Despite the common misconception, there are huge differences from one web hosting company to another. Don’t just grab the first host you come across. Take your time, do some research, and choose a host that works best for you. These hints should help:
Make sure you, and not your web host, controls your domain name. If you let your host control your domain name, you may be stuck with that host if you don’t want to change domains. Some unscrupulous hosts won’t release the domain info if you leave on bad terms. If you control the domain, you can point it at another host’s nameservers and start fresh.
What security precautions does the hosting company provide? These days, countless Internet-based threats exist, and websites are a constant target for them. You need to be sure that your host has the ability to deal with threats, such as viruses and DDoS attacks. Know the potential risks to your site if your host is attacked.
Decide which host to use based on how well it meets your hosting needs rather than on other services it provides. You might not get the best deal on domain names or other extra services from your web host provider. Don’t purchase these extra services when you sign up for web hosting unless you’re confident that you’re getting the best deal.
A good web hosting provider should have good, responsive customer service, so be sure to consider this when choosing a host. Find out how quickly they respond to problems or complaints that their customers have. You want to choose a host that will work to quickly and professionally resolve any problems you encounter.
Take longevity into account with any web host. Typically, any host that has been in service for multiple years is doing something right, or else they offer such unbelievably low prices, that reliability does not matter to their customers. The latter would never happen. Take a look at the host’s time in business; this will help you narrow the field.
You should never pay in advance for hosting services. Many companies will offer you a discount to sign up for a longer term. What if the hosting company goes bust? Worse yet, what if you do not like something about the hosting company and wish to switch? It is better to pay as you go with web hosting.
When setting up a new web hosting account, be sure that you ascertain how much space you will need for proper functioning of your site. If you will be posting and blogging daily, it is possible that you could use up all the allotted space on the more inexpensive plans. Realize that any plugins you use for blogging when take up a good bit of allotted space.
Look for different reviews on a web hosting service. If you know any webmasters personally, ask them which service they use and how much they pay. Compare different sources and look for reviews written by people who have a site similar to the kind of project you are working on.
A lot of web hosting services are in fact relying on another major host. These types of companies buy huge blocks of web server capacity at a bulk discount, then re-sell it in smaller chunks to individual web site owners. This can result in additional choices in web hosting, and you could pay less or more for the same server space.
Before signing on to a web hosting service and choosing a plan that meets your immediate needs, check to see what the process will be if you need to upgrade at a later date. Different types of plans may, or may not, support the services that you may want to add in the future. Make sure that your current plan can be easily converted to a more complex one without the need to start from scratch.
Not every web host supports all programming languages, so make sure the one you choose is compatible with the programming language you use, or plan to use. If you don’t have support for the languages used, you cannot launch your site. Furthermore, any web host with such constraints will likely be unable to accommodate any changes in future programming languages. Switching hosts can be tedious.
If you want to add different features to your site such as a chat room, a bulletin board or a contact form, you should look for a web hosting service that supports CGI scripts. If you don’t know how to create these scripts, some web hosts can provide you with templates.
Now you really understand the difference between your average host and great companies that have racks filled with servers, all running dedicated memory for hosting your files. Review these tips when your contract is up for renewal, or whenever you’re ready to choose a better host.