One of the biggest mistakes newbie companies make is choosing a cheap web hosting company which later turns out to be unreliable. But when every company advertises a 99.9% uptime, money back guarantee, and the first month of hosting free it’s hard to know which service is the best. As a matter of fact, it’s precisely why businesses end up with hosting services they regret using. Fortunately, there are a couple of steps you can follow to ensure that the company you choose does, in fact, have 99.9% uptime beyond just their glossy advertising.
Read independent reviews
Always start by reading independent reviews. It is a no-brainer, but it goes without saying that web hosting companies are known to buy reviews. Many services run a dozen or so of their own websites, so it’s hard to tell which reviews are real and which aren’t. However, search websites like Rip Off Report, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trust Pilot. Almost all reviews on these websites are verified and can be trusted. Ideally, short list websites with over 500 reviews and with more or equal to 4 stars.
Check out their customer service
As someone whose spending time and money on their business, you don’t want to be left to deal with a problem that’s not your fault. Good customer service means that they are around 24/7, and willing to help you. Bad customer service is defined can be anything from non-existent to obnoxious. You’ve probably heard horror stories about having to stay on hold for several minutes to just speak to a representative only to be put on hold again. To avoid such a scenario call the customer service number several times a day and night to verify their response time. Also, make sure that the customer service is on the same page regarding speaking the same language and understanding your problem. A web hosting company that outsources customer service can end up being very frustrating for you as a client in need.
Understand their control panel options
It is important to understand the control panel options offered before choosing a hosting service for your business. Most services offer a complete control panel which allows you to access files, update pages, and upload content while providing vital statics. Some control panels also give you quick access to installing plugins, and tools for your business like WordPress, and Magento, etc. Ideally, you’ll want to choose a service which offers an extensive control panel which makes managing everything easier without having to spend time learning how to code and use an FTP program.
Dedicated hosting outperforms shared hosting any day
Shared hosting is cheap, but it’s also at times slow. On a shared hosting service, your website is competing against others for bandwidth, and the most data intensive websites can starve off bandwidth to your scantly laid out sales page. It is not uncommon for websites to experience lag especially even after optimizing everything. It is for this reason that we don’t recommend shared hosting if you’re serious about doing business online. We recommend using dedicated hosting even if you don’t expect a large volume of traffic. Yes, it’s more expensive because you’re leasing your own server, but you also have more freedom. Plus, from an SEO perspective, there is some data to show that websites hosted using dedicated hosting perform better in general.
Take your time and do your research before settling on a web hosting company. We also recommend that you sign up for a few short months at first just to test the waters before making a long-term commitment. That way you don’t lose as much money if the hosting service despite your research was low quality. Plus, make sure to always backup your website so that if you decide to switch hosting services, it’s easier to get up and running.