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5 Easy Steps to Choose the Best Web Hosting

Jun 11, 2008
Choosing a Web Host can be quite overwhelming. There is a lot of technical language to wade through, a lot of numbers, a lot things to keep in mind. Do not worry, it does not have to be complicated, just follow these 5 easy steps to choose the best web hosting for you:

1. Decide what you really do need from a web host

Just as when you are buying anything it is important to know what you really need. Otherwise it is easy to end up with the wrong hosting in the end, and that will cost you both money and time. Sit down and make a list of what you really do need. These needs depend largely on what you will use the web hosting for - if you are going to host a blog or maybe an e-commerce site. If you are using any special program or script for your site than make sure that you can run this on your host. This list might include that the host has to have PHP5 or have one-click installation of Wordpress. In case you are completely lost of what this list should include then ask the web designer or web developer that is developing your site, they should be able to give you a list of key features.

2. Check what price that is reasonable to pay for the features you need

When you got your list of what you need then the next step is to figure out what is a reasonable price to pay for that. At this point you are not deciding on what host to finally go with, just what price you should be prepared to pay. There are many sites that allow you to do price comparison of web hosting, so search for this information on a Search Engine like Google. The result of this research should be that you know if the hosting you will need will cost $5/month or $150/month (for first much more likely than the latter). If you are breaking your budget then you need to review and change your list from step 1. Once this step is done you know what features you are looking for and what price range you need to pay for this. You are already a smarter consumer!

3. Get a short list of possible hosts

OK, you know what features you need and what price to pay, fantastic. The next step is to get a short list of possible web hosting providers that have the features you need for the price you are prepared to pay. Again, there are plenty of sites out there that allow you to search for the features you need and compare hosting plans and packages from a multitude of web hosts. After some minutes research you should have a list of 3-5 web hosts that could potentially be the perfect host for you.

4. Research the hosts

To determine the winner of your own version of Hosting Survivor you need to do some research about each of the hosts on your shortlist. Check out the support forums on the hosts site. Are the hosts current customers happy with the service? Are there serious issues being raised in the forums that are not being addressed by the host? Especially be aware if people are complaining of unresponsive customer support or uptime. That means that you can risk that your site will not be available and that you can not successfully contact the hosts support department if you need help. A great way to test of the hosts support is responsive is to call them or send them an email regarding some simple question. If you do not get a helpful answer in a timely manner when you are a potential customer you will not get good help when you are a paying customer either.

5. Buy the hosting

Research done, and hopefully you have a favorite. Since you took the necessary time you know that this web host can give you the features you need for a good price, and that they can help you if something goes wrong. It is time to actually buy the hosting you need. Usually you get the best deal if you pay upfront for 2 years, but paying for 1 year is usually also quite advantageous. The worst deal you will get if you pay per month, then there is usually a hefty one time setup fee to pay. A great way to save some money is to find a discount coupon for your host. Quite often there are such special deals, so search the Web for a coupon for your host.
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