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 hosting your site with a Linux based site, be sure the company you choose updates their information regularly, and at all levels. You don’t want your page to crash or be insecure because your host is not properly maintaining their servers and networks, so look for those that do.
Make sure you, and not your web host, controls your domain name. If you let your host control your domain name, you may be stuck with that host if you don’t want to change domains. Some unscrupulous hosts won’t release the domain info if you leave on bad terms. If you control the domain, you can point it at another host’s nameservers and start fresh.
Not only do you have to select a reputable hosting company and choose a package, you must also decide between hosting types such as Windows, Unix, etc. You need to know what your options are and look into all available choices to see what is best for you and your business.
To get the most out of a free web host, you’ll need to back up any data and files related to your site. Because free web hosts don’t generally offer any guarantees about backing up your data, if anything disappears, it will be on you, and not on them.
Don’t purchase a web hosting plan just because it offers unlimited disk space or bandwidth. Compare these plans with plans that offer a reasonable amount of space and bandwidth to determine which is the best plan for your needs. Sometimes plans that offer a finite amount of space or bandwidth are better for your particular needs than plans that offer unlimited quantities of space or bandwidth.
Make sure that you understand the difference between managed and un-managed web hosting. Those that are managed can be invaluable to you if you are not an expert yourself on the intricacies of maintaining a website. You will want to choose a managed one who has excellent availability of technical support teams.
“Unlimited” bandwidth might not mean what you think it means. Many hosts will tout this as a feature, but what it really means is that they will let you use as much bandwidth as they think is reasonable. If you have a true high-bandwidth site, be sure you understand the rules and costs that your host may impose.
If you own and operate several websites, it can be to your advantage to choose one web hosting service that allows you to have “add-on domains.” Many hosts will give you the ability to have unlimited domains added to your main account at no additional fees. This can save you a lot of money, as well as time going back and forth between multiple accounts.
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.