How Do I Pick A Web Hosting Plan?

By Jacqueline Sinex, Wednesday, October 31, 2012
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Photo by Tumisu on Pixabay


If you are a small business owner or manager, you are probably focused on running your business (as you should be) rather than technology.  You just need it to “work” and be reliable.  So when it comes to deciding on a web host to support your website, you may already be overwhelmed.

Nearly every web hosting company offers several packages, some with catchy names.  But how do you know which web hosting plan is right for you?

When you contact our sales department, we usually ask a few basic questions to understand your needs:

How much space is your website using?

Most small websites don’t need a lot of storage space.  But the need for space can vary.  For example, if you have a photography website that has collected 100s of pictures in 100 categories and the photo galleries are extensive, you might be using several GB of space.  Meanwhile, a local consulting business may only have a few basic web pages with general information and few graphics, barely approaching 30MB in size. If you have a current web host, look in your control panel for statistics for your current space usage. In some software like in WEBii’s control panel, there is an overview meter on the first page.

How much bandwidth (data transfer) does your website use?

Bandwidth is an important factor in website stability and growth.  More popular websites with a lot of traffic consume more data transfer, as do websites with large media files (like large interactive videos) or with intense custom software that has frequent simultaneous users.  If you are moving from a former web host, your data transfer consumption should also be a statistic you can track in your control panel.  If you are unsure, think about the nature of your website and traffic levels.  Today, many people are hosting videos with alternative sites like YouTube to save their own site’s bandwidth.

Many hosts will boast an extremely large amount of data transfer in their plans, or even “unlimited”; WEBii does not practice this marketing tactic.  Instead, we propose realistic levels on our plans that ensure enough resources for all of our customers on the servers.  And we rarely have any client who exceeds their limit.  When dealing with shared web hosting services, it is vital to monitor data transfer consumption in order to maintain uptime.  When a host allows their customers to believe that they can have an endless amount of bandwidth, they are setting themselves up for server performance issues and downtime, when even 1 of those customers truly takes advantage of the situation.  Don’t let a web host talk you into believing that data transfer is a small priority commodity.

Websites that really are especially large and intensive are sometimes best suited for a dedicated server.  We custom build dedicated server solutions for clients that fit this situation.

Does your website have any special software?

If your website includes any CMS software like WordPress or Joomla, that tells us that you will need something that supports PHP and a MySQL database.  It also tells us that we need to be aware of the more dynamic nature of your site and that it might be better suited for a powerful server that has proven performance with those programs.  If your site is running an extensive shopping cart software like Magento, that tells us it is a bit more robust and will need some above-average server CPU power.  If that online store has thousands of products and several customers shopping each day, we will likely recommend a larger hosting plan like our Corp Plan.

Do you have any special email or other technical needs?

While all of our plans include email services, this question might lead to specialized needs that the average customer does not have in a shared hosting service.  It is a good idea to discuss special email or technical requirements that your company has with your web host, so they can be at least aware of the situation and recommend additions or modifications to your plan.

Posted in: How To, Web Hosting, WWW Learning Center

2 responses to “How Do I Pick A Web Hosting Plan?”

  1. Jacqueline Sinex says:

    Thanks, Shandra. I strongly agree. Low prices hosts usually cut corners in some area of technology or customer service. Some even use their hosting as a loss-leader and make money in other upselling areas.

  2. Jacqueline Sinex says:

    Thank you, Desire. Unfortunately I do not find web hosting awards to be very reputable. Many of the “awards” for web hosting are offered by paid advertising directories or are included with part of a directory-style membership.