Web Hosting Packages

With so many choices for web hosting packages, how do you make the “right” decision? Intergalactic Web Designers can assist you in that very important decision.

The first decision that you will need to make is what operating system you would like your web site hosted upon: Windows or Linux. (There is a third choice but as it is rarely used or requested, I will not discuss it here.) Most people are familiar with Windows even if they are Mac users. You may have heard of Linux or Unix before but never used it or known of anyone but “big business” to use these operating systems. Some hosting companies support both types of servers but one will definitely be favored over the other. This can usually be determined by the amount of features and add-ons that they offer for their favored operating system.

Personally, I prefer Linux over Windows primarily because WordPress works better on a Linux server than a Windows server. I have websites on both platforms and speak from experience. Linux is also better if you want to implement a lot of extra features like discussion boards, blogs, chat, classifieds, content management systems, customer relationship management packages, image galleries, and lots more. They also tend to be less expensive.

Once you have decided which operating system you wish to have your web site hosted, you need to compare storage space, bandwidth limits and features. Are you limited to just one domain or can you have multiple domains hosted on the same account or even unlimited domains? (“Unlimited” is really a inaccurate term because most hosting companies limit the amount of resources you can consume. Even if you have a dedicated server, you would be limited by storage.) Other considerations include how many databases and which type to they support. If you plan to install WordPress you will need MySQL, for example.

For most small businesses, the smallest plan that a hosting company offers in their shared hosting packages will be sufficient. Here is a comparison of features between my three favorite (and recommended) hosting companies and packages:

Feature StarrHost
 Disk Space  Unlimited  Unlimited  10 GB
 Bandwidth  Unlimited  Unlimited  25K visits/mo
 Email Accounts  Unlimited  Unlimited  n/a
 FTP Accounts  Unlimited  Unlimited  ?
 MySQL Databases  Unlimited  Unlimited  ?
 Backups  Remote  Daily, Weekly and Monthly  Daily
 cPanel Control Panel  Yes  Enhanced cPanel  ?
 One Click Installer  Yes  MoJo Marketplace  n/a
 *$7.50/mo  *$6.95/mo paid yearly  $29/mo

Prices subject to change. Items marked “n/a” or “?” are because I do not know the answer or it doesn’t apply.

You may wonder why WPEngine is so much higher than the other two. They specialize in WordPress and are known for their fast servers.