Ok so you have that brand new website to upload and now your looking for a web hosting company. Or do you currently have a hosting company, but are having problems with their up time or maybe the support is lacking? So out of all the hosting companies on the web, just how do you find the good ones that you can depend on?
You need to understand what can go wrong, and what you need to watch out for. You also need to look into possible hosting candidates carefully.
So what can go wrong with your web hosting?
Downtime can be a major issue
We all know that problems can happen. Even when everything runs perfect, servers do need maintenance on a regular basis. A good webhost will not only keep their servers maintained well, but they will also monitor the servers on a regular basis and fix issues as soon as they occur. On the other hand, a bad host could possibly be down for days, and even lose your data.
If the extras don’t work
If your email isn’t working – your business is shut down. Database issues as well as connection problems can slow down or even stop your online business. While most hosting companies do understand this, some just don’t place a high priority on making sure your site is running smooth with everything working as it should be.
Poor or unreliable support
A good and dependable host will answer questions within hours, sometimes within minutes. On the other hand, some hosts have been known to take days or even worse to answer the simplest of questions. And even then they might be canned answers that do not address the real issue.
Bad or lousy communication
When the host has support techs with good communication skills, it’s a big help in keeping small problems from growing into big problems. If your being told that everything is fine here, so don’t bother us we solved your problem – you are going to get upset or frustrated. Even worse is having your site turned off for the crime of using too many server resources without you being contacted to solve the problem first.
Problems with billing!
In many cases, even though you have already canceled the account, problems still continue. Some hosts just don’t stop the recurring billing after you cancel your account, while other hosts will not honor their refund policy.
Watch out for these signs
If you see any of these signs, look at them as possible red flags warning you of potential problems.
Pricing too cheapDoes the pricing look to good to be true? Well then it probably is. Can they afford to pay for maintenance on the servers as well as the tech support team? You do get what you pay for sometimes.
Nothing in this life is really unlimited. When you sign up for an unlimited bandwidth account, and then use too much bandwidth (by the hosting companies decision) you will either have the plug pulled on the site or be strong armed into buying a more expensive plan. While they usually come up with some BS reason for shutting you down, usually unlimited means just one thing – its unlimited unless you use a lot of it!
A unprofessional site
Look at how much effort went into providing a useable website with good quality information that’s useful. Does the site make you feel confident in the hosting company or is it full of mistakes? Is there a lot of grammar or spelling mistakes that were easily avoided? Don’t expect a hosting company to be spelling experts, but if they don’t put any effort in telling you about the company, will they put the same lack of effort into supporting you?
How do you research hosts?
It’s a breeze to find web hosts. Google, Yahoo or Bing can offer up webhosts by the score and then more. But after you narrow the list down by features and price, how do you know the ones that are dependable?
Check the hosting package details and TOS
Do the packages offer huge amounts of bandwidth and disk space for almost nothing? If so consider yourself to be warned. Its unlikely the company will have the money for both support and maintenance!
Check the terms of service(TOS) to see under what conditions refunds are offered, as well as if there are any offers for downtime.
If there is a forum, check it out
So how do the forums seem? Are there lots of problems? Don’t worry if you see a lot of different problems, look to see how the host handles the issues. While some hosts will remove posts that seem to show them in a bad light, others will not. But look and read between the lines, also not having a forum is not a bad sign.
Find reviews if possible
While reviews at the web hosts site may be valid, in many cases they are not. Some hosts do make up feedback, and it’s not unknown for some to have copied their feedback from other companies. Check to see if the feedback has links back to the clients sites, and then check the Whois records to see if they really were hosted by the host you are checking out.
Many forums allow for people to post reviews on web hosting companies. So make sure when you look at reviews, always look at how credible they seem. Some folk will bash hosts for no reason at all or just due to them being unhappy. Always look to see if and how does the company try to resolve the issue..
Look at the hosting company’s background
Does the about us page answer these questions?
* Have they been in business for a while? While there is nothing wrong with a new company, remember most companies fail in their first year..
* Check to make sure their servers are not in someone’s basement or garage. Don’t laugh, there are always people posting on forums wanting to do this. Ideally the servers need to be in a data facility.
* What are the uptime specs on the servers? If the company doesn’t show it, ask and see if they can offer you a link to the information. 99.7 is acceptable, and 99.9 is really what you want to try for.
* Does the company show an address? I’ts always nice to have at least a PO box if not a physical address just in case you ever need it.
Send an email about pre sales questions
How a host answers your pre sales questions can say a lot about them. Not only will you see if they answer quickly, but also how good they are about communicating. Ask any questions you have about the points we brought up here, but also about anything else you might be wondering about.
It can take some time to find a dependable web host, but dealing with the problems of the wrong host will take much more time and energy. Having a lot of issues and/or have to move your hosting will take up much more time. Looking for a good quality webhost is really worth while! As a suggestion Sasquatch Hosting is a great newer company to look at for WordPress Hosting.