What to Look for in a Web Hosting Company

2004-10-28by Mitch Keeler

The Internet is one of the largest sources for information in the world, so why shouldn't you become a part of it? There are millions of company, resource and personal web sites opening up every day. You deserve to come join the party and see what all the fuss is about, right?

First you will need to find a web hosting company that meets your needs. Searching for an adequate web hosting company is never an easy task. If you know what you should be looking for though, it makes the task of finding a good one simple.

What is the Support Like?
The number one objective that you should look into is support. No matter how great the web host is, sooner or later you will need some assistance. Before signing up with a web hosting provider you should e-mail them a few times to get a good feeling for the response time they offer. Speed is not the only thing to look at though.

You should also look at the quality of the answers they give to your questions. Are they in depth or do they just cover the basic facts? Finding a web hosting company that offers the right balance of substance and quickness is a good start in finding a web hosting company you can trust.

Make sure that they are willing to provide several different methods of support. On average, most web hosting companies offer an online support staff, message boards and help desks.

Having an online member of the support team online to talk to could be helpful if you just need a quick fix. Usually they are reachable through some Javascript enabled chat on the page itself or via AIM, Yahoo, MSN or ICQ. Message boards are good to contact their group of clients on an issue the company might not cover. Such problems could include aspects of design or formatting of your web pages. Many web hosting message boards have a friendly and family like vibe to them that makes it easy to join in on the fun. The ability to issue a "help ticket" into a help desk is better for more in depth problems you might encounter.

Look at all the types of support and compare them with other companies you might be interested in doing business with.

Are You Going to Get What You Paid For?
You have to be able to weigh the price you are paying for hosting with the number of benefits they are offering. Some web hosting companies offer extra scripts and programs that are pre-installed or can be installed with just a single click. This could be an advantage if you were wanting to play with adding some new features to your web site. Especially if you are not that knowledgeable when it comes to installing scripts or programs on your web hosting space.

You should also take a look at the disk space and bandwidth. Are you going to have enough of both to keep your web site covered? Being able to upgrade or downgrade your web hosting plan is also an advantage.

Are the Current Clients Happy?
Most web hosting companies will list some client reviews of their services. Chances are though, the web hosting company in question will not be posting anything bad about themselves on their own web site. Have no fear, there are plenty of other ways to find out the truth about the provider in question.

All around the world wide web there are forums based around the entire universe of web hosting. Many web hosting companies come to these forums and web sites to talk with others in the industry. Many people looking to vent about their current web hosting situations are there as well. Keep in mind that all opinions should be taken with a grain of salt, but if you find only one out of ten reviews are bad, run.

The best advice I can give you when looking for a web host you can trust is research. If you are going to trust a company with your online presence, then you should at least know that you are getting the best deal possible. You should be provided with good support, get what you paid for and all together be another happy client to add to their web hosting roster.

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