What to Look for in a Web Hosting Service
Over the past ten years, there's been a huge boom in the web hosting service industry. With so many options, it can be difficult for a webmaster to find a web hosting service that is reliable, easy to use, and of high integrity. We'll take a look at some common red flags of lower quality hosting services as well as some classic pitfalls of hosting customers and how to avoid them.
Before we begin here, it's important to note that the term "shared hosting" does not mean the service lacks quality, but certain companies tend to exploit this term. Inherently, shared hosting means exactly what it looks like: your website is hosted on the same server as other clients' websites. This is certainly a reasonable package for the average webmaster looking to host a website that is not extremely highly-trafficked, and it's often a good cost-savings measure. However, some companies, especially the popular "free hosts," will put hundreds upon hundreds of websites on a single dedicated server. The hosting can become so "shared" that the resources are so strained that no single website can load reliably, ultimately detracting from the potential user base. Nobody is willing to keep trying to use a website that is extremely slow and/or won't load.
So, how do you avoid this racket? Make sure you trust the company you are buying shared hosting from and that the company does not have a reputation for saturating its servers. You may also wish to find some clients who have websites hosted at the company and check out the websites' loading times.
Free trial! Only $1 for the first three months! Those are two typical pitches you may hear from some web hosting service companies. After all, who wouldn't want to only pay 33 cents per month for decent hosting? However, it's important to keep in mind that choosing a web hosting company is somewhat of an investment. If you pay the $1 and decide one month in that it isn't working out, you'll need to do everything all over again. For the average webmaster, this can take a significant amount of time.
There's no harm in using a free trial. However, many clients tend to put their whole website into a free trial and even do so much as set their DNS servers to point from their domain to that host. If the host falls through or something isn't compatible, it can be a total hassle to redo everything; it also will introduce a large period of downtime. That's why it's always best to safely test a free trial or a cheap month or two. Put up a few demo pages and test them over a period of days, weeks, or months. While you can test it on your own, it can also be a good idea to use a website uptime monitor to track the host yourself and determine how well the host measures up to its claims, such as UpTimeRobot.com.
Problematic help and control panel problems
Some web hosts offer cheap hosting that may well be robust, but they lack some other necessary functions. Even for the most experienced users, 24/7/365 support is a must-have for crisis situations, especially if your website is your source of income. For the average client, the helpdesk may be helpful in assisting with setting up new software on the server side. Regardless of experience level, a reliable and helpful support staff group is vital. Another component of this is that the helpdesk staff must be able to competently speak in your language. The most intelligent and technically-minded people cannot help you if you cannot understand them. Along with this, a control panel that's useful is a must-have. Some hosts skimp on this due to costs or other issues.
To avoid this pitfall, check out the host's website. If the articles and information are barely decipherable, chances are that the support staff is on the same par. The host should also list what control panels it uses for the client end. Google these names and make sure the software they use looks like something you could get along with.
Hopefully you're now better equipped to avoid poor quality hosts on the market. However, finding a host that meets your criteria can still be a challenge. If you're seeking out hosting, you may wish to check out HostDigg.com. It's both affordable and reliable, and it doesn't fall under any of these red flags. Good luck in your web host service-seeking journey!