Having had an interesting week working with other peoples web hosting, I thought I would share a few things that are worth bearing in mind when hosting your website.
Shared hosting is a cost effective solution for most businesses, but there are a range of service providers and it is definitely worth doing a little research.
Strangely, the budget options (anything from around £2 per month) appear to have lots of extra features bundled in to their hosting, like multiple databases, analytics, and email accounts. These all sound very good, but all will effect the performance of your website as they all share the same resources. If the server goes down and your email is on there too, you will loose both, which can have a major impact on your business.
As you are also likely to be sharing the server with thousands of other business this can cause a real problem with stability. It also means that the software that is loaded onto the server to run the websites may not be the best option for your site which can make it slow to load, which in turn will damage any search engine ratings.
The slightly more expensive options are definitely worth looking at. If your web developer has their own hosting, it is likely to be configured to run the sites they build really well and although it may still be shared hosting, you are probably looking at less than a hundred other sites on the same server.
Hosting packages with backups on a responsive and stable server without any unnecessary, resource hugging extras are the best option.
So if you are getting a new website, make sure you ask about the hosting.