The Web Host Checklist

2002-11-08by Angela Rohner

How To Choose A Web Host

The web hosts listed in the AceHosts.com Web Host Directory have already met most of the qualifications on the checklist, but there is still more research that you should do when you choose a web host. Below is a checklist that you should use to choose the best web host for you.

Compare Prices and Features: Many web hosts offer very low monthly hosting accounts that look very appealing, but what you get may not be worth the price. Some of the lower priced hosting plans don't give you much, and you may end up paying more in extra fees than you would if you had signed up for a plan that included more features. For instance, if you signed up for a hosting plan for $7/month that allowed 500MB of bandwidth per month and 2MB of storage, then you may be charged extra fees for each month that you go over those limits. Another hosting company may offer 10MB of storage and 2000MB of bandwidth per month for the same price, so make sure you do your homework and compare prices and features. Also keep in mind that some hosting companies have setup fees, and some don't.


Technical Support: Web Hosting Companies that do not offer technical support are not worth your time or money. Make sure that the hosting company will offer technical support to you so that you aren't left in the dark if you have a problem. Some companies offer phone support, some offer email support, and some offer both phone and email support. Of these technical support offerings, some hosting companies offer support around the clock (24/7), and some don't, so make sure you read the details of their technical support before signing up. One good way to find out how quickly a host will respond is to send an email to their support address and calculate how long it takes for them to reply to you (if a support address is available on their site). In your email, you may want to ask how many people work in their technical department as well.

Money Back Guarantee: It is not recommended to sign up with a hosting company that does not offer a money back guarantee. If you are not satisfied with a hosting company's services, you should be able to receive all of your money back as long as your withdrawal falls within the terms of their money back guarantee. Money back guarantees can range from 14 days to 90 days depending on where you go.

Look for Detailed Plan Descriptions: If you visit a hosting company that does not clearly define the features of their plans, or if the company prompts you to fill out an order form with personal information before viewing their plans, it is recommended that you leave that site without looking back. If something smells fishy, get out of the water before it's too late.

Professional Appearance: Web Hosting Companies that are serious about their business will take the necessary measures to make their web site easy to navigate and appealing to the eye. If a web hosting company's site looks as if it was slapped up overnight by a 14 year old, then it very well might have been. Also keep an eye out for coding errors, confusing navigation, broken links, or sites that are duplicate or mirror sites. Many books can be judged by their covers, especially if that cover reflects the significance of its business.

Look for Feedback on Qualified Sites: There are a couple of sites that I would recommend visiting before you choose a web host. The sites are Epinions.com and PlanetFeedback.com. These sites allow qualified users to post their opinions of companies. Just recently, Epinions added a whole section dedicated to Web Hosting Company reviews. Keep in mind the statistical information when you visit these sites and search for hosting company reviews. Complaints are equivalent to the amount of clients a hosting company has. Larger companies may have more complaints because they have more cients, and the smaller companies may have less because they have less clients.

Uptime: Uptime is the percentage of time that a web host is up and running with no down times. Most hosting companies have an uptime of 99.5% or higher. The best is 99.9%. Anything less than 99.5% is not recommended because that means the hosting company has a significant amount of down time compared to most other web hosts.

These are just a few of the things to consider while searching for a hosting plan that suits your needs. Good luck to you in finding your web host!

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