There are several steps you can take to help yourself to compare the top web hosting plans in order to make a selection for your website(s). Here are some of the key things you can do.
Identify Your Basic Parameters
Since web hosting can be categorized broadly as shared hosting, VPS/VDS (Virtual Private Server/Virtual Dedicated Server) hosting, dedicated server hosting, and cloud hosting, it’s important to identify which of these will best serve your needs and-if you expect your business to grow-which you may need in the future. You also should decide if you are going to go with less expensive Linux or UNIX hosting or if you require Windows hosting. This will provide you with the information you need to start assembling a group of web hosts that may provide what you need.
Find a Good Review Site
Once you’ve identified the two basic characteristics of your plan-the type of hosting and the OS-you can search for a review site to provide you with a body of data without your having to visit a zillion sites and collect it yourself. These sites compare the sites on a large number of variables, providing point-by-point comparisons as well as prose reviews, allowing you to gather the information you need for the next step in the process.
Identify Your Deal Breakers
Do you want North American customer and technical support, no matter what? Do you need the latest version of PHP and regular updates? Do you need a particular application that is not listed in the list of apps you can install (often with SimpleScripts or Fantastico) or that come pre-installed? Do you need PayPal integration? It may be hard to think of this type of particular when you’re just starting out, but as you scan the categories and evaluations on the review sites, it will help make you aware of the typical features and you can consider what you really, really can’t live without.
When you’ve made this assessment, you may find that your conclusions differ from the ranking the review site has given. That’s okay-because you’re comparing the top web hosting plans not as some general exercise, the way the review sites are, but to choose one to do business with.
Look at Your Top Picks
Of course, your comparison of sites should take you to the sites themselves when your list is narrowed down enough. Here, you can both find out if anything has changed since the reviews were done, and get a feel for the help offerings. This is especially important because some shared hosting sites have what seems like a good number of help articles… until you go look and find out that almost all of them are on a single topic and other topics are rather poorly covered. I would advise you to try out the Live Chat and phone support before you make your choice.