How to Find a Dependable Web Host

Your new website is ready to upload, and now you need a web host. Or perhaps you already have a web host, but uptime and support are lacking. Of the thousands of web hosts to choose from, how do you find one that you can depend on? Know what can go wrong and what to watch out for, and research prospective web hosts carefully.

What can go wrong with web hosting

Too much downtime

Problems happen, and even when they don't, server maintenance results in a minimal amount of downtime. A dependable web host not only maintains servers well, but also monitors the servers and fixes problems immediately. With the type of web host you want to avoid, however, your site may be down for days.

Features that don't work

When your email doesn't work, your business shuts down. Problems with databases and other features can also slow down or stop your business. Most web hosts understand this, but some don't place a high priority on keeping not only your site online but everything working as well.

Poor support

Dependable web hosts answer tech support questions within hours. Other web hosts, however, have been known to take days. And when those responses come, sometimes they're canned responses that don't address the issue.

Poor communication

Support people with good communication skills help keep problems from becoming bigger problems. Being told, "Everything looks fine here, so the problem is solved," leads to frustration. So is having your site shut down because it used too many resources rather than the web host contacting you about the problem first.

Billing problems

Even after you cancel your account, problems may continue. Some less-than-dependable web hosts don't honor their refund policy. Others don't stop automatic billing after the account is cancelled.

What to watch out for

When you see the following at web host websites, consider them red flags to warn you of possible problems.

Unsustainable pricing

If the pricing looks too good to be true, it probably is. Is it enough to pay for server maintenance and tech support? You get what you pay for.

Unlimited bandwidth

Nothing is really unlimited. If you sign up for an account offering unlimited bandwidth and then use a lot of bandwidth, expect to have the plug pulled on your site. The web host may find another explanation for discontinuing your account, but "unlimited" typically means "as long as you don't use a lot."

An unprofessional-looking website

Consider how much effort the web host put into providing a usable website with informative content. Does it give you confidence in the web host, or is it full of unsubstantiated statements and grammar and spelling mistakes? A web host doesn't need to be a spelling expert, of course. But if the company hasn't put much effort into telling you about their services, will they be conscientious about meeting clients' needs?

How to research web hosts

Finding web hosts is easy enough. Search engines can take you to the websites of thousands of web hosts. But after you've narrowed down your list by features and price, how do you find out which web hosts are dependable?

Read web host package details and TOS

If the hosting packages offer huge amounts of disk space and bandwidth for very low prices, consider yourself warned. Don't expect the company to have enough money for maintenance and support.

If you want to be sure that you can get a refund if you want one, check what the Terms of Service (TOS) says about refunds.

Read the web host forum

What is the ambience in the forum? Are clients' questions answered satisfactorily? Don't be concerned if you see problems; instead, be concerned if you don't see any problems. Some web hosts remove posts that don't show their company in a positive light. If posts about problems remain in the forum, you can observe how the host handles problems.

Read web host reviews

Client feedback at the web host's site may or may not be valid. It's possible for hosts to make up feedback, and some have even copied feedback from other sites. Look for feedback with links to the clients' sites, and check via http://www.Whois.sc to see if the particular web host actually hosts that site.

Numerous forums allow people to post web host reviews. When you read reviews, consider the poster's credibility. Some people bash their hosts just because they're unhappy about something. If the host posts in response to a problem, observe how the host tries to resolve it.

Check the company background

The "About Us" or "Company Background" page at the web host's site should answer these questions.

How long has the company been in business? A new company may be excellent, but it's good to keep in mind that a lot of businesses fail within the first year.

Does the company publish a privacy policy? Does this policy clearly protect clients' privacy?

Where are the servers located? Ideally, they should be in a datacenter, and not in someone's basement.

What are the server uptime statistics? If the web host doesn't publish a link to a server uptime monitor, ask for a link to one. Uptime of about 99.7 percent or higher is generally considered good.

Does the company publish an address? You may never need it, but when you're placing your company website in another company's hands, you want to know that the company is legitimate and accessible.

Email pre-sales questions

Answers to your pre-sales questions tell you a lot about the web host. You'll see how fast the company responds and how well they communicate. Ask questions about any of the above points as well as questions specific to your needs.

~~~~~

Finding a dependable web host takes time, but dealing with problems and moving your site takes more time. The time spent looking for a dependable web host is a worthwhile investment.

About the author: Lois S. is a Technical Executive Writer for Website Source, Inc. http://www.websitesource.com. Her established writing skills coupled with experience in the website hosting industry have provided internet professionals with marketing, product and service ideas for many years.

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Entrepreneur

Speed and Reliability are Key When Choosing an Ecommerce Web Hosting Solution
Entrepreneur
Even a one-second delay in site speed can cause a 7 percent reduction in conversion rate. If your ecommerce site earns you $100,000 a day, that one-second delay could be costing you $2.5 million a year in revenue. How fast your website loads depends on ...


Mashable

12 affordable web hosting services to help you create your first website
Mashable
It's possible to create a fully functional web presence for under $6 per month.
Liquid Web review | TechRadarTechRadar

all 2 news articles »

Economic Times

Web hosting company, GoDaddy expands to tier-2 and 3 domains
Economic Times
BENGALURU: Domain registrar and web hosting giant GoDaddy plans to expand its network of resellers and web professionals in India through a series of initiatives and localised products as it looks at tier-2 and 3 markets for its next stage of growth ...


CMSWire

6 Tips For Choosing a Web Hosting Company
CMSWire
Choosing a web hosting company is a vital phase in the launch of any digital project. With so many different aspects to take into consideration, ranging from security to up-time to support, it's difficult to sift through the thousands of web hosting ...


Business 2 Community

Website Hosting… What Is It? Why Should You Care?
Business 2 Community
It just so happens that the church I was going to, which I gave free web hosting to as part of my “tithe” decided to give somebody else access to it. They created a Joomla! Site. Don't use Joomla! And the site got hacked. It got hacked so bad that it ...


CloudLinux Releases The Resource Allocation Controls For Web Hosting Resellers For Plesk
HostReview.com (press release)
The popular Reseller Limits feature of the CloudLinux OS, the #1 OS for hosting providers, gives resellers control over end-user resources through the Plesk control panel to help boost revenues and improve the stability of servers. PALO ALTO, Calif ...


Money Magazine

I Made My First Million at 13. Here's My No. 1 Rule for Investing
Money Magazine
Becoming a millionaire by 30 is a rare enough achievement, but Michael Cammarata did it when he was in his early teens. The cofounder and CEO of Schmidt's Naturals, which makes natural deodorant and other household products, brought in over a million ...


PCWorld

Save 90% On A Lifetime Of Dragify's Website Hosting And Builder
PCWorld
If you've tried HTML coding by hand, or perhaps with a complicated design program, such as Adobe Dreamweaver, than you know that creating a professional-grade website isn't easy. Dragify has simplified the process for thousands of designers, and, with ...


London Loves Business

Cost effective web hosting packages for start ups
London Loves Business
With the rising use of the Internet, it has become an essential part to deceive newer plans for extending the customer base. With the development of sharing economy, people are focussing more on accessing online services that can be a great one both ...


Canadian Web Hosting Successfully Completes Annual SOC 2 Type ...
PR Newswire (press release)
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Canadian Web Hosting, a leading provider in web hosting, cloud hosting, and data centre infrastructure, has announced that it has once again successfully completed its annual independent audit ...

and more »
Google News

Dedicated Web Hosting : The Executive Summary

What is Dedicated Web Hosting? Dedicated web hosting can alleviate... Read More

How to Choose a Quality Webhost

If you are anything like me, you'd probably like to... Read More

Adult Web Hosting: The All You Need To Know

What sort of web hosting options should you go for... Read More

The Problem with Free Web Hosting Plans

In my opinion, free web hosting is one of the... Read More

The Big Secret of Fabulous and Mediocre Web Site Hosting Companies

Most web site hosting services like the one you're probably... Read More

Setting up Your Personal Server

There are many things to consider when setting up your... Read More

How To Choose A Web Host That Meets Your Needs

One of the most difficult choices you have to make... Read More

Buyer Beware: Web Hosting, Registration, and Site Building All in One Package Nightmares

Starting out in any type of online marketing or Internet... Read More

How To Choose The Best Web Host For You

Web Hosting is a service. Auto mechanics also provide a... Read More

Cheap Web Hosting, What To Look For And What To Stay Away From

"Bargains for sale, Unlimited Hosting for only a Dollar.""Get your... Read More

Web Site Design and Hosting

If you're looking for a professionally designed web site at... Read More

The 2 Sides of Reseller Web Hosting

In the first case the customer is really looking for... Read More

Useful Tips When Applying For A Web Host Provider

Once you have considered the design for your website and... Read More

Choosing the Right Web Host

So you've decided about your website design and now you... Read More

Types of Web Site Hosting

First of all we must determine the meaning of the... Read More

Managed Hosting

Managed hosting is a dedicated server that is accompanied by... Read More

More Profits in Your Website Hosting Business

If you run a website hosting business, you already know... Read More

Finding a Home for Your Internet Enterprise - A Point by Point List

After much Net surfing and looking at all the offers... Read More

Server Uptimes Revealed: The Hidden Cost of Cheap Hosting

We often see server uptime statistics when looking for hosting... Read More

Configuring DynDNS.org in Linux via DDClient

Most Internet service providers do not give you static IP... Read More

Top 5 Mistakes that May Drive Your Visitors Away in Less Than 2 Minutes

You took the leap. You set up a website to... Read More

How To Build A Successful Hosting Company

There are a couple of key things to look at... Read More

Why Dedicated Hosting?

If you're reading this article, you might be interested in... Read More

Shared Web Hosting Service Explained!

The next concern for you after designing and developing web... Read More

What to Look for in a Free Hosting Provider

The first thing that you must realize when looking for... Read More