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:
If you are considering using a particular web hosting site, read reviews about it. Specifically, check for reviews written by users of the site’s hosting services. Just as you wouldn’t make a major electronics purchase without first checking out product reviews, nor should you bypass looking at reviews for web hosting sites you’re considering using. Doing this now can save you frustration further down the road.
Avoid free web hosting services. These services support themselves by placing advertisements on the top of all the websites they host. These advertisements may annoy your visitors or make your site appear unprofessional. In addition, some free hosts may restrict the amount of commercial content allowed on the websites that they host.
When you choose a web hosting service, pay the company on a monthly basis rather than in large lump sums. You never know what the future will hold when it comes to your business or the web host. If the web hosting company goes out of business, service declines or your company outgrows your current hosting plan, you might not be able to get back money that was paid for months that you have not used.
Ensure that you choose a web host that provides both cPanel and Fantastico. CPanel can assist you in controlling and maintaining your website easily by using this control panel that is very user friendly. Fantastico is a strong script installer that lets you install scripts in only two minutes instead of the thirty minutes that it takes to install them manually. Both these features can be extremely useful for you. If the host you’re considering selecting doesn’t provide both of these, then you may want to consider finding another host.
Take longevity into account with any web host. Typically, any host that has been in service for multiple years is doing something right, or else they offer such unbelievably low prices, that reliability does not matter to their customers. The latter would never happen. Take a look at the host’s time in business; this will help you narrow the field.
When deciding upon a web hosting service, take a close look at the specific plans they offer. Price is not the only factor in deciding a monthly plan; check to see that you understand exactly what you are getting for that fee. Examples of what to look for include the number of sub-domains you are allowed, as well as how many email accounts are allotted to you.
If you’re going to use a web hosting company, make sure it’s not in danger of going out of business. Find out how long the company has been in business, and whether they have been profitable. If the company goes out of business, you could also lose access to all of the data that was stored on their servers in addition to having your website go offline.
Many web hosts rely on another host themselves. They will purchase a given amount of space on the larger server, usually at a reduced cost, and then profit by renting that space to business owners like you. Research where your site will be hosted at and ensure that you are being given the best price among the different services that rely on the same server.
Beware of free hosting. Some websites advertise free hosting but charge you a ridiculous amount to register your domain or by charging you extra traffic. If you want a professional website, you should consider web hosting services as an investment that will allow you to create a much better website.
Prior to signing up with a web hosting service, ask about their firewalls. You will want to choose one who has a dual firewall in place. Not only will this protect your information during power failure or other malfunctions, but it will also be an added barrier against theft of your personal information.
If you want to add different features to your site such as a chat room, a bulletin board or a contact form, you should look for a web hosting service that supports CGI scripts. If you don’t know how to create these scripts, some web hosts can provide you with templates.
Make sure to do very thorough research when looking to purchase hosting services. You do not want to rely on only one or two recommendations when it comes to this. By doing thorough research on the intended host, you will be able to read about both the good and bad experiences. Choose the one that has the fewest of the bad ones.
While a host’s offer to refund you for any time your site is down may be made in good faith, the reality is that downtime could cost more than your host will be willing to refund. At most, you will likely receive a refund of what only amounts to a few pennies. The loss in sales, however, could be significant. A web host with a reputation for consistent uptime is more important than refund guarantees.
Avoid paying for web hosting space that you actually do not need. Some plans will entice you into contracts that cost more by affording you unlimited space – but do you actually need this? Remember that you can always upgrade later as your needs increase. Unless you are a large company or are engaging in eCommerce, you can probably get by with 10MB or less.
If you wish to add videos to your site, look for a host that supports Flash FLV format. This format is currently the most efficient way to host videos online and guarantee a fast streaming time for your visitors. Make sure you are allowed enough storing space and bandwidth for videos.
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.