+ websites on a service may be great for a web service firm, hosting their clients sites but for Joe Blogs who wants a service that consistently performs well for just one site is a pain.
So where do you go? well its not all bad news, share hosting is always going to be the first port of call, however going for the middle service will undoubtedly save you time in the long run. A lot of hosting companies offer a full refund after 21 days etc, but the time and effort in setting up the platform, importing your site and handing DNS redirection etc all mounts up.
Consumers can be very choosy when deciding on buying from a site they are no familiar with, a good deal of this will be based on performance so if in doubt go for a middle offering. As you grow the hosting will need to grow too, especially if you want to do more with your site, keep in mind a shared service will have a number of restrictions in place, for instance it wont let you get full access to the root or allow you to remote control the server like you would expect from a dedicated server.. your just a number in a large pool of other numbers using a capped service so be sure that you have enough memory available to your website, and also have SSL certification as an option..