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The first step for choosing your hosting provider is to know which type of hosting service your website needs, there are four types of web hosting services available, Shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated servers and cloud hosting,each type of hosting service will have features and resources suitable for different types of websites and budgets. .

Determing which type you need for your website will make your choice easier so you get the most out of your web hosting experience, for a more detailed explanation and helpful hints on choosing a great hosting plan check out  Web Hosting Explained

Hosting Prices

While the cost of your web hosting can influence your decision you need to look at the other aspects that are being offered with the plans you are looking for, this includes features like email accounts, website security, the amount of bandwidth allowed each month and disk space offered for storing your data.

With the four types of web hosting services offered by the top hosting providers there are usually three or more pricing levels for each type of service, the entry level plans will provide most features and resources to get you started, while the top pricing level will incorporate all the features and resources that are available with that particular hosting service. 

Multiple Addon Domains

Now that you have made the decision to look for web hosting services you also need to look to the future most people starting out with websites will make the option to only find a hosting service for one website but what if you want to expand in the future and build a few more websites most entry level shared plans only allow for one domain and one website look for a hosting provider that allows for five or more domains on the same account and you will be covered for the future. 

Customer Support 

Customer support is one aspect you need to look at when purchasing a web hosting plan, there are some hosting companies that have a bad reputation for the customers needs, when a problem arises with your hosting account you need a fast response from your hosting provider to help you fix the problem, usually a good hosting provider will have live chat usually the best method, email support or phone support.

Managed Or Unmanaged

When looking for VPS hosting and Dedicated servers there are two types of accounts, managed accounts as the name implies are fully managed by the hosting company all updates and maintenace are all taken care of, with an unmanaged account you need to do this yourself and in some cases you need to provide your own control panal, all shared hosting accounts are fully managed by the hosting provider.

The idea behind managed and unmanaged accounts is that one the cost is cheaper with the unmanaged account and two having your account unmanaged allows the user to have more control over the running of there server, unmanaged accounts are only for experienced users who know what they are doing.

Control Panals

When choosing a hosting provider is is a good idea to check if they provide a control panal usually with all managed hosting services you will get a control panal, but with some unmanaged hosting accounts you will need to provide your own control panal at your expense. 

Server Location

When your website is targeting an audience within a specific country, an example of this may be a business website providing a service in a local area or a national online shop selling goods in the United Kingdom only, you may be better of selecting a web hosting provider with servers based in the United Kingdom as this will give your website a slightly faster page loading speed.

When your website is targeting an audience internationally and outside of the United Kingdom you are better of sourcing a hosting provider with servers in the countries that you are targeting as this will give you a slightly faster page loading speed for your visitors in the targeted country.

Technical Specifications

Many hosting providers world wide offer the four main types of hosting services, Shared hosting, VPS Hosting, Dedicated Servers and Cloud Hosting but the specifications offered on these hosting services will differ wildly between hosting providers, for the same plan you may get different resource allowances and different features from many different hosting providers and sometimes at different prices so you need to compare what they are offering at the price they are charging you for the hosting plan.

Cost Of Plan Renewal

When you purchase a web hosting plan from most of the leading web hosting providers you are purcasing the first term of your hosting account at a greatly reduced price, somtimes these discounts are around 70% and when your first term has expired you will be charged the full amount with out the discount, so check what the full cost will be when you renew your account so you do not get a big suprise when the time comes to renew.

Website Backup

A worthy consideration when choosing your web host is the ability of automatic back ups of your websites files and database, some web hosting providers like Bluehost provide a free automated back up which is taken every 24 hours so if for any reason your website gets hacked and goes down, you can very easily restore your website from the automated back up file from your web hosting account.