All Your Web Site Hosting Options Explained
Don't Decide On Your Web Site Hosting Until You Understand All Your Options
You need to keep several things in mind when looking for a web host, if you want to save time and headaches.
First of all is the cost.
There are plenty of web hosting companies that offer to host your site for free, but make sure you read the fine print - there can be many hidden conditions.
Free hosting is often a trial offer - a certain amount of time for free, after which you have to pay for the full service. Don't sign any agreements without checking this out first.
You can read more about free hosts on our Free Web Hosting page.
The second thing to watch for is third party advertising. Sometimes the free service is paid for by ads that are run on your website by the hosting company.
Would you want them putting ads on your site which you have no control over?
Always look for a hosting company that offers a money back guarantee.
You should also double-check the charges if you exceed the limits on your hosting account. Things like bandwidth, hard drive space and extra email accounts usually have a limit.
If you exceed those limits, you can get hit with a pretty big bill at the end of the month!
Read Other Users Reviews & Feedback
A good practice is to read reviews and feedback from other people using the service. They're good ways to gauge the host's customer satisfaction.
One thing you need to be sure they offer is 24x7 tech support - by telephone as well as email or live chat. If a problem crops up with your website in the middle of the night, you need to be able to get hold of someone to get it fixed.
If possible, pay a visit to the datacenter where the web host keeps its servers. You'll get a good sense of the scale of the host's operations.
Avoid hosting companies that only run one or two servers. If a server goes down, you need to be sure there are backups ready to take over. Look for a host that can switch to a new server as soon as a problem happens.
What About Domain Registration?
As far as domain registration goes, make sure you use an ICANN certified domain registrar. After registration, check to make sure that your name is listed as the administrative contact for the domain.
Some less scrupulous hosting services will register the domain in their name instead of yours.
Also check what other kinds of sites are hosted on the server. Avoid servers that are hosting adult sites because they can use up a lot of the bandwidth, slowing your site to a crawl.
Insist on multi-layer security to protect your website from hackers and security threats. Even though the hosting company isn't responsible for protecting your data, they should have plans to protect your site from attacks such as cross-site scripting, URL hijacking, spam and DDoS attacks.
A good practice is to only enter into a short-term contract at first. You can sign up for a longer term once you're satisfied with the service and support from your host.
Make sure your agreement is flexible, to allow for expansion of your hosting as required.