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How To Choose A Web Host

Nov 16, 2007
There are certain qualities you should look for in a web host to make certain you are getting the best deal all round. Fortunately you are in a buyer's market: there are dozens of web hosting businesses out there, just clamoring for your business. That's a good thing if you can identify the very best deals out there, and this article aims to help you do that.

1. Don't go on price alone

It is tempting to go for a terrific monthly hosting fee of $4.99 or whatever. It appears great on the face of it, but are you getting enough for even that limited amount? The answer is research, research, research. Find yourself a hosting review, or several, and compare the reviews of the various packages. Don't be too proud to take the advice these sites offer either. It is their bread and butter to make the right calls. They may even suggest terrific special deals, and then you are on a winning wicket.

2. Look for a specialist web hosting company

If you are a keen web surfer you will know that there are dozens of businesses out there offering to give you templates for free, web sites for free and dozens of add-ons for free. Others offer to pay your transfer expenses when switching from another host. It sounds great, but after you have invested time and effort investigating, you find that the firm makes its money out of web hosting. In other words, they give you the mountains of extras up front and then encourage you deeply (we won't use the word "force") to use their web hosting facilities. That's not professional and it's not fair. Avoid that approach and find a web hosting company that calls itself one!

3. Look for the real live people in the equation

The best web hosting companies have been around for a long time, employ great technical and support personnel and they communicate heavily with their users. Here are a couple of things that tell you loud and clear you are with a high-quality firm: 24/7 help desk, online chat support, full contact us details, a user forum or blog and regular newsletters, emails or other communiques. At all times a human being must be in evidence. You don't want to have urgent questions to ask and no one in the world to talk to about it. The very best web hosting companies have help desks that go beyond the call of duty, even helping you out with unrelated computer and software queries. These are the gems of web hosting companies worth digging for.

4. Capacity, capacity, capacity

Lots of web hosting companies offer free software (at the moment there is one offering $700 worth of free software) but more important than anything else is capacity. There are great 3TB offers out there now and 3TB storage space is going to meet most small to medium business requirements. And you need all the up time you can get. Make sure about downtime. If your web hosting company is counting its monthly downtime in minutes, not seconds, then don't go for it. There are great web hosting deals with the most incredible gear out there that effectively have no downtime at all. You cannot afford to lose online time which means losing sales, losing income and losing customers, so find the jewels of the web hosting world in a hosting review or another resource.

5. Check the web hosting company's website

There is a failsafe way to get the bottom line on most online businesses. Check out their web site carefully. It is practically impossible for companies to conceal their true nature when it comes to their websites. A fly-by-night company has a fly-by-night website. A conservative, slow company has a conservative, slow website. A happening, high tech company has a happening, high tech website. A methodical, reliable company has the same type of site. And so on. Find a website you are comfortable with and the chances are you will have found your web host.
About the Author
Justine Richards is an SEO writer, publisher and online bookstore owner. Read more at A Flower Gallery, A Hosting Review and A Billion Books
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