With hundreds of web hosting companies to choose from today it can be hard to know which ones are actually worth using. Below is a guide of things to look for in a web host: Services - A lot of times we are sold on the idea that bigger is better. I like to look at web hosting companies with a quality over quantity perspective. If lets say you need a site to just simply host your little guy’s minor league soccer team, do you really need a terabyte of bandwidth? Are you ever going to make use of all of those gigabytes of storage space. A lot of webhosting companies will oversell their servers in this way, and rely on the little sites that won’t reach their limits to keep things running. These companies are spreading themselves thin, and I wouldn’t recommend getting on board with one of them. Find a host that is going to meet your sites current needs, and that also allows room for growth. Prices - I’ve seen small packages go for expensive sums, and large packages go for very cheap. This goes back to the point above, and also the point below. Make sure that you are actually getting what you pay for! Getting more than you pay for isn’t normally a good thing, as chances are you aren’t with a top quality host as they recognize that to keep things running they need to charge more. Another way in which Web Hosting companies will often cut costs is in their Customer Service. Most hosting companies online are simply reseller services, and can have terrible response times and customer support, as they are over extended or simply don’t care. Customer Service - This I feel is the most important aspect to keep in mind when looking for a good web host. Don’t over look this! Chances are at one point in the life of your website you are going to have a problem with your host, or a question, inquiry, etc. What good is it if they don’t answer? Look for hosts that provide 24/7 email support. Email is the most common although a lot of hosts will also offer live chat, and some even phone support. Support I feel is what makes or breaks a host. Datacenters are all pretty similar, and often times a lot of resellers are at the same datacenter. Test out a company’s response time. And over a couple days. One my first hosting experiences I found a site with live chat, got online, asked my questions, and then joined. A few days later I had some support problems, and there was no one there, same thing a month later, etc. Even just to cancel my account took a month. Quality hosts will be consistent and timely with their support.
Web hosting can be a pleasant experience or it can be a nightmare. Take your time and test out a company before you join. A little time now, will save you a lot of time/energy/money down the road!
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Ryan Fyfe is the owner and operator of Web Hosting Which is a great web directory and information center on Web hosting and related topics like Unlimited Domains web