If you have an online business or work in Internet marketing, you know how important web hosting is in your day-to-day operations. You could choose a host by simply picking a site at random from Google or the Yellow Pages. However, by doing so, you could wind up with a company that doesn’t meet your needs, or a company that is disreputable, which is something you want to avoid at all costs. Here are some better ways to start your search and find a web host you can trust:
Personal Recommendations - Probably the best way to choose a web host you can rely on is by asking friends or business acquaintances for their recommendations. Nearly everyone who owns a web page can probably weigh in on the pros and cons of different hosting services. While everyone’s needs may not be the same as yours, you can at least get an idea if the companies are reliable and trustworthy.
Independent Reviews - Many websites feature reviews of hosting providers and reading these can be quite enlightening. As a caveat, make certain that the review site is truly independent and isn’t being paid to promote one web service over another. That can lead to biased reviews that wind up costing you time or money when you choose the wrong web host.
Your ISP - Consider asking your Internet service provider (ISP) if they offer web hosting, or if they have any recommendations. Sometimes you may get a better deal this way, especially if they have a package discount. If your ISP has treated you well for that service and they have impressed you by not having many service outages, you’ll feel better about trusting them for your hosting, too.
Customer Service - Finally, before you sign up for a web host call and talk to someone in the customer service department. You want a company that doesn’t mind answering questions and chatting with you about what they offer. You can get a good idea about a web host based on the quality of their customer service; one that’s not willing to talk to you before you sign up for their service is not likely to give you much attention after you’ve signed that contract.
For anyone who owns an Internet business, web hosting is something you can’t avoid. Don’t jump in and sign a long-term contract with a company that can’t provide you with the services you need or that is not upfront with you about what your monthly charges will be. Take the time to learn about the options available to you and choose the one that that is both a good value and helps your business run smoothly.