When the internet was taking off, having a website hosted could cost you big bucks. Luckily because of the explosive growth of the internet and the vast number of companies that have gotten in to the web hosting business, prices have become far more reasonable. Get online and do a search – you will find thousands of affordable hosting companies, all waiting for your business. You will find the sites of the web hosting companies themselves which will tell you all about who they claim to be, and the services they claim to offer.
Sorting through this mess can be mind bending, unless you have a few parameters in mind to refine your search. There are also sites that offer comparisons of various web hosting companies, in all the price ranges. But again, with so many companies and all of them seeming to be so similar, deciding which is, the one you want to go with can be difficult.
Here are 5 criteria that you need to keep in mind when searching the internet for affordable web hosting services. Measure all the likely ones you find, against what follows and those that come out the best are the ones you should seriously consider working with.
1. What is the quality of the customer support the web hosting company offers? Is there a support cell that operates 24/7 and that you can contact either by phone, chat or email? If so, try contacting them at unusual times and see how they respond. Often the so called 24/7 operation is nothing more than an answering machine asking you to call later.
2. How reliable is the company and what kind of reputation does it have? The first thing is to check if they are willing to guarantee 99% uptime. If so, how good is the guarantee? To check this out, you need to go through the online reviews of the company and also visit forums where people share their experiences in this regard. Don’t be taken in by excess criticism or praise – both could be planted by interested parties.
3. You need to check on how user friendly the hosting company is. Do they have online tutorials that even a non technical person can understand? Are these tutorials comprehensive enough to allow even a beginner to set up a web site?
4. How long has the web hosting company been in business and how big are its operations? The longer a company has been in business, the better – that means that people are paying for their services. Most hosts will not give away too much information about the scale of their operations, but try to find out as much as you can and the thumb rule is the bigger the better. Also contact some of the companies you have found and shortlisted, and ask them for the names of some clients you can contact for references.
5. Check the costs thoroughly and compare the packages available with those of other companies. Be careful of hidden costs that could surface later on.
Remember that to be affordable, a web hosting company with have to find places where they can economize and reduce their costs. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as what they are economizing on is not what is essential to the operation of your web site.