How to choose the best Australian Web Hosting Plan

Posted on August 7, 2022, by David Lipschitz

This guide will give you all the tips and tricks to choose the best Australian Web Hosting plan in 2022.

The first step of any new Web Design project is to select a Hosting plan that suits your needs. Web Hosting stores your website files through a server, and can include things like email addresses, website backups, Security features, and plenty more. Without a Hosting plan, you basically can’t go live with a website.

There are many great Australian Web Hosting Providers out there so it’s worth doing some research and seeing what suits your needs. Many factors come into play when choosing your Hosting plan, but for simplicity’s sake I will break it down into 4 key areas.

1. Hosting/Server Location

Make sure that wherever you want to attract your audience from is where your Web Hosting servers are located. So if you are marketing to an Australian audience make sure your Web Host’s servers are located in Australia. This is because the time that the content on your website takes to get from the server onto the user’s screen is proportionate to the proximity of the servers.

So if you want fast load times make sure you are using Web Hosting in the correct location!

2. Dedicated vs. VPS Hosting

These are terms that may pop up when selecting your Hosting platform and it is important to know which one you need.

Shared Hosting

This is the most commonly used Hosting type and is basically where the Hosting company shares its resources with everyone on that type of Hosting plan. This means that your site has a capped speed, security, and back-end functionality. However they are also the cheapest plans, ranging from as little as $5/month, so if you are building a basic to mid-level website these plans should be fine.

VPS Hosting

VPS Hosting is a significant step up from Shared Hosting. This type of Hosting offers higher levels of performance and load speed for your user, as well as increased Security and control over your account. VPS Hosting basically uses a specific ‘rented’ portion of your Hosting company’s servers that you can independently manage your website from. The Bandwidth and Resources able to be supplied to your user is much greater with this type of Hosting, so if you have a high traffic site (or anticipate that it will get thousands of hits a month) then this may be the plan for you. This Hosting type is also common among resellers, like some Web Design Agencies, who pay for the Hosting space and sell on to their clients for a bit of extra passive income. Not a bad tactic at all!

Of course with greater versatility, control and storage space comes a much greater price tag and can set you back a minimum of $100 a month. It varies from company to company, and of course you can go with a cheaper one you’re likely to get worse quality / storage space. So depending on your use case I’ll let you decide what suits your needs and budget.

3. Storage Space

One of the biggest factors in determining the price of a Hosting plan is the amount of storage space it comes with. Storage space is the maximum available amount of memory that your website can contain and will inevitably be filled up by things like your Media Library, WordPress Theme, plugins, and native backups (if set up). The basic Hosting plans tend to start at around 4GB which is plenty for a basic website as they generally take up about 200-400mb of space. But if you are posting a lot and will be uploading lots of images and media you may wish to consider getting more Storage space, which will obviously cost you more. Of course you can always upgrade your plan in the future, so if you’re just commencing your Web Design journey the Basic plans are usually a good starting point.

4. Support Availability

Having top notch Support may not seem like a big issue now but just wait until you update the wrong plugin and it breaks your website with critical errors. This can cause you to lose leads, your sanity and, in some cases, summon the antichrist. You will need a helpful support team that can jump on and get your issues sorted out ASAP. Generally if your Hosting Servers are based in Australia you will get Australian support, but beware because outsourcing for cheap labour is very popular among cheap Hosting providers so make sure that they specify that their support team is based locally.

Having a Live Chat option, 24/7 phone call support, and eTicket systems in place are great indicators that your Hosting Company is reliable and will prioritise your needs. If the only support they offer is Email between 9am and 5pm this may not be good enough. You don’t want your Hosting to take 24-48 hours to get back to you if your request is urgent!

Recommended Australian Hosting Plans

My personal favourite Hosting Platform in Australia is VentraIP due to their competitive rates for a premium service and excellent support PLUS they have 50% off all first time signups.

Some other contenders to check out include:

Common mistakes to AVOID when choosing a Hosting Provider

Web Hosting is a highly competitive industry and you will find (too good to be true) deals left, right, and center. Don’t get sucked in to these because realistically the dirt cheap plans offer dirt cheap service. They may have support outsourced from overseas just who just read from a script, have low comprehension of your unique requirements, and/or have limited availability.

Just because a Hosting Provider offers you the best price and ranks highly on Google doesn’t necessarily mean that they are reliable or offer the value that you deserve.

Often cheap Hosting Plans have a very slow server speed, meaning loading times can be affected on your website, particularly if you are on a Shared Hosting plan. This is because, to keep prices low, companies may purchase a designated amount of Storage space, Bandwidth, CPU Usage, and may restrict access to share between many clients. This slows down your site and potentially causing issues so make sure your Hosting provides sufficient resources to suit your needs.

Make sure access to your website’s backend isn’t restricted! Sometimes Hosting plans will offer “Managed WordPress” and this is honestly a bit of a scam, as they will likely charge you more for this for minimal extra work on their end. It just means you won’t have backend access to perform updates and changes through cPanel which means you are 100% reliant on your Hosting provider to keep your site up to date. This can be problematic with Providers who don’t have a passion for their customers and have a get-rich-quick mentality.

You shouldn’t have to pay for SSL! This is one thing I hate about many major Hosting companies – they make you pay YEARLY FEES for something that can be implemented with the click of a button. Often companies actually do offer free SSL but you may need to message them to get this activated, so if you’re only seeing paid pricing there’s no harm in enquiring if it can be implemented for free. Just don’t fall into the trap of just paying what they tell you to, and if you’re paying $100/year just for SSL you’re being ripped off.

My final tip to avoid choosing the wrong Hosting provider is to judge a book by its cover. If their own website is bad – such as; you can’t find the information you are looking for, their design is cluttered and messy, slow loading speeds, or they look like they’re hiding lots of fine print – these are red flags and you may want to jump ship and look at alternatives.

Some Hosting providers to AVOID are listed below:

  • GoDaddy
  • Host Gator
  • Crazy Domains

For all the reasons listed above do NOT choose GoDaddy. Apart from their convoluted backend system and access restrictions, their pricing is very high for the shoddy service they offer and very sub-par support. But make sure you explore all your options before settling on a service so you’re not locked in to something that doesn’t suit your needs or that takes advantage of you. Of course, you can always change providers when your contract expires (or immediately if you really need to) and any good Web Hosting company should offer a free migration service to get your website set up on their system.

Registering your Domain Name

Registering a Domain Name is a requirement for any website to go live. After selecting your Hosting that natural next step is to register a Domain Name. This is the URL that will be shown on the front end of the website. For example if your Domain Name is pineappleonpizza.com then your URL will look something like https://pineappleonpizza.com. Often when purchasing Hosting you will be prompted to purchase a domain name with it. I always like having my domain name registered with my Hosting provider to keep everything in one place, but if you’ve already purchased your domain name elsewhere you will be able to link it to your Hosting, though this might require some tech support.

A Domain Name will set you back around $15/year, but can vary depending on the extension used (.com, .com.au, .melbourne etc.).

Want a stress-free Hosting solution?

At David Barry Designs we offer a full setup Web Design service where we can research what Hosting provider will work best for you. We can get that set up without you having to lift a finger, with a simple Web Design continuation thereafter with a 0% chance of hiccups! If you’re interested in an affordable Web Design Service that caters to your unique needs get in touch with us today!

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A bit About The Author

David Lipschitz

David is a Web Designer based in Melbourne Victoria. His area of speciality lies in wordpress website design and development for businesses ranging from startups to global organisations. With an arsenal of capabilities under his belt David is committed to providing the right digital solution to your unique business. David's built hundreds of websites in his 10+ years of experience and has experience working with ecommerce websites, membership websites, Portoflio based, CRM integration, SEO Optimisation and a whole bunch of other sought after web design modalities that I won't bore you with... Just know that if you're after a Web Designer you can trust - David is your man.
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