The general checklist for web host shoppers

Web Hosting Beginner Guides : Web Host Shopping Checklist

Web Host Shopping Guides

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of web hosting providers out there – all looks same great, same professional. In case you are cautious, you’ll also realize most these hosting companies are also all same aggressive in their marketing campaign to win your business. Gosh, you bet those marketing talks are sweet and yes, we knew it’s easy to fall into these sugar-coated traps. Sometimes, you even hand out your credit card number before knowing what-the-heck you are actually buying. Eventually, you might get a good host if you’re lucky; but if you aren’t, the lousy hosting service is going to cause you infinite troubles.

So what makes a good web host? How do you identify a quality web host? What are the things you need to look into when searching for “the” best web hosting service? Well to be honest there’s no one-fit-to-all answer for this question (as different websites will have different hosting needs) but we’ll share our insights here.

So what makes a web host recommended?

Shopping a web host is like shopping for anything else in the shopping mart – you need to know the price and you need to what you are buying. To get you started, here are the must know points when judging the quality of a web host.

1. Web Hosting Features

Web hosting features are basically the ‘things’ you are buying (you need to know what you are buying, right?). So before any purchase decision, check what the hosting provider is offering.

How much data transfer is allowed monthly? How much storage space is provided? What’s the limit of FTP access? How many MySQL databases you can create? What kind of software and web applications does the web host supports? Is .htaccss and CGI Bin access allowed? How many addon domains you can setup in your hosting account? These are some of the basic questions you should ask. Don’t expect all web hosts to be offering the same thing and skip these basic filtering processes.

2. Web Server Performance

Judging the server performance is important as it will affect your website performance directly (for example – your website uptime). You can always have a look on server uptime using various web services available online. (this website you are reading now) for example, tracks and reveals web host’s uptime record (check out our web hosting reviews). Also, as well as is some great resources for the purpose.

3. Monthly Pricing

The price tag of your web host is especially important when you have limited budget. Cheap isn’t always the best. However you are always recommended to compare a few hosting companies (on similar hosting offer) before making purchase decision. Avoid overpaying something that you can get it cheaper elsewhere.

4. Level of Customer Support

Does the web host provide live chat support? Is 24/7 phone help available? Does the support staff response to your questions timely and appropriately? Customer support is vital when things go wrong with your web hosting. Life would be easier for you if you stick with the web host that pampers you with professional customer supports.

5. Industry Reputation

This is where customer feedbacks and unbiased hosting reviews valuable. It is always recommended to go with the reputable hosting companies instead of the unheard names. Buying a web host is often a long term purchase – you’ll need to pay one to two years in advance for the hosting and we are sure that you do not want to stuck with some low-grade hosting resellers who are there just to make a few quick bucks.

6. Future Growth Potential

When we talk about future growth potential, we meant further server upgrades within the same web host. Not all web hosting providers offer dedicated or semi-dedicated hosting plan.

What happens if your website grew extremely well and need to upgrade your server specification? Can the web host helps? Is there an upgrade option for the web host you are considering? If you are planning big for your website/blog, you better get this issue settled from the very beginning.

7. Refund Policy

Refund policy is especially important when you are feeling unsure about the web host (but you wish to try them out). Industry standard – a normal trial period is 30 – 45 days; some offer up to 90 days and some offer pro-rated refunds after the trial period. Be sure you stick with the web host that provides at least 30 days of full-money-back trial period.

8. Contract Duration

The contract duration is often the tricky part of a hosting deal. Look out for web host that gives huge price discount but long commitment period. Don’t be surprised to see web host offering $3.99/mo hosting deal but request you to pay 5 years in advance.

Our suggestion – signing up for a web host for 1 or 2 years is totally fine; but anything more than 36 months is unacceptable.

9. Spam Policy (especially if you are getting a shared hosting)

The spam policy (provided by the hosting provider) is important for your protection. Such policy restricts spammers from using your shared hosting for unethical activities online (and eventually gets your server IP blacklisted).


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