Web hosting is essential to the success of your website; however, the process of choosing the right company for the job can be quite tricky. In today’s marketplace you have thousands of options to choose from, with varying pricing models and services. This level of competition, however, has its drawbacks, often causing companies to offer bonuses to attract more customers, but at the expense of quality.
In this article I will explain what “tricks” to look out for and how you can tell a good web host from a bad web host.
Traffic Speed and Capacity
There are plenty of reliable cheap web hosting companies out there. While the word “unlimited”, when applied to bandwidth and traffic, may sound like an attractive prospect, it’s not always a positive. For example, if you’re offered unlimited traffic, but with a transfer speed of 1Mb/s, your website speed could become quite slow if you receive lots of visitors. Alternatively, limited bandwidth and traffic may sound like a con, but in most circumstances limited packages will provide a higher speed.
Don’t be fooled. Assess your traffic and speed needs before you make the final decision. Sometimes a faster, more stable website with limited traffic is more beneficial than having unlimited capacity on everything. If you plan to grow or expand over time, make sure you’ll have the option to upgrade or cancel your agreement.
Extra fees can cost you quite a bit! Always read the small print. When you sign up to a new web hosting service, additional services for extra is normal, but cancellation fees, upgrade fees and “pre-ticked” extras are not. Be very careful and check the Internet for customer testimonials and reviews.
Almost all web hosts will provide you with an uptime guarantee. While most of them will fulfill their promise, there are many that will take advantage. There are various independent, non-biased uptime calculators that will determine exactly how much your website will get. When you launch your website, make sure you use one. This will give you more firing power should you ever need to argue for a refund in the future.
There’s nothing worse than getting a random, mega bill out of the blue from your web host. Many domain registration companies use the same trick. They sell packages at a low cost, and then up the fees after one year. Renewal price increases are common practice, so there’s nothing new or particularly unethical in doing it. Just make sure you know exactly how much it is and when the fees will be taken out of your bank account.
Limited Clients Per Service
Be wary of shared plan schemes. It is possible that you could end up on a bad server. Some web hosting providers will claim to only house a certain number of clients on each server, usually 100 or 200. However, industry insiders will tell you differently. Most “whistle blowers” claim that the majority of hosting companies do not abide by their promises and often overload their servers to meet demand. But don’t get me wrong, shared plans are not “dangerous” just don’t include them as an advantage when making your decision.
Now that you know the tricks of the trade, hopefully you are better equipped to make a decision. Filter through each company, look out for the obvious signs, and always remember to research and examine your chosen provider before you input your credit card details.