Despite the common misconception, there are huge differences from one web hosting company to another. Don’t just grab the first host you come across. Take your time, do some research, and choose a host that works best for you. These hints should help:
Different hosts may have different features and add-ons like website builders or one-click installs of third-party content managers. When choosing between different web hosting companies, be sure to compare levels of service, including different features that you require. One company may offer lower prices, but you might have to pay extra to get the features another host gives as part of their package.
Which do you need, shared or dedicated hosting? If your site is very complicated, with a high volume of traffic, shared hosting may not be a good option. You should probably seek a dedicated host, instead.
When choosing your web hosting service, do not rely on someone’s recommendation, or only on the info you’ve read online. Most services have affiliate programs and the people recommending the service may not have any direct experience with it. You should take more than recommendations into consideration when choosing your web host.
A good web hosting service should bill you professionally. You should be able to log in with a username and password to have access to your account balance and make secured payments. If you have to send PayPal payments every months without getting account statements, you are not dealing with a serious web hosting service.
Resist the temptation to accept free domain registration from the same company you will be using for web hosting. There are many start-ups out there who may – or may not – be around for very long, and they probably will not give clients advance notice if they are going out of business. You will need to have immediate access to your domain registration if this happens, but may not be able to get it if they are out of business.
Research each potential web host’s customer support before deciding on a host. The easier it is to get in touch with the hosting service, the more likely you are to be satisfied. If you’re having problems with your web hosting account, you’ll need to be able to easily reach customer service by email or phone.
If at all possible, choose a web host that has 24-hour customer service via telephone. The larger hosting services often provide this valuable service. You do not want to be working late at night and find that are experiencing technical difficulties. Call them before you sign up, and test the level of expertise of the agents, and whether or not they can give simple instructions that are easy to understand.
Don’t choose your web hosting provider based solely on price. Although using a cheap or free web host may save you money in the short run, these hosts might not offer the disk space or bandwidth you need. Price should be only one factor in your final decision so that you ensure that you get what you most need.
Now you really understand the difference between your average host and great companies that have racks filled with servers, all running dedicated memory for hosting your files. Review these tips when your contract is up for renewal, or whenever you’re ready to choose a better host.