Sunday, November 3, 2013

Part 1: Web Hosting Fine Print Exposed: 3 Tips for a Better Hosting Experience

This series of articles reveals 14 points about web hosting fine print--things you should know and be aware of when looking for a web host.Part 1 of the guide gives you 3 practical points, complete with explanations, under which you can evaluate your potential web host.Be patient in finding your web host: there are thousands of web hosting companies and gazillion offers, so you better take the time to evaluate them and find the one most suitable for your needs.Please do let us know if your opinion differs, or you have additional things to say. We want this guide to be the most comprehensive, ever-expanding tool in determining your new web hosting partner.To leave comments, please go to the Best Web Hosting Provider web site.Let's get started!PreparationFirst, get clear what you need and want, and write everything down.Here are the main things to consider:* Price: put down your maximum price. Don't expect great service for a dollar a month.* Scripting: what scripting technology needs to be supported?* Database: what database your web site requires?* Disk space.* Bandwidth: the amount of data transfer.Second, is there any web host that you like/prefer? If there is, then go with them. If you have any doubts, though, keep reading.Now, find 3-4 hosts that meet your basic criteria that you just wrote down. Write down the names of the web hosts in the first column.We're now going to look at each one of them and see how well they compare.Price Freeze GuaranteeEver heard of these? With a price freeze guarantee your price won't go up if the web hosts pricing changes.Well, the catch is that your price won't go down either...You should know that for the last several years the prices of webhosting services have gone down steadily giving an additional incentive for the web hosts to advertise this guarantee.What you should find out from the web host is this: if the web host lowers or increases the prices on your package, will they lower/increase your price as well? Does it still hold if you pre-paid for the whole year? Email them and ask. And note the time it takes for them to respond.In Business Since?How long have they been in business?This a very simple piece of information to find out about a web host. You'll notice that web hosting companies that have been in business for long will have the date prominently displayed on their website. Whereas, a new company can even hide this information.Why is this important? Because you don't want your web host to go out of business. Generally, one can assume that the longer the web hosting company is in the business, the lower the chance of them quitting.Now, any web host can go belly up anytime but if they've been in the web hosting business for 3 years or more, you can assume they are making some money, because, one may assume again, most hosts are small businesses and don't have a lot of capital to keep running unprofitably for a long period of time.Get Web Host FeedbackWhat are others saying?Check the web hosting message boards. There's plenty of information and feedback on most hosts.And if you can't find your host mentioned anywhere, simply ask! Registration is usually free and so many people read the web hosting boards that you should get an answer quickly.Once you find feedback on your hosts, check the date the feedback was left--old feedback is...well, old.Also, see the severity of the complaints. Not all sins are equal. And always find more than one post about a particular web host before you make any decisions.Alright, now search for the feedback on your web hosts. Make sure to find at least 4 posts about each of them. For each positive feedback put + in your evaluation sheet after the web host's name and for each negative put a -.In the Part 2 & 3 we will cover these topics:Web Host Location
Web Host Support System
Adult Sites and Proxies
Spam Blacklisting
Web Host Uptime
Refund Guarantee
Set-up Fee Scam
Help Moving Your Site
Resource Allocation
Shared vs. Reseller
Crowded ServersThanks for reading and stay tuned!