Top 7 Strategies for choosing a Good Web Hosting Service
By Joe Duchesne
[ Print |
Email This |
Choosing the right web hosting company to host your website can mean the difference between success and failure online. There is nothing worse than putting your website visitors through the frustration of having your website be inaccessible at random times through the year. Here are 7 strategies to choosing a web hosting service that meets your needs and is reliable.
- Find a company that answers the phone.
I don't know how many customers who have switched to my hosting service have complemented my company on the simple fact that we answer our phone. Sometimes email is not enough. There are times when you want to be able to pick up the phone and talk to a real live person.
The other thing you will want with phone support is a toll free number to call. If you are having trouble with your account, why should you also have to pay long distance charges as well?
- Find a company that offers multiple support options.
Along with phone support, does the web hosting service offer email support? How about live chat? Do they offer flash tutorials where you can visually see how to solve common problems? Do you get a web based control panel to administer your account? Does it come with documentation?
These are just some of the questions you need to be asking yourself about the kind of support you can expect to get. To get an idea of the speed of the email support, try sending them an inquiry via email and see how long it takes them to respond to it. If you don't get a response to the email until a day or two later, consider it a red flag.
Finally, avoid going with a web hosting company that offers only email support. Some companies try to tell you that it's the way they keep their costs low. My experience tells me that it may just be because web hosting is a hobby to them and not a business. It's a lot easier for a shoddy company to hide when the only method of contact you have is an easily forgable email address.
- Strike a balance between price and service.
Everyone likes to sace money. Getting good value for a low price is the right of everyone. At the same time, keep in mind that most times, you get what you pay for. Searches on Ebay for instance will bring up a list of web hosting companies that promise the world for $1 per year or $10 per year. If you are getting a service for next to nothing, expect the quality of the service to also be worth next to nothing.
- Get the web hosting service to give you a money back guarantee
Without giving a web hosting company a try, it may be difficult for you to gauge whether a company will meet your needs. Sometimes the only way to find out is to give a web hosting service a try. To that end, look for a company that will guarantee their service. The standard in the industry is to offer a 30 day money back guarantee. A few web hosting companies go much further. At Yowling.com we offer our customers a 90 day money back guarantee. A money back guarantee tells you how confident a company is in the level of their service and can be an indication of how hard they will try to make sure you are satisfied.
- Get the features you need to have a successful site.
It is always a good idea to take stock of what your present and future needs for a website are. If you anticipate selling physical goods online, does the web hosting service you are considering offer a shopping cart? Is there an extra charge for this service or is it included for free?
Will you be able to create your own email accounts or will you have to wait for your web hosting provider to do this for you? Does the web hosting service provide free scripts for you to use? Are they easy to install?
Look for a company that offers you more features than you currently need while still offering a competitive price.
- Get enough disk space and bandwidth to meet your present AND future needs
Get enough storage space to meet your needs. Are you planning on hosting videos, mp3's or lots and lots of pictures? Then you will need to make sure you have the disk space on your web hosting account to handle all that data like 500mb or more. On the other hand, if you only plan to ever have a simple five page website with few pictures, 5mb of space may be all you need.
Along with disk storage, bandwidth is equally important. If you know that you are going to get a flood of traffic to your website, you'll need to make sure you have enough bandwidth in place. Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that flows between your server and your visitors. Think of it like an electricity meter. Your web hosting company will generally charge you a set amount based on how much bandwidth you will use in a month. Get as much bandwidth as you can comfortably afford.
- Take advantage of discounts when prepaying for longer terms
Look for a web hosting servicethat will give you big discounts for prepaying for one year, two years or even three years. If you know you are going to need web hosting for years to come, you can get significant savings by committing to longer service terms.
This article was written by Joe Duchesne, president of http://www.yowling.com/, a web hosting service that offers toll free phone support, and a 90 day money back guarantee. Copyright 2004 Yowling. Reprint Freely as long as you link back to my website from this resource box.
Article Submitted On: January 26, 2005