Finding a good, reputable web host is easy these days, what with the nearly limitless choice of web hosting providers available. The trick, however, is finding the best one for your specific needs.
One thing common among web hosting providers is that they have a tendency to overpromise in order to make you choose their services. Their marketing campaigns try to assure you that they would do anything for customers. Reality does not always pan out this way — this much you can be sure of.
The last thing you really want is to end up signing with a bad hosting service that will hinder the potential for success of your online business.
This article provides a few advanced tips for you to use when you have completed your research and shortlisted a few providers. It builds upon the previous piece that covered some basic strategies.
Here are 5 advanced tips for choosing a web hosting service:
Ignore Disk Space And Bandwidth
At least when starting out with shared hosting. The online landscape has changed for the better, so much so that disk space and data transfers are barely meaningful. They may have been in the late 90s, but not today, when almost every host seems to offer unlimited disk space and transfers.
Which in reality, is nothing but a marketing gimmick. Don’t let this factor affect your choice. Besides, you can store your images on Flickr, videos on YouTube and large data files on other cloud based services. Instead, focus on other features that your shortlisted web hosts provide.
Don’t Sign Up For Domain Names
With your hosting company, that is. It is best to keep these separate, preferably with a reputable domain provider. You will simply be entangling yourself into the rules of regulations of your host if you go this route. Just not worth it.
Say you have a bunch of domain names, some of which are due for renewal. If for some reason you are unable to renew them in time (family holidays, business tour), some hosts even have the nerves to suspend your complete account, taking down all your websites until you clear your dues.
Read the Terms of Service
Now this is a money tip. Once you have decided on a final list, and before you are ready to sign up, make sure you read the rules to know about limits. This ties into the earlier tip above, but pay close attention to any limitations on your hosting accounts, words like “disconnection” or “discontinuance”.
Hosting companies, at least some of them, will pull the plug and suspend your account if you are using too much CPU power or bandwidth, and violating their rules. Make sure you go prepared.
Another industry norm. These days, with the multitude of hosting deals, companies often sell their services at very cheap signup prices, but charge much higher when it comes to renewals. You don’t want to be going through the hassle of switching hosts every year, two years.
And that is because there really is no way to avoid the higher renewal prices. Avoid any unpleasant surprises, read the sales page or terms of service and search for the words “renew” or “renewal”. If you are signing up during a promotion, there may be a big difference between special and standard prices.
A few more basic questions that you need to ask before reaching for your credit card. What if you cancel your hosting within the trial period? Are you provided with a full money return? Are there any cancellation charges? What is the host’s refund policy in case of substandard service?
It is important to keep tabs on how your hosting provider handles customer refunds — you don’t want to lose too much money when things take a wrong turn and you sign up with another company. Some hosts charge absurdly high cancellation fees. Avoid them at all costs.