Website hosting is the service that allows you to publish your website, content, media, etc. to the internet so that the world can view your site. A host, or sometimes referred to as your server is the company that provides the technology needed to run a website. Your host will most likely take care of all the maintenance, updates and upgrades and should have support staff working on the servers 24/7, ensuring the websites are working properly.
There are a few options to choose from when selecting a website host and for this post we are going to focus on shared website hosting.
Shared Website Hosting
Shared hosting is website hosting in which the service provider serves pages for multiple websites or accounts from a single web server.
So let’s say we are in a room of ten people. All of whom run websites with the same service provider or host. With shared hosting this means that all ten people would be on the same server. We would not be able to see each other’s files but all of our accounts are on this server.
Shared hosting is a less expensive way to create a web presence, prices typically range from $5 to $20 a month, and may not be sufficient for websites with high traffic. If your site gets popular and you need a higher performing server you can always transfer your data to another website package. Many times if you stick with the same hosting company they will transfer the data for you. So don’t worry about picking the wrong hosting plan in the beginning.
Shared Website Hosting Plans
Speaking of hosting plans you’ll most likely see three tiers under shared hosting.
The first plan will most likely offer hosting for a single website. This is a perfectly good option if you only want to create and host one website. This will be the least expensive of the three shared hosting plans.
The second tier will most likely offer a fixed number of websites you can have on your account.
The third tier will most likely be the full blown package. Unlimited website hosting plus a boost in server performance which could lead to a faster loading website. This plan will be the most expensive of the three shared hosting plans.
What’s the Best Shared Hosting Plan?
The best hosting plan to select is the one that works best for you. Ask yourself, out of the three plans we just reviewed do I or will I need to create more than one website? If you plan on it then the first option may be out by default and then it boils down to do you want everything that the host offers.
Which Shared Website Host Would You Recommend?
A2 Hosting is out of Michigan and the reason I mention this is because the location of your server can actually make a difference on the speed of your website. It may not be ridiculously noticeable anymore with faster internet speeds but let’s say you have a local business in San Diego, California. If your servers are in Michigan you could notice a slight delay, and I’m talking milliseconds, for the page to load compared to someone who views the site from Chicago. The good news is a lot of hosts have data centers in multiple locations so you can select your data center before finalizing your order. A2 has data centers in Michigan, Arizona, Amsterdam and Singapore.
We’ve used A2 before and they have the best customer support we’ve ever dealt with. One host we used to work and would not recommend had a three day response time for customer service. That is a lifetime if something goes wrong with your website. A2’s response time was three hours.