Shared hosting refers to a web hosting environment where many websites reside on one web-server. You as a customer share a server with other customers. Usually it’s about 100 to 400 accounts in one server. So, what you need to consider before you buy shared web hosting plan?
Windows or Linux Web Hosting
Linux web hosting means that all of your files needed by your site stored in Linux OS server, and Windows web hosting stored in Windows OS server. In the old days, websites just contain html files and picture. It doesn’t matter weather Linux or Windows if want to build website contains only html files and pictures. Just setting up right, putting all the html files, pictures and your site is ready.Now website is more complex, contains CSS, databases and scripting language. CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) is the way to stylist your web page appearance. Database like MySQL and MSSQL is used to store data like articles, customer info, site statistics, etc. How to access them and show it on your browser is using Script language.
A set of codes that runs on the web server to access server resources like database and other files and then interpreted into HTML language so you can see it through web browser like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera or Safari and some of them sometimes hidden for statistical or for other purposes. There are PHP, ASP, ASP.Net, etc.
PHP is more common because of the open source and run both on Linux and Windows. PHP even runs better on Windows platform. ASP and ASP.net only run on Windows web hosting platform. If you plan to learn the script language, so choose which fits you more. None of them superior than other.
Most free CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress, Joomla, drupal, written in PHP and need database to store the contents. You should choose web hosting plan that support database like MySQL. We recommend choosing web hosting plan with more than one database allowed (ex. five or ten). Who knows you need some try-out with different databases? If you just want to set up a blog, just find one of the free CMS mention earlier; most likely you’ll stay with Linux and MySQL.
Disk space and Traffic
Disk space or storage or web space is the amount of data or files you can store on the hard disk of the web server. Some web hosting offer 10 GB and some 100+ GB to store your files. Choosing web host plan that allowed 1 GB storage is more than enough if you just start having a blog. Traffic/transfer is the allowed amount of data transfer (upload and download) per month. If your website have 1000 visitors per month and in average they see 10 pages of your site and let’s say a page about 60KB in size, than the traffic would be 1000x10x60KB that’s 600MB traffic per month. Ten times this number would be adequate for you to start a blog with no worried about bandwidth.
Unlimited storage and Unlimited traffic?
The term unlimited usually consider unlimited when met the web host company term. Read their Term of Service; probably their unlimited term consider limited to you. Commonly files that do not related directly to web pages are not consider this term.
It does not mean that the hosting company which selling unlimited plan will not provide good service. Some even gave high quality service to their customers. Let’s simplified matters. If your website traffic really high in time, better move to higher quality web hosting plan like vps or dedicated plan which give you better speed response when visitors open your website.
Web server performance
Linux web server is very well-known that capable of running hundreds of tasks at the same time with stability. But it doesn’t mean Windows web server is bad. The right term would be like this; Linux can max out server capacity but windows can not. So web hosting company maybe do this: 400 shared hosting account if using Linux and 350 shared hosting account if using Windows platform.
Price and support
Windows web hosting usually more expensive than Linux base, because Windows is not free and the company must pay the license (so you got to pay the license in small part). Linux is free and open source so the web host company usually charge you cheaper than Windows platform. This condition somewhat not true on some web host. Some charge you the same price whether you choose Linux or Windows.
A lot of reputation web host will charge you expensive whether you choose Linux or Windows. This because the company policy on setting price considering their service-satisfaction guarantee. Like changing the server if trouble occurred, periodic backup which consumes time and personnel, etc. You should remember cheap is not always bad and expensive is not always good either. There are many web host out there which sells their service expensive but not giving a good support and many also which sells rather cheap but good support. You should realize that web host is service business and satisfaction is on customer side not their side. No web host company runs with perfectly 100% no trouble and not all customers need no help. So things like support ticket, phone, live chat or forum became very helpful to solve your hosting needs.
Somewhat the server which holding hundreds of shared accounts works harder everyday. That’s why finding web hosting that stored all of your files in quad-core-processor server is ‘more-assured’ than stored in dual-core-processor server. Again, if the price take into account, probably newer technology provided by web host will cost you more.
Control panel is use to manage your files, domain, and other task related to your website. There are cPanel, Plesk, H-Sprehe, proprietary which belongs only to that web host company, etc. The most famous is cPanel. Some of the proprietary control panel give you more, but some we can consider bad. A lot of web host giving try-out their panel, so why not then.
You do not need a lot of email accounts, unless you are running web site for a big company that has hundreds of employee that also need emails. For personal use web site, web mail would be more important than numbers of email account, because you can access your mail only by internet browser anywhere.
Some of the web host companies join the BBB (Better Business Bureau) or TRUSTe. Most of the web host companies that joined organization like these usually put the logo for accreditation in front of their front webpage.
The benefit choosing web host company that already join BBB (for example), you can report your complaints (if you have any) on your web host also to BBB. They also have ratings on their member related to customer satisfaction. Take not that doesn’t mean the companies which are not members of BBB have bad services. In fact even a web host already joined BBB, and lots of their customers did not satisfied with their service, we found out that these customers did not report the complaints to BBB.