How to Choose a Web Hosting Provider: A Step-by-Step Guide

Every website needs a hosting service to go online and be visible to people. However, there are 269 web hosting providers in the world, and each claims to be the best in certain aspects.

The question is, What is the best web hosting provider for you?

In this guide, I’ll show you step-by-step how you can choose the best web hosting service provider for your website whether it’s a blog, a business site, an eCommerce, or any website type.

The steps you would need to follow are to:

  1. Identify the resources and features your website needs.
  2. Identify the suitable web hosting type
  3. Choose a web hosting service provider.
  4. Check for additional features.

Step 1: Identify Your Web Website Needs

It’s essential to understand your website’s specific requirements.

Creating a new or small website does not require huge resources. On the other hand, a big eCommerce website will not function well on a hosting service that does not offer enough resources.

Here are some factors to consider when identifying your website needs:

  1. What is your budget for web hosting?
  2. Are you willing to pay for additional features like SSL certificates and backups?
  3. Is it a personal blog, an e-commerce store, a portfolio, or a business website?
  4. Does it require specific software or technologies?
  5. How many visitors do you expect on your website?
  6. Do you anticipate rapid traffic growth?
  7. Do you need a user-friendly interface?
  8. Do you require technical support from the hosting provider?
  9. Do you have the expertise to manage the server yourself?

To better understand your website needs, let’s put websites into four main groups and see where your website fits:

Group 1: Low-Resource Websites:

  • New Websites: Websites in their early stages with limited content and traffic. They require less resources.
  • Small Personal Websites: Includes personal blogs, one-page portfolios showcasing an individual’s work, and basic informational sites. These have minimal resource demands.
  • Brochure Websites: Basic websites providing essential business information such as contact details, services, and brief overviews.

Group 2: Medium-Resource Websites:

  • Blogs and Content Publishing Sites: Websites with regular content updates, including news sites, niche blogs, and magazines. Resource needs can vary.
  • Small Business Websites: Websites for local businesses, restaurants, and shops. They may have moderate resource needs, depending on their complexity.
  • Small Online Stores: Small eCommerce website that offers few products but gets decent traffic every day. This needs stable hosting resources.
  • Educational Websites: Websites offering educational content, courses, and resources. They can require more resources as they grow.
  • Non-Profit and Organization Websites: Websites for non-profit organizations, charities, and associations, often with dynamic content and interaction features.

Group 3: High-Resource Websites

  • E-commerce Websites: Online stores with extensive product listings, user databases, and transaction processing. They demand substantial resources.
  • Enterprise Websites: Complex websites for large organizations with extensive content, user portals, and intranet capabilities.
  • Social Media Platforms: High-traffic websites with user-generated content, real-time interactions, and multimedia sharing.
  • Content Streaming Services: Websites delivering on-demand audio or video content, such as Netflix or YouTube.
  • Web Applications and SaaS Platforms: Complex web applications, software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms, and online tools often require more RAM, CPUs, and scalability options.

Group 4: Websites with Special Resource Needs:

  • High-Traffic Blogs and News Sites: Blogs and news sites with exceptionally high traffic may need additional resources to handle spikes in visitors.
  • Online Interacting Platforms: Websites offering online interacting or multiplayer experiences may require robust servers and low-latency solutions.
  • Video Conferencing and Collaboration Tools: Websites providing video conferencing, collaboration, or real-time communication services demand substantial resources.
  • AI and Machine Learning-Powered Websites: Sites using artificial intelligence or machine learning algorithms for data analysis or user interactions may need extra processing power and memory.

Step 2: Choose the Right Web Hosting Type

There are many types of hosting that you can choose from, and each one is suitable for a certain type of website. And to start right, you should understand each other before you go to the next one.

For example, a big e-commerce site needs big dedicated resources, while a small new blog can be hosted on shared resources.

Read the web hosting types and determine which is best for your online project before you go to the next step.

1. Shared Hosting:

Shared Hosting is a type of web hosting that hosts multiple websites on one server, the resources of that server such as disk space, CPU, and memory are shared and split between the users on that server.

With shared hosting, one server stores all the files for several websites and is responsible for maintaining them, which means less work for you.

Shared Hosting is ideal for:

  • Beginners and non-developers.
  • New websites.
  • Low-traffic websites.
  • Portfolio websites.
  • Small blogs.
  • Small business website.
  • Cheap pricing (On a budget).

2. VPS Hosting:

VPS hosting is a web hosting type that provides dedicated resources – such as disk space, CPU, and memory – on a server with multiple users. Dedicated resources on shared physical CPU.

VPS is a faster, more reliable, more secure, and more stable solution, and you have complete control over the server.

A website hosted on VPS hosting performs better than a website hosted on shared hosting, but, it requires more work.

VPS Hosting is ideal for:

  • A website with decent traffic.
  • Small to medium blogs.
  • Small to medium businesses.
  • PHP and CMS websites.
  • Afford to pay more.
  • More resources and performance.
  • Websites with different needs (video hosting).

There are two types of VPS hosting:

  • Managed VPS: The web hosting provider does all the hard stuff for you so you don’t need to do any tech work, but, its plans are expensive compared to Unmanaged hosting.
  • Unmanaged VPS: You rent the server and configure it by yourself, its plans are cheap compared to managed hosting. But, requires knowledge to work with.

3. Dedicated servers:

A dedicated server is a type of web hosting that is entirely dedicated to you. It offers immense power and flexibility as you get an entire server machine dedicated to you.

A dedicated server is exclusive and not shared with any other customer, service, or application. On the other hand, it’s very expensive and requires more technical experience.

Dedicated Hosting is ideal for:

  • Huge website traffic.
  • Big companies and online businesses.
  • eCommerce websites and online stores.

4. Cloud Hosting

  • Scalable and flexible, with resources distributed across a network of servers.
  • Pay only for what you use.
  • Ideal for websites with varying traffic loads.

5. Managed WordPress Hosting

  • Specifically optimized for WordPress websites.
  • Offers automatic updates, security, and performance enhancements.
  • Suitable for WordPress users seeking convenience.
GroupWebsitesHosting Type
Group 1 (Small websites)New websites (zero traffic).
Small personal websites (low traffic).
Brochure Websites.
One page products selling site.
Shared Hosting
Group 2 (Medium size Sites)Medium website size with medium traffic.
CMS and PHP.
Small to medium online store.
Small to medium business websites.
Educational sites. Expecting to gain visitors quickly.
Organization websites.
VPS Hosting
Cloud Hosting
Group 3 (Large websites)Large eCommerce website.
Massive amount of traffic
Blog with millions of visitors.
Dedicated servers
Group 4 (Speclai needs sites)Want to store large files.
Host videos.
Large media basis.
Cloud Hosting
Dedicated servers

Step 3: Find the Right Web Hosting Provider

A web hosting service that is considered good should offer the following:

  • User-friendly (For beginners).
  • Reasonable prices.
  • Performance is top-notch.
  • Fast loading speed.
  • Great uptime and uptime guarantee percentages.
  • Security is top-notch.
  • Excellent customer support.
  • Features a website needs such as SSL, CDN, etc.

After you determined which web hosting is better for you and your website, now it’s time to choose the most suitable hosting among each group of hosting types.

If you chose Shared Hosting, for instance, look at what it offers and guarantees before you apply for it.

If a web host provides everything you want for free but delivers a bad performance, it isn’t worth it at all.

There are many features that determine what web host is good and what is not, especially for shared and managed hosting.

Reliability and uptime:

The performance of any web hosting is what makes websites rank high on search engines and makes other websites don’t rank at all.

Website uptime is essential for your website experience. If your site goes down, clients or customers will be unable to find you or access your products or services.

As an online business, you do not want to lose your website visitors and then revenue because of website downtime.

If your website is down, there is a big chance your prospects or visitors simply go to your competitors.

Website uptime of 99.9% is considered good, but the more, the better.

Loading speed:

Of course, optimizing a website can affect your loading speed, such as optimizing images, fonts, plugins, and themes. However, the web hosting of that website takes a major role in its loading time.

If a website’s speed exceeds 3 seconds, it is difficult for it to appear on Google’s first search page. Therefore, your website speed matters the most.

A loading speed of 2.5 seconds on mobile and 1.5 seconds, on the desktop is great, you should seek such results.

Customer support:

The web hosting that you would choose must have a strong support system and a knowledgeable team. There are several situations that make it crucial to contact support, especially if you are a newbie.

If you get attacked by hackers your website is crushed and you want to back it up, or simply you want to know about a specific service your web hosting provides and you don’t know about, you may have to call their support.


The Internet is accessible to everyone and it is becoming the preferred means of conducting business.

Whenever there is a possibility of exploiting a system for the gain of disreputable people, it will be attempted.

Therefore, the security of your server and your website must be a higher priority when you want to apply for a web host.

Ease of use:

It’s better for you to get a web host with an easy-to-understandable backend interface. Managing your websites, WordPress sites, domain names, and account settings will be easier with such a control panel.

So if you are new to web hosting services, you won’t struggle with managing your websites and other services.

Servers location:

Having a server that is near your audience is important. The closer your website hosting server is to your clients and visitors, the better the load speed and performance.

Some web hosting providers offer many data centers that you can choose from to host your website.

Refund policy:

Almost all web hosting companies provide a money-back guarantee option, but its period differs from one to another.

Most of them offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, while others offer more. This means that you can cancel your hosting plan within this period for a full refund.

Automated backups:

Backup is the first thing website owners should not neglect. Without making backups to your website, you are seriously risking your website. The backup keeps a record of your website’s content.

Backups are important, automated backups are also necessary to automate the process. Easily restore your website to a previous point in time in the event of a crash or a mistake while editing.

Step 4: Check for Additional Features

Free domain name:

A lot of web hosting providers offer to register and host your domain name for 1 year free when you sign up for a hosting plan, so it won’t be a problem for you to find such a feature.

Free domain privacy:

When you purchase a domain registration, ICANN requires you to submit personal details such as your name, number, email, and address.

When the purchase is complete, these personal details are publicly accessible to anyone running a WHOIS lookup.

Free SSL certificate:

An SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate is a small data file that provides an extra layer of security between a website and a browser.

An SSL certificate serves to authenticate the website’s identity and encrypt any information provided through the website.

Free CDN:

CDN stands for content delivery network. CDN takes popular content to cache servers where it is accumulated, temporarily stored (cached), and given at future requests.

CDN is essential for your website’s speed and performance. CDN will convey web pages and other web content to users based on their geographic locations, providing a high-speed experience.

Unlimited bandwidth:

Bandwidth is the capacity of data that can be transferred between the website, its users, and the servers.

The amount of bandwidth you have determines how quickly your website can deliver content to your visitors. Higher bandwidths allow website owners to have more dynamic features and content on their websites which can be more appealing to their visitors.


You should think carefully before choosing the right web hosting for your website. But the good thing is that you can change your website’s web hosting service easily. But you don’t want to go through all those procedures to get your money back.

Awab Alzubair
Awab Alzubair

Hi, my name is Awab. I'm the founder of HostingEngines, and I'm a highly skilled and experienced writer in the fields of web hosting and CMS. With a passion for technology and a deep understanding of the industry, I have established myself as a leading authority on all things related to web hosting and website building.

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