How to Shop for an Affordable Web Hosting Provider

So you’ve finally decided to start a website and bring your message to the masses. You’re excited about all the possibilities creating and managing your own website will bring to you. You even were able to obtain the domain name that you wanted…a true rarity these days. So there’s just one more thing you need…web hosting. At this point, you’re probably wondering where you can find great web hosting for a great price. You might even be wondering what exactly web hosting is in the first place. Perhaps you’re confused by terms like shared hosting, VPS, and dedicated servers. If this sounds familiar, this article will help set you on the enlightened path towards affordable web hosting in order to finally share your message with the world.

So What Is Hosting and Why Is a Good One Essential?

Simply put, web hosting allows you to make your website accessible via the World Wide Web. You could have the most beautiful and captivating website, but without web hosting no one would be able to access it. Now there are three basic types of web hosting: shared, VPS, and dedicated servers. Let’s discuss these three options to see which fits your needs (and pocket book) the best.

Three Types of Hosting

Shared Hosting

Imagine renting an apartment. It’s beautiful and has everything you are looking for in a place to call your home. It even fits your budget well. You have landlords that help fix any issues you may have. It’s amazing. The only thing you need to consider is that you share the facilities with everyone in the apartment complex. So your behavior can actually affect others and vice versa. For example, if you have a big party for your loved ones, you might create a lot of traffic in the apartment complex and take up parking spots.

Shared hosting is a lot like renting an apartment in an apartment complex. You will have everything you need to run an amazing website. From WordPress hosting to email clients, shared hosting will have the tools to help you get the job done. And best of all, you will get it at a very affordable price. Depending on the host, you could pay as little as 9 dollars a month. The only thing to keep in mind is that you are sharing your space with others. So if one of your neighbors has an influx of traffic, it might affect the way your website performs.

Virtual Private Server (VPS)

Having a VPS is like owning a town home. It’s much larger than an apartment. You also have a lot more freedom to make decorative changes. You still share the facilities with others, but with a much smaller group of people. Plus, the walls are thicker so your neighbors won’t bother you too much. There is also ample parking for you to hold as many parties as you want.

VPS hosting offers a lot more freedom than shared hosting. Your concern is no longer if your website’s programs could affect your neighbors, it is now whether your programs fit inside of your allotted space. As long as they do, you have the freedom to do pretty much anything with your website. Plus, with VPS, you can throw a big party if you want. It’s a lot easier than it is with shared hosting.

Dedicated Server

Ever dreamed of owning your own home at the top of a hill? A home where you had the freedom to make all the alterations that you could imagine. Wish your place had a pool? Go ahead and put one in. Thinking your new place could use a deck? No one will keep you from adding it. Feel like tearing down a wall or two? Not a problem! After all, it’s your house!

Having a dedicated server is like owning a home at the top of the hill. You can do whatever you want with that house. A dedicated server is basically a big box with all the computer bits in a remote rack somewhere. With a dedicated server, you can purchase as many resource upgrades as you can afford…and you don’t have to share them with anyone. Do you have a lot of incoming traffic? If so, the only limitation with a dedicated server is whether your internet provider has enough bandwidth to meet the demand. A dedicated Server offers ultimate flexibility…but it comes with a price. Out of the three hosting options, owning a dedicated server is easily the most expensive of the three options with prices ranging from $89 to $900 a month.

So What If You Are On a Budget?

If you’re looking for the most affordable web hosting plan, shared hosting is really the best option. With the most expensive hosting costing around $15, shared hosting can fit the budget of almost everyone. So the question becomes, who is the best shared hosting provider? Well, there are plenty of options, but if affordability and excellent customer service are important to you, these are the places to go.

DreamHost

If there were a high school yearbook for hosting companies, Dreamhost would be voted “Most Popular”. Dreamhost offers many amazing features like, unlimited email accounts, bandwidth and databases; plus fantastic support for Google apps.

Dreamhost also has other features like one-click installs for blogging and gallery software. With Dreamhost, you can go from zero to website in no time. Their shared plans run as low as $8.95 per month.

HostGator

In the hosting company high school yearbook, HostGator would be named “Most Welcoming.” They offer unlimited bandwidth, disk space, and email, as well as easy to install site templates all starting as low as $3.69 a month for their new users. They also run amazing promotions like giving you a $100 Google Adwords credit. The key with HostGator is to sign up for the longest time possible. By doing so, you will ensure the best price.

A Small Orange

Without question, A Small Orange would be labeled “Mr. Nice Guy.” A Small Orange is like what all the other hosting companies were when they first started out, extremely affectionate and customer oriented. A Small Orange worries more about customer service than company size and scale. So if excellent customer service is your primary concern, A Small Orange is the hosting company for you. They have a variety of plans with different bandwidth and disk space. They also offer unlimited databases email and subdomains for as little as $35 a year. You can’t go wrong with A Small Orange.

So there you have it. You can now get your website hosted and share your message with the world.

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