Everyone with a website needs a website hosting company to serve up their pages and files
There are literally hundreds of website hosting companies out there, so how can you choose the one that's best for you?
As usual, take your time and do your research.
Where are they based?
One of the things which can influence your choice of hosting company is where they are based. If your market is predominantly based in the UK, a UK-based hosting company can make sense.
All things being equal, website hosting is website hosting, until something goes wrong...
If there is a technical question or issue, a good, solid help system is a must have, so check out what sort of assistance is available to you. The best companies offer a free 24/7 online Chat service for immediate help and a support ticket system. The worst have a premium phone number, terrible music while they keep you on hold, and no chat, email or support tickets.
While some web design companies like to pin you down to their own hosting, at speedypancake you are free to choose whichever website hosting company you want, so we have vast experience (good and bad) dealing with most of the common choices out there. We're happy to make a few personal recommendations for you if required.
How Much ?
Prices vary, but expect to pay @ £4 -£5 per month to host a typical website. You can save money by paying for a year or two in advance. There are more complicated options which allow to run 3 or more websites on the same hosting package, which tend to cost a bit more.
Some website hosting packages seem like really good value, until you drill down to see what's included, and what isn't.
For example, most modern websites require at least 1 MYSQL database to run your website, but more is better.
Do they include email? The best hosts include unlimited number of domain email addresses which you can create or delte as required.
Do they include SSL? SSL is a relatively new standard in security that most websites adhere to. The best website hosting companies will tend to include basic SSL certification for free (which means your website gets a funky green padlock beside the address bar), and browsers like Chrome don't complain about your site being "insecure". Bad hosting companies try to extract an extra £70 - £80 per year for SSL! That can almost double your hosting costs!
Also check to see if your hosting company makes regular backups of their websites. The website hosting company we use for Speedypancake make full backups of their servers twice a day. This has helped us through a couple of potentially sticky situations after accidentally deleting a couple of folders...