Choosing a web host provider for your business or personal website can be a daunting task. The novice will certainly be confronted with an onslaught of prices, fees, features, subscriptions plans and incentives.
The advertising methods currently practiced by many of these companies can compound the difficulty. Many large hosts use incentive based affiliate programs. These programs operate by giving a small incentive to a web site developer for recommending someone to their service. I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with this service, but unfortunately it’s an exploitable system. Many online publishers create websites for the sole purpose of generating incentives for referrals, and what’s worse is they often do so in the guise of credible reviews.
I’ve assembled some guidelines below:
Preparing to search for a Web Host.
- Develop a plan for the future of your website. How many visitors do you expect to have a month or a year from now? In what ways do you anticipate that your website will grow? Choose a plan and provider that can flex to meet your needs.
- If possible meet with your designer or developer. Ask what your personal hosting needs really are.
Evaluating Prospective Hosts
- When considering a local solution, be sure to meet personally with their staff, and if possible tour their facilities.
- When researching on the internet, evaluate the credibility of the author and his or her motivations for making recommendations. If the writer uses affiliate links, are they transparent about it?
- Look for a forum, is the host provider honest, open and helpful when addressing complaints?
- Keep things in prospective, critics are usually far more vocal than supporters, and a large host simply attracts a higher volume of criticism. Are the complaints well thought out and rationale? Do they apply to your needs and is it possible that they have been addressed?
- Email a prospective hosting company, tell them you are interested in their service, provide a short description of your company and ask what plan would be right for you. Evaluate them not only on the quality of their response but their timeliness and professionalism.
- Contact the company by telephone, are your questions answered in a reasonable amount of time by a professional salesperson?
Selecting a Plan
- Avoid very long contracts when purchasing hosting for the first time.
- Purchase your domain from a from a different company. This will make a possible move much easier in the future.
- Make sure to ask a sales representative what your total monthly, quarterly or years bill will be with ALL applicable charges and fees applied.
- Keep records of all the details of your plan.
I have used the following host providers, worked with clients who have, or I have otherwise received credible information that they are reliable and have better than average pricing plans and customer support. DISCLAIMER – I get a small commission when you click on a link below and sign up for a product.