A question left of this site this morning, prompted this post.  This is not a definitive guide to choosing a web hosting provider, but it does include several of the features that you should consider when looking.

The specific question asked:

I’m looking at creating a WordPress website, and once I have my head around wordpress, it may include up to 800 pages.

I understand that some hosting services are modular, so I could just buy more space as I need it, would this be your recommendation??

I liked the Gmail email hosting we have used previously but I’d like to discuss our requirements with you to get a good setup fit with our circumstances.

My response is focussed on answering that question, and doesn’t address several other factors (like support, php support, how to manage your hosting account etc).

The response also assumes that you’re considering using a Shared Hosting solution, not a dedicated server or similar solution.

A Shared Hosting solution is where one ‘big’ computer is used to provide hosting services to multiple customers / websites.  All of the computers resources are shared between all the customers.  If you have a website that has  a number of concurrent visitors and is reasonably busy, a Shared Hosting solution may not be for you.

Caveat: Without knowing the exact requirements, it’s difficult to give a firm recommendation.

When looking for a webhost, in terms of ‘features’ you need to consider the following.

1. Disk space, the physical storage space for images and files.
When you create a website with WordPress, there are certain files that need to stored on your hosting account.

In the ‘standard’ wordpress build, all images and documents that are uploaded are stored on your hosting space.

It is possible to configure wordpress so that these images and documents are stored in a Content Delivery Network. A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is really like a big disk drive out in the Internet that is optimised to deliver content to website visitors very quickly.  I’m finding that using a CDN makes a website perform much faster and more efficiently.

When you mention that you want 800 pages overall, they will not be 800 physical files.  WordPress stores the information for each page in a database, and then when that page is called, generates it ‘on the fly’ by displaying the text, images and documents linked within the page.  This reduces the amount of diskspace you require because the information is literally stored as text.

2. Bandwidth

This is the amount of data that is downloaded from or uploaded to your website.  Each page that is loaded, each image displayed, each video viewed etc will use up bandwidth.  When you upload new content, it uses your bandwidth.

It’s not possible to accurately estimate the amount of bandwidth that will be used.  Some sites that have 1000 visits per month may have very heavy bandwidth usage, other sites can have 6000 visits a month and use the same amount of bandwidth – it all depends.

You should be able to get a notifications when your hosting account is reaching it’s bandwidth limit and be able to contact your hosting provider for a solution.

3. Number of domains that can be hosted

This means you can run several different websites from the one hosting platform – within the limits of the disk space and bandwidth provided.

Check how many domains you can host on your account and what fees may apply for extra domain hosting.

4. Number of parked domains

A parked domain is a domain name that ‘sits on top of’ a live website.

It will redirect all traffic from one domain to another – so it’s good if you have a .com and .com.au domain and want them both to display the same website.


These are just some of the features you should consider when looking at webhosting.  Not only should you look at what is offered, you should also look at what expansion options are available (and the associated cost).

We recommend, and use Google Apps, to provide email services to our customers.

We do this for several reasons:

Each user get’s 7gigabytes of mail storage with the FREE apps account.  If you pay for Apps ($50USD per user per year) then that grows to 25 Gigabytes.

If you don’t use Google apps, you can use the mail service through your hosting.  When this happens, the mail stored for each user takes up space on the disk space allocation, which means you will need to clean your email regularly and delete messages.

2. Spam filtering
Google’s standard spam filtering is 2nd to none.  We reduced our incoming spam messages from 1000 a day to 2 or 3 (really!).

With a paid Google Apps account, you also get access to their enhanced spam filtering – but I haven’t played with that or used it yet.

If you use the hosting mail, there is some spam functionality on the hosting platform, but my experience with this was that it didn’t work all that well.

3. Webmail interface, as well as integration with most desktop email clients, iDevices, Blackberry devices, Android devices

The ability to access mail when you use Google Apps is amazing.  I have my accounts syncing to my desktop email client, my blackberry, my iPod and my iPad.  I see the same mail on all devices – when I delete or archive a message on one device, the others are updated.


As I said – these are just some of the features you should look at when choosing a hosting solution – and I didn’t touch on the support and the more ‘geeky’ technical aspects of a hosting account.

[twpw_products_by_tags_shortcode useposttags=”yes” showtitle=”yes”]

About the Author Charly Dwyer

Charly has more than 30 years experience in the IT industry ranging from hands-on technical, to high-level business management, Charly has installed and configured computing equipment and has managed business contracts in excess of $25 million dollars.

As a result, Charly identifies the best way to integrate solutions and technologies for the most cost effective way to achieve a businesses outcome.

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}