Which hosting features are important for your website?

Judy VedderWebsite Hosting

If you’ve read Part I, you know that cost, reliability and customer service should all be taken into consideration when Choosing the Right Website Hosting Company.  Once you’ve found a few companies that fit the bill and you start to compare their hosting packages, you’ll soon realize that you need to learn a new language (geek-speak) to figure it all out!  Hopefully the tips below will help you to determine which hosting features are right for your business needs.

The first 2 things you need to look at are disk space and bandwidth.

Disk Space: Disk space is cheap and most website hosting companies give you more space than you’ll ever need.

Bandwidth: Bandwidth is a little more complicated and most people ignore it because they don’t understand what it is.  Bandwidth is the number of bytes that get downloaded every time someone looks at one of your web pages.  If you exceed your monthly bandwidth limitation, some hosting companies shut down your website and others tack on additional fees for every extra megabyte that gets downloaded.  Either option is a bad one.

If you are running statistics on your website, you can use the following formula to roughly determine the bandwidth you will need for your website:

(Average Daily Visitors) x (Average Page Views) x (Average Page Size in kilobytes) x (31 days in a month) x (1.5 fudge factor)

The 1.5 fudge factor adjusts the amount by 50% for estimation errors.  If you are really unsure of your numbers, you could increase the fudge factor to be on the safe side.  You can also monitor your bandwidth each month and upgrade your hosting package if you see your numbers are getting to close for comfort.

Bottom line on bandwidth is that more is better, especially if you have a lot of photos on your website or if you expect a lot of web traffic.

Other factors to consider are email and software applications.

Email: Most hosting companies include email with their website hosting packages.  You may want to compare how much disk space each email account is allotted.  If you use Outlook or some other email client, you won’t need a very large mailbox because your email is downloaded to your hard drive.  However if you use webmail exclusively (so that all of your email and attachments are stored on the mail server,) you will want to purchase a pretty large mailbox.

Software: Does the hosting company supply all of the software that you need for your website?

  • Content Management System (CMS)
  • Blogging Software
  • PHP or other programming language
  • MySQL or other database

The software that is included with hosting varies greatly from hosting company to hosting company.  Your web developer can take a look at this for you to determine if the software provided meets all of your website requirements.

Add a comment below and let us know what you look for in a good hosting company.