Choosing a Hosting Plan

Once you’ve determined what type of hosting you need, it’s time to choose the hosting plan that’s right for you. Not all hosting plans are created equal, however, and it’s important to pay attention to a few key details before you hit the “buy” button.


1. Is the Hosting Company Reputable?

In Hosting 101’s section on How to Choose a Hosting Provider, we talked about the signals and signs to look for that will help you choose the best host. Before you buy a plan or get sucked in by a cheap deal, check to see if the company is worth your time and money.

2. Type of Hosting

This one is obvious, but make sure that the hosting plan you are buying gives you the hosting you need, whether shared, VPS, cloud or dedicated.  If you need help understanding the different types, check back to our guide here.

3. Number of Domains

Some hosting plans allow an unlimited number of domains to be hosted in the same account, while others (usually very cheap or free plans) only allow you to host one. If you’re going to be doing business online or think you might want to host another blog or website down the line, it’s a good idea to look for a plan that won’t limit the number of domains you can add on.

4. Number of E-mail Accounts

There may be a limit to the number of e-mail accounts you can manage through a hosting plan or provider (for example, GoDaddy makes you pay to add additional e-mails). If you’ve got multiple users, you’ll want a plan that allows you to set up as many e-mails as you need.

5. Disk Space & Bandwidth

In the Hosting 101 section, “Assessing Your Needs”, I briefly discussed how to calculate the amount of bandwidth and disk space your website will need. If your website is highly visual or will receive a lot of traffic, you may need to choose a plan with a greater amount of disk space (room for you to store files on the hosting server) and bandwidth (the amount of data your website can transmit from the server every month).

6. Cost & Coupons

If the host is reputable, the space is adequate and the plan can scale, then it all comes down to costs. There are tons of great deals out there and cost-saving coupons that can help cut down the pricing, but be careful: some coupon codes or special deals only apply to the first year; after that year, the hosting provider might jack up the price.

Want to do some quick comparison shopping? In the next section, I’ve created a quick compilation of some entry-level hosting plans at different providers to give you an idea of how much hosting should cost.