Here is your first bit of web host buying news, and it is not good: unless you happen to have some very sophisticated web tools at your disposal, you cannot be sure of your web host’s hosting services. However, just like buying any service, there are ways to avoid getting ripped off.
Here are a few things you need to consider when buying web hosting:
A free web host comes at a cost
This is a burningly accurate statement which you ignore at your peril. Your first thought may be that if you use a free website service, then you have nothing to lose. But, what you in-fact have to lose is any and all the time and money you invest into building, developing and maintaining your website.
Most free services install adverts onto your website, which is going to cost you some credibility. Others will make it so that you cannot leave the host once you are on there, so you will have to leave your website where it sits and start a new one if you want to leave the host. Some free services have a very poorly maintained server, which is going to be hacked frequently, which means that anything you upload is not safe.
Be careful when reading reviews
If you are not at the stage where you are cynical about everything you read online, then please send five dollars to this site. If you are already cynical about everything you read, then be careful when it comes to hosting reviews.
Ideally, if you want to find a good hosting service, the you need to start looking at hosting reviews. But, do not look at the positive reviews because they are written by the hosting company. You need to look at the negative reviews. Think about it, when you pay for a service and they do their job, do you go online and write a good review about them? No, you do not. So, why would you believe all of the good reviews online?
You need to look at the bad reviews. You need to look for consistency within the negative reviews. For example, if you were buying a microwave and several negative reviews mentioned that its paint flakes off, then you may draw that conclusion that its paint probably flakes off. You need to do the same thing with the hosting service and look for consistencies throughout the negative reviews.
The distance selling laws apply
The people selling you hosting services should not be able to lie to you. If they say that they install the latest and most advanced virus checkers on their servers, then they have to by law, otherwise you can sue them. If they say that they give you a massive bandwidth amount, then they have to give you the amount they quoted.
This is because the distance selling laws allow you to sue the people who lie and mis-advertise to you. However, the laws do not apply across the world. If you are dealing with a company in the European Union, or with Canada, or in America itself, then the distance selling laws apply. If not, then people can lie to you about their hosting services and there is nothing you can do about it.
Concentrate on disk space and bandwidth
These are the things that are going to affect your website the most directly and in the most positive or negative manner. It is up to you to find the amount of disk space and bandwidth that you are going to need for your particular website. You really need to check to see if your host offers an upgrade service where you can buy more bandwidth or disk space.
If they do not then you need to look upon them with great suspicion, as it may mean that they are selling-on their own bandwidth and disk space, which is not going to be ideal for you. Plus, if you cannot upgrade then you risk having a popular website that you cannot expand, or that only a limited number of people can visit at one time.
Call their technical support staff
The bad hosts have great sales staff that answer right away, and terrible support or complaints staff that leave you on hold for a long time. Call the support or complaints staff to see how long it takes before you talk to a person. Also, do not go for a host that charges you more than the standard phone call rate for any sort of technical support.