How to find the best web host for you and your business.
It’s pretty easy to find lists of the top 10 web hosting services. Finding the right hosting for your individual needs is trickier.
Some web hosts seem to come loaded with extras.
Should you go for the web host who offers the most features, free gifts, the most disk space or the one with the best reviews?
Think about these things when you’re looking for a web hosting company:
If you sign up with the first web host you come across, you may regret it later. And not at web hosts offer a money-back guarantee – so a mistake can be costly.
Research carefully! When looking at review sites, remember that each site, or each web host customer, will have different opinions on which web hosts offer the best service.
There will always be unhappy customers for any web hosting service, but they shouldn’t be in the majority!
Web hosting review sites
In what country are the web host servers located?
You won’t often seen this mentioned on web hosting sites, but the country where your web host is located can be very important. Increasingly, Google is throwing resources into helping online businesses and webmasters to better target their web users if their products or services are based in a certain country.This is called geotargeting. So, if the services your website offers are based in England, a web host that is based in England (who have their web servers in England) will help Google to understand that your website services are relevant to English web users.
This is especially important if you want to promote the same services or products in a few different countries. It isn’t essential that your website is hosted in the country in which it is doing business, but it is a factor.
The web hosts with the highest-rated reviews will have good support. This will mean fast response times, possibly 24 hours around the clock. Some web hosts will take a day or longer to respond to a support ticket, and it can then take days to resolve an issue. Can you wait that long if your website is down or has a critical problem – no you can’t!
How are you most comfortable communicating? Via phone, email, webchat? Check to see what means of support are provided. If you require support in your native language, is this provided?
Live chat around the clock is possibly the best for gaining a quick solution to a problem. You can save a transcript of the chat each time for future reference.
Hosting features and extras
This means you can have as many domains as you want with the one host. It used to be the case that you could only have one domain, but it’s swiftly becoming the case that you can have add-on domains with the one account.Free domain name
This might only be for the first year. After that you might have to pay – so check the terms.
Can you test a fully working demo of the site builder beforehand? Some site builders are extremely basic, limited or complicated – and are frustrating to work with.
If conserving the resources of our planet are important to you, you might be interested in web hosts that run their servers with ‘green energy’ (eg. Solar and wind energy)
Green web hosts may also extend their environmentally-friendly ethics to all facets of their business.
Many web hosts are now offering unlimited disk space. The majority of small business or personal websites will not use a huge amount of disk space – a five-page ‘brochure’ website will typically use less than a megabyte of disk space.
If you wanted to run a site where people can upload videos, photos or graphics, your site would require a great deal of disk space – as much as hundreds of gigabytes or more.
What is the value of a support forum? You will not see support forums mentioned very often in a web hosting review, but active support forums can be invaluable.
They can provide things that web host support cannot – extra handholding and help with issues that are not related specifically to web hosting services.
At a support forum, you might be able to gain website critiques, help with website structure and technical isues, help with third-party scripts, networking opportunities and even friendship. The best support forums are thriving little communities that will cheer you on as you begin your journey to starting up your own website.
The support is usually provided by other members, so it cannot be taken as professional advice – but there can still be a wealth of diverse experience to draw upon.
If this kind of support could be important to you, check out the web host’s support forums before you sign up.
Look for the following:
How popular and active are the forums?
Are there lots of posts every day?
Are any questions being answered quickly by other forum users?
How many categories do the forums have? – being able to drill down to the category you want is extremely helpful. You can easily find information related to your query and you can place your own query in a highly targeted way.
Are there any posts that reflect negatively on the web host?
Don’t automatically think this is a bad thing! A complaint that has been resolved quickly by the web host is really a positive. Be wary of forums in which you never see any complaints about the web hosting – the web host may well be deleting any of these kind of posts. if you only see glowing reviews about the web host – don’t automatically believe it. When a web host has thousands and thousands of customers, it is imposssible that every single person will be happy 100% of the time with their host. What you want to see is truth and honesty in a web host’s forum. If you see complaints that have been dealt with quickly and efficiently , see this as a good thing. Unless of course, there are a truckload of complaints!