Q&A: What should I look for in a web hosting company?
Looking for and finding a reliable hosting company for your website is a key component in your business success. When researching a company here are some tips:
1- Use Google.
Use Google to look for other sites hosted by the company, as well as reviews of their service. Include words like "sucks" and "fraud" to find complaints.
2 Visit webhostingtalk.com and check there as well.
WHT is the largest hosting discussion community around, and is regularly visited by thousands of hosts and their customers.
3- Check references.
If possible, find others who are using them and see how their service has been.
Some things to look for:
1- Connectivity to the rest of the Internet.
Are they running off a single cable, or do they have multiple connections to provide backup should 1 fail. Avoid hosts with a single connection, and run from anyone hosting out of their spare bedroom. That works for a hobby site but not for a serious business.
You'll see almost every host list 99.99999999etc uptime. But check those reviews and see what they were really providing. A few extra 9's doesn't really mean anything, but if a number of people are complaining about connection problems, that's a good sign to avoid that host.
Everyone seems to offer email support, but that doesn't do you much good if your email is inaccessible. Look for a host who offers a help desk that allows you to track your issues. Email support is a default, but look for hosts who also offer support through instant messaging. As usual, phone support is golden, provided you reach a human who can help you, and not an answering service or voice mail. Try calling their support line a few times and see how long it takes to be answered, and if you get a live person.
4- Reliable Hardware
Cheap is cheap. Reliable hosts use quality components, and keep a supply of spares on hand to minimize downtime in the event of hardware failure. While modern server hardware is pretty solid, they do still run hot, and memory and drives and powersupplies do occationally fail.
These are a few of the many tips that will help you find a good host for your site.