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Best Shared Hosting Plans




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Shared hosting is like living in an apartment.

It’s not the most efficient way to do things, but it is the most affordable. Plus, you don’t have to worry about everyday maintenance or upkeep, which makes it perfect for beginners. 

With shared hosting, you exchange a lot of features you’ll never use for budget-friendly pricing, making it an excellent choice for anyone interested in starting a website without spending a ton of money. 

However, choosing the best shared hosting provider for your new website is just as tricky as deciding which apartment complex to live in. 

They all come with their fair share of quirks, features, and downfalls. 

So to help make your decision easier, we looked at dozens of the top choices and narrowed it down to the seven best shared hosting plans on the market. 



Best for WordPress Users

Recommended by WordPress. Get 24/7 customer support and a free domain for one year. Pricing starts at $2.95 per month. All plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

The 7 Best Shared Hosting Plans to Consider:

  1. Bluehost – Best shared hosting plans for WordPress users
  2. GreenGeeks – Best eco-friendly shared hosting plans
  3. Hostinger – Cheapest shared hosting plans
  4. A2 Hosting – Fastest shared hosting plans
  5. Dreamhost – Best month-to-month shared hosting plans
  6. Siteground – Best for customer service and support
  7. InMotion – Best shared hosting plans for scalability

When Does It Make Sense to Go with a Shared Hosting Plan?

If you’re starting a website from scratch, a shared hosting plan works just fine. 

In fact, we highly recommend it until you start generating enough traffic and revenue to justify spending more for high-performance hosting services. 

Are there better hosting options out there? Absolutely. 

But they don’t make sense for new websites. In the beginning, you won’t have a lot of traffic because high-traffic websites take time to build. As such, you don’t need blazing speeds or all the extra bells and whistles VPS, managed, or dedicated server hosting offers. 

And you probably won’t even use half the fancy tools and features included. So, in reality, expensive hosting is a waste of money when your website is brand new. 

The bottom line: shared web hosting is the way to go for new websites. However, it’s important to choose a hosting provider that offers upgrades and high-performance packages so you can scale your hosting service as your site grows. 

#1 – Bluehost — The Best Shared Hosting Plans for WordPress



Best for WordPress Users

Recommended by WordPress. Get 24/7 customer support and a free domain for one year. Pricing starts at $2.95 per month. All plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bluehost is one of the three shared hosting providers recommended by WordPress. So, if you’re interested in creating your website using WordPress, Bluehost is our #1 recommendation. 

As a recommended WordPress hosting service, their 24/7 customer support team is packed full of WordPress experts ready to help you navigate the process of building your new website. So, you can rest easy knowing you’re in good hands. 

Plus, their plans are incredibly affordable, and they all include a free domain name for the first year. On top of that, each plan also comes with a wide variety of powerful features, including:

  • A free SSL certificate
  • One-click WordPress installation
  • 24/7 customer support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • A team of WordPress experts
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • Marketing credits
  • Resource protection
  • Scalability in just a few clicks

Furthermore, there are several upgrades you can add to the basic plan, including domain privacy and protection, SiteLock security, CodeGuard, spam protection, and more. Alternatively, you can upgrade to a higher-tier plan to access advanced features at no additional cost.

Bluehost offers four shared hosting plans to choose from, including:

  1. Basic — $2.95 per month (renews at $7.99 per month)
  2. Plus — $5.45 per month (renews at $14.99 per month)
  3. Choice Plus — $5.45 per month (renews at $14.99 per month)
  4. Pro — $13.95 per month (renews at $23.99 per month)

I highly recommend the Choice Plus plan because it includes a ton of extra security and protection features you otherwise have to pay for separately. 

Just keep in mind that you have to pay for three years in advance to get their lowest prices, and those prices jump up to their standard rates after your initial contract term. 

#2 – GreenGeeks — The Best Eco-Friendly Shared Hosting Plans



Eco-Friendly Shared Hosting

Give back 3x in renewable energy with GreenGeeks. Includes 24/7 support, free CDN, nightly backups, and more. Plans start at $2.95 with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

If you’re looking for an easy (and affordable) way to do your part in being kind to the planet, GreenGeeks is the way to go. They’re the only shared hosting provider that gives back 3x the energy they pull in the form of renewable energy. 

So, you can rest easy knowing you’re doing your part in making the world a better place. 

Plus, they offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee and 24/7 expert customer support, so you don’t have to worry about your site going down or going through the process alone. 

Furthermore, more than 45,000+ users in 150+ countries trust GreekGeeks as their go-to web hosting platform. So, you’re in good company when you purchase web hosting services through them. 

On top of their 3x renewable energy promise, you also get:

  • Unlimited web space and data transfer
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free domain name for the first year
  • Nightly backups
  • Content delivery network (CDN)
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • One-click WordPress installation
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Built-in drag and drop builder
  • Scalable computing resources

Plus, they offer completely free site migration, so you can easily switch and go green without the hassle of switching things over on your own. 

GreenGeeks offers three shared hosting plans, including:

  1. Lite — $2.95 per month (renews at $9.95 per month)
  2. Pro — $5.95 per month (renews at 14.95 per month)
  3. Premium — $11.95 per month (renews at 24.95 per month)

They also offer WordPress hosting and VPS hosting if you plan to use WordPress or want to upgrade to a faster hosting plan in the future. 

#3 – Hostinger — The Cheapest Shared Hosting Plans



Cheapest Shared Hosting Plans

Pricing starts at $0.99 per month. User-friendly control panel, simple setups, and live chat support 24/7/365. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Hostinger is easily the most affordable option on this list. With them, you can get four years of hosting for $47.52, which is cheaper than just one year with the other shared hosting plans listed here. 

So, if you’re on a shoestring budget, this is definitely the way to go. The cheapest plan includes one website, one email, 100 GB of bandwidth, and a free SSL certificate. 

Which… is essentially everything you need to get started. 

However, 100 GB of bandwidth may not be enough for you, so you will need to upgrade to a better plan as your business grows. 

With that said, their Premium and Business plans are also extremely affordable and more suitable for most users. Plus, these plans include a free domain name for the first year, so you don’t have to worry about buying it elsewhere. 

With the advanced plans, you also get:

  • Unlimited websites
  • Unlimited emails
  • WordPress acceleration
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • And extra allocated resources

On top of their extremely budget-friendly prices, the platform is easy to use, and you get 24/7/365 customer support ready to help you out along the way. 

Hostinger’s shared hosting plans include:

  1. Single — $0.99 per month (renews at $2.15 per month)
  2. Premium — $2.89 per month (renews at $3.49 per month)
  3. Business — $3.99 per month (renews at $7.95 per month)
  4. Cloud — $9.99 per month (renews at $15.90 per month)

While Hostinger isn’t the most feature-rich shared hosting provider, it’s an extremely affordable way for small businesses and brand new websites to start without breaking the bank. 

You can also upgrade to VPS hosting down the road as your website scales. 

#4 – A2 Hosting — The Fastest Shared Hosting Plans

A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting

Fastest Shared Hosting Plans

Plans starting at $2.99 per month. Includes a wide variety of speed-boosting features. Free migrations and an anytime money-back guarantee.

Site speed matters, and if you want to have the fastest shared hosting, A2 Hosting is your best option. They promise up to 20x speeds with 99.9% uptime and 24/7/365 guru crew support, so you don’t have to worry about your site going down or struggling through problems alone. 

And you can rest easy knowing that their turbo servers offer an excellent visitor experience. 

Besides that, you can also take advantage of 100% free site migrations if you’re interested in switching hosts. And you also get access to a ton of excellent features, including:

  • Unlimited email accounts and file transfers
  • Easy cPanel controls
  • Free Cloudflare CDN
  • A free website builder
  • Solid-state drive speed boost
  • Perpetual security features
  • Premium A2 hardware
  • Site staging
  • Various data center locations
  • Free SSL certificate

All of which are available on A2 Hosting’s cheapest shared hosting plan. Alternatively, you can upgrade to a higher price point and leverage advanced features like unlimited storage, automatic backups, 2x faster first byte, speed enhancements, and more. 

A2 Hosting’s shared hosting plans include:

  1. Startup — $2.99 per month (renews at $8.99 per month)
  2. Drive — $4.99 per month (renews at $11.99 per month)
  3. Turbo Boost — $9.99 per month (renews at $19.99 per month)
  4. Turbo Max — $14.99 per month (renews at $24.99 per month)

It’s important to note that the 20x speed promise is only available on the Turbo Boost and Turbo Max plans. So, expect to pay a bit than the other options on this list for enhanced speed and performance. 

#5 – DreamHost — The Best Shared Hosting Plans with  Month-to-Month Pricing



Best Month-to-Month Plans

Trusted by 1.5+ million websites. 24/7 support and 100% uptime guarantee. Pricing starts at $4.95 per month with no contracts required.

If you’re not ready to commit to a long-term contract or prefer a plan that lets you pay as you go, DreamHost offers the most affordable month-to-month pricing on the market. 

Plus, with more than 1.5+ million users, you’re in good company. On top of that, they also offer one of the industry’s leading money-back guarantees at 97 days. 

DreamHost’s monthly shared hosting plans are packed full of features, including things like:

  • Unlimited bandwidth and traffic
  • Unlimited storage (Shared Unlimited only)
  • Intuitive control panel
  • Powerful one-click installation
  • Free privacy protection
  • Free SSL security certificate
  • Automated backups
  • Instant WordPress setup
  • Comprehensive knowledge base
  • Unlimited emails (Shared Unlimited only)

Note: most shared hosting plans don’t include free privacy protection, so this, along with their month-to-month pricing are definitely standout features. 

Additionally, they offer a wide variety of WordPress-specific features, including free migrations, automatic updates, pre-installation, and a WordPress drag-and-drop site builder. 

DreamHost’s month-to-month plans include:

  1. Shared Starter — $4.95 per month (50 GB of storage + one website)
  2. Shared Unlimited — $10.95 per month (unlimited storage, emails, and websites)

Compared to $10.95+ on most of the other options on this list, their starter month-to-month plans are incredibly affordable. They also offer one-year and three-year plans at discounted rates. Additionally, their annual plans include a free domain name. 

Furthermore, you can upgrade to managed hosting, VPS hosting, cloud hosting, or dedicated server hosting as your site scales and outgrows your shared hosting plan. 

#6 – Siteground — The Best Shared Hosting Plans for Customer Service and Support



Best Customer Support

Trusted by 2+ million domains. Free WordPress installations and automatic WordPress updates. Shared hosting plans start as low as $6.99 per month..

Customer service is essential, especially if you’ve never set up web hosting before. So,  if you’re looking for excellent support throughout the process of building your website, Siteground is a perfect choice. 

Their in-house team is second to none of the options on this list. From building the technology to providing award-winning support, you can rest assured you have a rock-solid team behind you. 

Furthermore, every plan comes with a ton of features, including:

  • Unmetered traffic
  • A free SSL certificate
  • Daily site backups
  • Free CDN
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • Unlimited databases
  • 100% renewable energy match
  • Free WordPress installation
  • WordPress auto-updates
  • Weebly and WordPress site builder
  • Free migrations

Siteground also offers advanced features on their higher-tiered plans, including unlimited websites, extra storage space, on-demand backups, speed boosting, staging, and more. 

They’re also one of three shared hosting providers WordPress recommends. So, their team is packed full of experts ready to help you 24/7/365 at every step of the way. Plus, they’re swift, friendly, and knowledgeable of WordPress. 

And it’s hard to go wrong with a customer base of over 2+ million users. 

Siteground’s shared hosting plans include:

  1. Startup — $6.99 per month (renews at $14.99 per month)
  2. GrowBig — $9.99 per month (renews at $24.99 per month)
  3. GoGeek — $14.99 per month (renews at $34.99 per month)

As you can see, it’s not the cheapest option on this list, but their customer service is excellent if you plan on needing support, or you’ve never created a website before. 

The few extra dollars a month are definitely worth having a team of experts ready to help you out. 

#7 – InMotion — The Best Shared Hosting Plans for Scalability



Best for Scalability

Plans starting at $2.49 per month. Free site migrations and a suite of security tools plus a 99.9% uptime promise and a 90-day money-back guarantee.

If you’re a fast-growth business looking for a shared hosting provider that can scale alongside you, InMotion is a smart choice. They have a wide variety of plans with differing limits, so you can easily upgrade from one plan to the next as you need to. 

And you can upgrade to VPS, managed hosting, or dedicated servers when your site scales, and you can justify the added expense. 

Plus, they offer 24/7 customer support, free solid-state drive storage, free site migrations, and a free domain name for the first year. So, whether you’re starting from scratch or transferring from another provider, InMotion has you covered.

Furthermore, all InMotion plans include:

  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Free email addresses
  • SSL certificate
  • Malware and hack protection
  • DDoS protection
  • Automatic backups
  • Website builder
  • Advertising credits
  • One-click installation of 400+ apps
  • SSH access

And they now use UltraStack servers standard on every plan. So, you can enjoy faster load times, optimized server-side caching, and enhanced speeds across your entire website. 

They offer four shared hosting plans to choose from, including:

  1. Lite — $2.49 per month (renews at $7.49 per month)
  2. Launch — $4.99 per month (renews at $9.99 per month)
  3. Power — $4.99 per month (renews at $13.99 per month)
  4. Pro — $12.99 per month (renews at $22.99 per month)

With each upgrade, you get better website performance, the ability to host more websites, more email addresses, and extra storage space. So, you can start on the Lite plan and upgrade as your website grows. 

From there, you can switch to VPS or dedicated server hosting to further optimize your website’s performance for handling higher levels of traffic. 

Methodology For Choosing The Best Shared Hosting Plan

We highly recommend every option on this list. However, choosing the right one isn’t always easy. There are dozens of shared hosting plans out there, and not all are created equal. 

So, keep the following criteria in mind as you go through the process of deciding which hosting plan is right for you. 

Number of Websites

Every entry-level shared hosting plan on this list includes hosting for one website. However, the higher-tier plans include hosting for a varying number of websites. 

So, it’s essential to consider how many websites you want to host. If you need a lot, look carefully at the number of websites allowed for each plan because some are unlimited while others are not. 

Site Speed

Site speed is an integral part of SEO and visitors expect your website to load quickly. Your site’s speed depends on a lot of things, but one of them is your hosting provider and the features they include. 

The speed of a hosting provider depends on:

  • A content delivery network (CDN)
  • Bandwidth and RAM limits
  • Resource allocation
  • SSD vs. a hard drive
  • Data transfer limits

So, it’s crucial to choose a plan that exceeds your minimum requirements so your website loads quickly, regardless of the number of visitors and the amount of content you’re delivering at any given time. 

When your site starts to slow down, it may be time to upgrade to a better plan.

Domain Emails

A domain email looks like this: And they’re much more professional than a standard Gmail or Yahoo email account. 

Some hosts let you create a free email account while others charge for the service. 

On the other hand, some offer unlimited email accounts, so you can create as many as you want. Be sure to carefully consider the number of emails you need and choose a plan that gives you some breathing room. 

Note: every option on this list (aside from Dreamhost) includes at least one free email account with every plan. Dreamhost charges extra starting at $1.67 per month. 

Bandwidth Limits

Bandwidth limits the amount of data that gets transferred at any given time. So, as you have more traffic hitting simultaneously, you need more bandwidth to handle it. 

If you don’t have enough, users may experience a slowdown when visiting your site. Furthermore, if you have a lot of dynamic content, images, or videos, those require more bandwidth to deliver since they include more data. 

So, the higher your bandwidth limits, the less you have to worry about the amount of content and the number of users on your website. 

Many hosting providers on this list offer “unlimited” or “unmetered” bandwidth. In reality, unlimited doesn’t exist, so make sure to read the fine print to determine what this means before agreeing to anything. 

Storage Limits

Disc space or web storage refers to the amount of space your website is allowed to occupy. Every piece of your website requires storage, including things like:

  • Website scripts and code
  • Databases
  • Emails
  • Text files
  • Images
  • Videos

Several of the introductory plans on this list include storage space limits. So, keep in mind that you’ll have to upgrade to a higher plan once you exceed that limit. 

And as with bandwidth, “unlimited” storage space doesn’t actually exist. Always read the fine print and the terms and conditions page to truly understand what “unlimited” means before you sign up. 

Security Features

Every web hosting provider should offer a free SSL certificate. 

All of the options on this list do, and you shouldn’t choose a provider that doesn’t offer this if you decide to go with someone not mentioned here. 

Furthermore, some hosts offer security packages that include other protections against brute force attacks, malware, and more. So, pay close attention to what they offer when making your final decision. 



Best for WordPress Users

Recommended by WordPress. Get 24/7 customer support and a free domain for one year. Pricing starts at $2.95 per month. All plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.


Bluehost is our #1 shared hosting recommendation for most users. WordPress recommends it, plus it’s incredibly affordable and easy to use. 

However, all the options on this list are excellent choices, depending on what you need. 

So, make sure to use the methodology we talked about as you sort through the best shared hosting plans for you, your new website, and the future of your business. 

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Here’s how fast a few dozen startups grew in Q3 2020




Earlier this week I asked startups to share their Q3 growth metrics and whether they were performing ahead or behind of their yearly goals.

Lots of companies responded. More than I could have anticipated, frankly. Instead of merely giving me a few data points to learn from, The Exchange wound up collecting sheafs of interesting data from upstart companies with big Q3 performance.

The Exchange explores startups, markets and money. Read it every morning on Extra Crunch, or get The Exchange newsletter every Saturday.

Naturally, the startups that reached out were the companies doing the best. I did not receive a single reply that described no growth, though a handful of respondents noted that they were behind in their plans.

Regardless, the data set that came together felt worthy of sharing for its specificity and breadth — and so other startup founders can learn from how some of their peer group are performing. (Kidding.)

Let’s get into the data, which has been segmented into buckets covering fintech, software and SaaS, startups focused on developers or security and a final group that includes D2C and fertility startups, among others.

Q3 performance

Obviously, some of the following startups could land in several different groups. Don’t worry about it! The categories are relaxed. We’re here to have fun, not split hairs!


  • Numerated: According to Numerated CEO Dan O’Malley, his startup that helps companies more quickly access banking products had a big Q3. “Revenue for the first three quarters of 2020 is 11X our origination 2020 plan, and 18X versus the same period in 2019,” he said in an email. What’s driving growth? Bank digitization, O’Malley says, which has “been forced to happen rapidly and dramatically” in 2020.
  • BlueVineBlueVine does banking services for SMBs; think things like checking accounts, loans and payments. The company is having a big year, sharing with TechCrunch via email that it has expanded its customer base “by 660% from Q1 2020 to” this week. That’s not a revenue metric, and it’s not Q3-specific, but as both Numerated and BlueVine cited the PPP program as a growth driver, it felt worthy of inclusion.
  • Harvest Platform: A consumer-focused fintech, Harvest helps folks recover fees, track their net worth and bank. In an email, Harvest said it “grew well over 1000%+” in the third quarter and is “ahead of its 2020 plan” thanks to more folks signing up for its service and what a representative described as “economic tailwinds.” The savings and investing boom continues, it appears.


  • Uniphore: Uniphore provides AI-based conversational software products to other companies used for chatting to customers and security purposes. According to Uniphore CEO Umesh Sachdev, the company grew “320% [year-over-year] in our Q2 FY21 (July-sept 2020),” or a period that matches the calendar Q3 2020. Per the executive, that result was “on par with [its] plan.” Given that growth rate, is Uniphore a seed-stage upstart? Er, no, it raised a $51 million Series C in 2019. That makes its growth metrics rather impressive as its implied revenue base from which it grew so quickly this year is larger than we’d expect from younger companies.
  • Text Request: An SMS service for SMBs, Text Request grew loads in Q3, telling TechCrunch that it “billed 6x more than we did in 2019’s Q3,” far ahead of its target for doubling billings. A company director said that while “customer acquisition was roughly on par with expectations,” the value of those customers greatly expanded. I dug into the numbers and was told that the 6x figure is for total dollars billed in Q3 2020 inclusive of recurring and non-recurring incomes. For just the company’s recurring software product, growth was a healthy 56% in Q3.
  • Notarize: Digital notarization startup Notarize — Boston-based, which most recently raised a $35 million Series C — is way ahead of where it expected to be, with a VP at the company telling TechCrunch that during “the first week of lockdowns, Notarize’s sales team got 3,000+ inquiries,” which it managed to turn into revenues. The same person added that the startup is “probably 5x ahead of [its] original 2020 plan,” with the substance measured being annual recurring revenue, or ARR. We’d love some hard numbers as well, but that growth pace is spicy. (Notarize also announced it grew 400% from March to July, earlier this year.)
  • Acceleprise-backed hasn’t raised a lot of money, but that hasn’t stopped it from growing quickly. According to co-founder and CEO Robert McLaws, BurnRate “started selling in Q4 of last year” so it did not have a pure Q3 2019 versus Q3 2020 metric to share. But the company managed to grow 3.3x from Q4 2019 to Q3 2020 per the executive, which is still great. BurnRate provides software that helps startups plan and forecast, with the company telling TechCrunch with yearly planning season coming up, it expects sales to keep growing.
  • Gravy AnalyticsLocation data as a service! That’s what Gravy Analytics appears to do, and apparently it’s been a good run thus far in 2020. The company told TechCrunch that it has seen sales rise 80% year-to-date over 2019. This is a bit outside our Q3 scope as it’s more 2020 data, but we can be generous and still include it.
  • ChartHopTechCrunch covered ChartHop earlier this year when it raised $5 million in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz. A number of other investors took part, including Cowboy Ventures and Flybridge Capital. Per our coverage, ChartHop is a “new type of HR software that brings all the different people data together in one place.” The model is working well, with the startup reporting that since its February seed round — that $5 million event — it has grown 10x. The company recently raised a Series A. Per a rep via email, ChartHop is “on-target” for its pre-pandemic business plan, but “far ahead” of what it expected at the start of the pandemic.
  • Credo: Credo is a marketplace for digital marketing talent. It’s actually a company I’ve known for a long-time, thanks to founder John Doherty. According to Doherty, Credo has “grown revenue 50% since June, while only minimally increasing burn.” Very good.
  • Canva: Breaking my own rules about only including financial data, I’m including Canva because it sent over strong product data that implies strong revenue growth. Per the company, Canva’s online design service has seen “increased growth over both Q2 and Q3, with an increase of 10 million users in Q3 alone (up from 30 million users in June).” Thirty-three percent user growth, from 30 to 40 million, is impressive. And, the company added that it saw more team-based usage since the start of the pandemic, which we presume implies the buying of more expensive, group subscriptions. Next time real revenue, please, but this was still interesting.



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They want to cancel their subscription? OK I don’t need them!




Author profile picture

You are building a product and you put your hurt and soul into it. You’re rewriting the details, crafting perfect pixel design, generating leads, ads campaigns, cold outreach, and publishing on all channels.

You present a perfect demo, onboard a new subscriber, and then he churns.

At that point you get mad and start making excuses:

  • “they don’t understand the product”
  • “they were using it wrong anyway”
  • “their business sucks”
  • “I don’t need them”

But honestly, YOU DO.

I went through the same process but eventually realized that:

A subscriber that wants to cancel the service actually tells me a lot about how the product can grow.

Once you reveal churn hidden opportunities, you can take action to prevent churn and make your way to the holy grail of negative churn.

It makes sense – positive growth depends on having CAC/LTV metric, it’s as simple as that. You are already spending a lot of greens on CAC but how much are you spending to increase LTV?

Let’s say you have 1,000 subscribers paying $10 monthly subscription = $10,000 monthly revenue.

Assume your monthly churn rate is 6% so the next month you will have 940 paid subscribers and $9,400 in revenue, and the month after that – 883 paid subscribers and $8,830 in revenue.

If you run the calculation until the end of the year, you will see that on month 12 your monthly revenue is $4,760. Let’s see what happens to your LTV if you lower your churn rate from 6% to 1%: In the first month you will have the same $10,000, but at the end of the year your revenue will be $8,860.

Your LTV went from $4.76 to $8.86 -> that’s a 86% increase!

The article is written with love by me, the founder of Churndler.


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Analytics Consulting




Your analytics should tell you everything. 

Tools like Google Analytics are incredibly valuable for businesses. Once you’re setup, you’ll have everything you need to analyze your performance data properly. Instead, many companies have realized that their analytics tools have introduced a lot of unexpected problems. 

They’re not getting the kind of value they need. 

That’s the good news. Most companies think their data is clean; that they’re making good decisions with the data they have. Most of these companies are wrong; they just don’t know it yet. This is why companies need analytics consulting. They don’t know what they don’t know. 

Today, I’ll show you how to find the right analytics consultant for your business.  

4 Ways an Analytics Consultant Can Help Grow Your Business

Many companies make the wrong assumptions. Using a tool like Google Analytics, clients think all they have to do is drop the tracking code into their web pages, log into their account, and begin analyzing their data. It sounds easy, but it often isn’t. 

There’s more to it than that. 

This is why you need an analytics consultant. With the right consultant, you’ll have the education you need to grow your business. You’ll be able to pull insights out of your data using a variety of methods. Each of these strategies is important because they have a cumulative effect on your business. 

Here are four ways analytics consulting can help you grow your business. 

1. Exclude spam traffic via bots, scrapers, and spiders

How much of your traffic comes from real visitors? How much of it comes from bots, scrapers, and spiders? According to Imperva, almost half of all internet traffic is non-human. In 2014, Google introduced an obscure setting that enables you to filter out bots and spiders listed in IAB’s Interactional Spiders and Bots list. This low-key setting is buried in Google Analytics, but it’s incredibly important; many small businesses still aren’t aware of this setting. 

You’ll also need help to filter out referral spam.

Referral spam is basically fake website hits; these bots, scrapers, and spiders land in your site. Site owners send their spam to your site. They hope you’ll see these referrals in your Google Analytics account, clickthrough, and visit their site. 

This junk traffic poisons your data. 

It gives you false readings based on inaccurate data. Your site may be more or less profitable, depending on your visits-to-spam ratio on your site. This isn’t something many businesses watch for in their analytics reports. 

A good analytics consultant will consistently filter the variations of spam traffic (e.g., direct spam traffic, referral spam traffic, etc.) out of your reports, so you get a clear picture of your marketing performance. 

2. Help you analyze your data properly

A lot of companies don’t know how to analyze their data properly. According to Forrester, between 60 and 73 percent of a company’s analytics data goes unused. Companies collect lots of data on customer activity, but they aren’t using it, why?

There are lots of reasons. 

  • Companies don’t know what they have 
  • Companies aren’t aware of the value of their data
  • They don’t know how to evaluate or analyze their data
  • Their data isn’t available to those who can use it 
  • There’s too much data to go through and not enough time to use it

Think about it. 

Right now, your company has valuable data about your customers. This is data you can use to attract more customers, lower expenses, grow faster, jump ahead of competitors, etc. 

If you’re unaware of the data, you can’t use it. 

A good analytics consultant will help you analyze your data properly, showing you what you have and how you can use it to grow your business. 

3. Identify the list of problems you’re trying to fix

Your data isn’t as valuable without context. 

If you know the problem you’re trying to solve, you have a pretty good idea of the answers you’re looking for in your data. 

That’s the problem though. 

A lot of companies treat their analytics tools as a technology issue. They focus their attention on the obvious issues like hardware or software. They rarely treat their analytics as a question and answer tool. That’s exactly what it is, though. 

Target had the right idea when they started their analysis with a problem/question. 

Remember the story?

“If we wanted to figure out if a customer is pregnant, even if she didn’t want us to know, can you do that?” It’s a creepy story that shows the power of questions and problems. A great analytics consultant will help you discover the issues you’re trying to solve and the questions that need answers. 

4. Focus your attention on the metrics that explain why

Analytics tells you what happened — what visitors did when they arrived on your site, the ads they responded to, what they read most often, etc. It doesn’t tell you why visitors do the things they do. Understanding what is important, but it’s more important to understand why something happens. 

Focusing on the right metrics is the answer. 

The right analytics consultant will help you answer the “what” — basically looking in the rearview mirror. But they’ll also help you look ahead; They’ll dig deeper, showing you the why behind visitor and customer behaviors. 

Your analytics consultant should provide you with the education and support you need to squeeze more value out of your data.

How to Get Started With an Analytics Consultant

Avinash Kaushik has a three-step framework he uses to help analytics consultants support their clients. He calls it Data Capture. Data Reporting. Data Analysis. The nice part about this framework is the fact that it’s easy for both clients and consultants. 

Consultants can use each of these buckets to analyze your goals, objectives, and the results they want to accomplish with each. 

You’re basically goal setting with this framework.

Here’s a closer look at each of these three buckets and the goals for each of these. 

  1. Data Capture: Work in this bucket is focused on audits or updating data capture methods (e.g., updating, editing, or customizing tags). This step is especially important because it determines the quality of what comes afterward. If you’ve done a good job with your data capture methods, you’ll have accurate data and reporting you can use for your analysis. 
  2. Data Reporting: Your consultant sets up the reports you need on the intervals required. Your consultants help you identify the reports you’ll need, and they provide you with the reports you need regularly. 
  3. Data Analysis: This is what Avinash calls an open-ended assignment, but it’s one you’ve provided to your consultant. You’re asking them to answer specific questions for you — your consultant should be able to show you what to measure, what your data is saying, what to do based on your data, and why you should do it. 

Here’s what this means for you. 

You’ll want to find an analytics consultant or agency that can handle all three steps in this framework. This also means you’ll need a clear idea of problems you’re dealing with ahead of time. 

Measuring the ROI of Analytics Consulting Services

Many companies don’t understand analytics.

If you don’t understand analytics, that’s okay; you just need to know whether you’re generating a return on your analytics investment. According to Nucleus Research, analytics returns $13.01 for every $1 invested

Your consultant should be able to calculate your return on analytics investment

This obviously much easier if your consultant is focused on the data analysis bucket. Suppose they’ve made several data-driven improvements to your site over three to six months. Their recommendations have lead to an increase in revenue, profit, or a return on investment for you. They should be able to verify your return on investment using the worksheet I’ve linked above. 

The good news is the fact that analytics, as a discipline, is data-driven.

Checklist For Finding the Right Analytics Consultant

Choosing the right analytics consultant requires a very different set of skills. If you’re working with an independent analytics consultant, you’ll need to approach this in one of two ways. 

  1. Choose a consultant with all of the skills needed to perform across all three buckets (data capture, reporting, analysis). 
  2. Choose an agency with analysts and implementation specialists needed to generate the results you need. 

Here’s a list of the skills needed for each of the three roles in your buckets. Avinash breaks these skills down in detail in his web analytics consulting framework post

Here’s a quick summary. 

  • For the data capture bucket, your consultant should have the skills of an implementation specialist. They’re experienced with tag managers; they understand data dimensioning and working knowledge of tracking variables. 
  • With the data reporting bucket, your consultant should be familiar with report creation in your analytics platform; they should also have a master list of the custom reports you’ll need for various options. It’s also ideal if your consultant has a working knowledge of his own set of customizations. 
  • For the data analysis bucket, your consultant should be a web analyst. Your consultant should be comfortable with advanced statistics and analytical techniques. They should be experienced in descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive analytics. 

If you’re working with an independent consultant, they should be an industry veteran with the skills I’ve listed above. If you’re working with an agency, they should have employees with the skills for each bucket. If you have implementation specialists, you can handle data capture and possibly reporting. 

Just make sure they’re a fit for that role. 


Many companies aren’t familiar with analytics consulting. They’re not entirely sure how analytics impacts their organization. That’s okay, as long as the ROI is there. 

Using a tool like Google Analytics, many companies assume that all they need to do is customize the tracking code, drop it onto their web pages, log into their account, and begin analyzing their data. It should be that easy, but it isn’t. 

There’s more to it than that. 

With most companies, their analytics data goes unused, they collect lots of data on customer activity, but they don’t know how to squeeze value out of their data. Analytics consulting can help you evaluate your performance data properly. Choose the right team,  and your data will tell you what you need to know. 


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