It is quite easy to look at web hosting and feel like they are all the same. They will generally all work to fulfill the requirement of running your own personal website. Especially if you want one domain name with a simple blog on it.
But what if you want to expand? What if you like to keep each blog on topic, but you really like to talk about 3 or 4 different topics, so you want to run 3 or 4 separate blogs on the same hosting? What if you want to put videos or music that you created in your blog? This is where the differences between web hosts really start to show.
So, what things should you look for in a web host?
1) Storage – If you want to host videos or music, then you need lots of storage. If you only want to blog about your life, you really don’t need much storage at all. The interesting thing is that most hosts now offer unlimited storage. But you should always read the fine print. This unlimited storage sometimes doesn’t allow for videos or music files, while other times it simply puts a maximum file size on individual files or only allows a specific number of files.
2) Bandwidth –If you want your web site to become popular and visited by hundreds, or even thousands, of people every day, you’re going to want a lot of bandwidth. If you just want to share your blog with friends, then you don’t need much. However, this is another area where most hosts offer unlimited services. For some hosts, this is truly unlimited, while others state that you can’t use more than a certain amount of the host’s resources for more than a certain amount of time, and more traffic increases how much of your host’s resources you are using.
3) Support – Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, you need to know how well they respond to customer support. Sometimes things happen that can only be taken care of on their side, and if it takes them days to fix problems like that, it will mean that your web site might be down for days, which is simply no good.
4) Features – You need to make sure that your host offers the latest version of coding languages like PHP or Ruby on Rails because a lot of things use those languages. Even the easy to install and easy to maintain WordPress uses PHP.
If you make sure these 4 things line up with your goals, you will most likely have very few problems with your host for a long time to come and your webhosting company will never suck.