Web hosting plans range from providing services for small personal websites to large high-performance ones.
For smaller websites, it is better to go with shared web hosting where your website will be hosted along with many others; this is a cost-effective option.
For resource intensive websites, VPS or Virtual Private Server are a great choice, where the server is fragmented into several virtual machines acting as dedicated servers for each site, giving the website developers more control and resources.
Then there are dedicated web hosting plans which host your website on an entire server, which can be completely optimized to meet the security, load balancing, architectural, as well as operational needs of your website.
If you are planning to host an e-commerce store, you need to go with web hosting solutions that offer high-end security, sufficient storage (for your product images), more bandwidth and optimized loading speed.
While for a simple blog, you may stick to a basic WordPress web host for quick installations, greater storage, higher bandwidth, and excellent customer support.
Also, for personal websites or portfolios, know that several website builders offer their own hosting solutions which are easy to work through and extremely affordable.
However, for high-end business websites, choose plans that offer scalability as your business grows.
With the web hosting market flooded with several hosting plans and packages, features and freebies rule the show.
Taking an advantage of cut-throat competition, you must look for free domain names or complimentary backup services, or free WordPress installers, ad credits, email hosting, etc.
Many hosting plans come with these benefits that add value to the services they are offering and are often a good parameter to settle for a hosting plan amongst many similar ones.
While choosing a cost-effective solution for your web hosting needs, consider the prices of the various hosting packages.
If you plan to go for a shared WordPress website hosting, a viable option should range between $2-$5 per month.
Here are some of the affordable web hosting companies:
VPS hosting is not too expensive either, but should figure anywhere between $20 -$80 per month.
Dedicated hosting will burn a larger hole in your pocket, but should not exceed $120 a month. Prices that extremely low for its category of service can be scams and users need to beware of these.
WordPress websites run on a fixed set of architecture such as PHP 5.2.4 and MySQL 5.0 or higher.
Ensure that the hosting plan provider fulfils these minimum requirements for things to run smoothly.
Also, web hosting setup is a huge task for novice WordPress developers & webmasters, however most of the web hosting providers offer one-click WordPress installation option makes the website installation task more conducive.
Therefore, you must look for the web hosting companies that offer single click installation facility to avoid the annoyance of manual installation.
While you may have started out with a smaller website and a shared hosting plan, you may eventually feel the need to scale-up as your website grows.
Resource needs such as space, bandwidth, processing power, etc. will go up and a shared hosting plan, even though with unlimited offers, will result in a throttled performance over time.
Clarify on the scalability aspect and any additional charges over and above the existing limit.
If you expect your website to grow exponentially over a small time, go for VPS or dedicated hosting that will allow smoother transition to newer resources as your site expands.
Customer support is another crucial aspect to look for while choosing low cost web hosting solutions.
As a novice webmaster, you are likely to run into hosting issues and need expert advice. At such times, prompt response, professional guidance & quick troubleshooting are of utmost importance.
Therefore, while choosing your hosting provider and plan, look for a great customer support, preferably offering 24X7 support and multiple contact options such as phone calls, email support, and live chat.
Conduct an online research and read reviews on customer support quality offered by various hosting plans and providers. Make sure you dig in several websites for these reviews to ensure that you get a balanced view.