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:
Start to worry if your host site or website goes down for a period beyond 24 hours. Generally outages do not last this long, so it could be a clue that there are bigger problems going on with your web host. You can check other websites to find information about your host site’s outages, as well as the reason for the outage.
You should keep a backup of your site on your computer or on a flashdrive. In case your web host is encountering major issues and you cannot have access to your data, you will be able to switch to another host by simply uploading your site to a different server.
Establish a list of everything you are looking for in a web host. If you know what your wants are in advance, you can check off whether the prospective host offers what you need. Having a list of priorities means you won’t just pick a host because it offers the cheapest service, but because it genuinely meets your needs.
To prepare yourself for the experience of using a free web host, get used to the idea that you will have a lot of downtime. Staying up all the time takes some specialized equipment that free hosts don’t really have the budget for. As a result, your site may be down more than it is up.
Before choosing a web hosting service, check to see their bandwidth capacity. This can be seen in terms of the amount of data that come into, or out of, your website. Depending on the plan you choose, you will usually be allotted a certain amount of bandwidth on a monthly basis. Large businesses could need as much as 200 GB or smaller ones could get by with as little as 3 GB. Check the availability, then choose your plan accordingly.
Good customer support is essential to any web host. If something goes wrong or your website is not working, it’s important that you have someone to contact who can help you with the problems immediately and get them taken care of. Inquire about the host’s company support options before shelling out any money.
Make sure that the web host you select has a very high uptime guarantee. Uptime is the percentage of time that a server is online. For instance, if a web host claims that their servers provide 99% uptime, then their servers are online 99% of the time. You don’t want to select a web host whose servers do not provide high uptime percentages. This is why uptime is so important when selecting a host.
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.