You will probably have spent a great deal of time and effort in getting your website ready. During this period you will not have had much time to think about getting your web site hosted on the internet. It’s usually not much of a problem. The first thing you will have done is to have bought your domain name and the company you bought it from will normally be ready to host your web site for you. But, convenience is not everything.
You need to be sure that this is a company that you can work with for a long time. Changing web hosts is a pain and something to be avoided if possible. Also, you need to be sure that their prices are reasonable or if they are charging you extra, what you are getting for the extra cost. Be sure its worth your while and something you need.
On the other hand, beware of the free web hosting companies. There is always a catch somewhere down the line – they have to make their money somewhere. Or the standard of service may leave a lot to be desired. A paid web host where you can demand and receive the service you have paid for is always the best.
Having said that, let’s look at the aspects of a web hosting company you need to be sure of before tying up with them.
The first thing to do is find out what kind of reputation the web hosting company has. The easiest way to do this is to search for chat rooms dedicated to the subject of web hosts and go there to see what people have to say. You can also ask questions and see the kind of response you get. Just be aware that not everything people say in chat rooms is true. Often there are all kinds of ulterior motives that lead people to spread all kinds of lies. But, if a negative statement has been made and no one has countered it, there may be something in it. At the same time, keep in mind that excessive praise of a company may also have been planted. When chatting, ask people about their web sites etc. so you can check if they are whom they claim to be.
Also, look for online reviews of web hosting companies and see what they have to say. Ask the web hosting company for reference from other clients if possible, so you can contact them to understand their experience.
You need to find out about the quality of the service, their response times to problems, how client friendly they are, and what kind of user accessible maintenance and modification options they offer. The more you can do for yourself, when you need to, the better – why depend on others? You also need to find out about the company’s business reputation. Companies that have been in operations for some time are safer than start ups, although the start ups maybe cheaper.
The next thing is find out about the uptime that the company guarantees. Reliability is one of the most important features in web hosting. The company must be able to guarantee you 99% uptime. Remember that if a person tries to access your site and finds it is down, he won’t wait for you. He will find another site that meets his needs and that’s a customer and his business that you will have lost.