Five Quick Ways to Determine One Hosting Company From Another

These days, web hosting companies are popping up faster than dandelions. And just like those pesky weeds, they usually aren't going to benefit your business at all. So how do you pick out one hosting company for another for that big Internet move? Below I've provided you some quick ways to sift out the sheep from the wolves.

1. Traceable Testimonies - Many web hosting companies provide a testimony page. Good web hosting companies will actually link to the person who 'said' what is posted. If there is no link, it is possible that the hosting company simply made up the testimony. You don't want to be involved with a company with questionable integrity.

2. Testing Quick Response Claims - Testing out the response of a web hosting company is easy: email them. They should provide an email address or at least a feedback form. Ask a simple question about their service, and see how fast they respond. Compare that with what they have 'advertised' as their response time. See how they measure up.

3. Online Help or Ticketing System - Some hosting companies may even offer and online ticketing/helpdesk. While you may have to be a customer to actually use it, just the fact that it is available is a good sign.

4. Sense of Community ? Good web hosts still have problems. Honest web hosts will be open and (of course) quick to resolve them. Many hosting companies now offer online forums ? a place for their customers and potential customers to post questions, comments, testimonies, and complaints online. Really good hosting companies will not only answer these questions, but they'll supply educational posts that may answer similar future questions.

5. WHOIS ? Taking a quick visit over to www.whois.sc will reveal a lot of information about your web host. Besides giving you some technical information, you'll also find out just how many websites are running on that server. Remember, more websites doesn't always equal better company. You certainly want to make sure the server isn't bogged down!

This is a good place to also make sure that the host isn't on any blacklists. Blacklists usually mean that there are documented reports of spam coming FROM that server, and that's not good at all!

Whether you are a first-time hosting purchaser or a hosting refugee (that's what I call those people who bought hosting from a fly-by-night hosting company, and their website is now AWOL), I hope that these tips will help you save some future headaches and maybe even a little money, too.

About the Author
Will Hanke is a self-proclaimed geek who owns and operates Lighthouse Technologies (http://www.techlh.com), a web development and hosting company based in Arnold, Missouri. For questions or comments, email him at [email protected]. And buy yourself a good virus program so he doesn't have to fight your emails with anti-virus spray.

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