Tips For Choosing A Web Hosting Company
There are literally hundreds of web hosting companies with multiple hosting plans vying for your business. While most are good and will do an adequate or better job of hosting your site, there are a number of considerations to make when looking at various companies.
For most web sites, shared hosting provides the most cost effective solution to web hosting. While the basic hosting is just that, each offer many different features and incentives. Before even looking at a hosting service, it is a good idea to thoroughly assess your present and future needs. For example, an ecommerce site will require much more in the way of storage and features than a personal or hobby site. If you will be hosting multiple domains or sub-domains, you need to know if a given company will support them without additional charges. Plans may include basic shopping carts, free domain registrations, multiple scripting options, etc. The list is endless, but the first order of business is to develop some criteria based on what you need right now and what you may require in the future. Its always possible to switch companies in the future, but much easier to get it as right as possible the first time.
In evaluating various companies, there are several aspects generic to all that you should look at.
Is the company established? Look for a company that has been in business at least 3-5 years and has a physical address and phone number posted on their web site. Use caution with a company whose only contact information is an email address. Also look at the number of domains hosted by the company. An established company should be hosting at least 50,000 (if not more) domains.
Is 24/7 monitoring and service available? The company should have someone monitoring their servers at all times as well as someone available to handle emergency service in the event your site goes down.
Is their a money back guarantee? It is common practice for a company to require a year or two payments up front in order to obtain the best pricing. Check to see if the company offers a pro-rated refund if you choose to switch companies.
How much are additional services? Should you exceed your plans allotted bandwidth or storage, it is important to know what additional transfer or storage will cost. Most companies are quite reasonable, however some require that you purchase additional storage / bandwidth in large blocks. Most companies will send you an alert if you are approaching your plans limits and allow for arrangements to be made. Others will simply shut down your web site until you have paid.
Testimonials? They are nice to see, but should always be taken with a grain of salt. Check to see if the testimonials include a web address and visit the web-site.
Is the sales staff available to answer questions? They should be. Look for a toll free number and call with any questions before making a commitment.
The last thing you need do is evaluate the pricing and assure that it fits in your budget. While you certainly don’t want to choose an obviously shady hosting company for the sake of saving a few bucks, it has been our experience that more expensive does not necessarily mean better when it comes to shared hosting.
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