How to choose a Good Web Host
With thousands of web hosting companies to choose from today it can be hard to know which ones are actually worth using. A simple Google search will throw up hundreds of results. Now the question which arises is that How can one identify if a web host is good or bad? What additional research can be done before making a decision?
In this article I will present 5 simple steps which if followed will weed out most of bad hosting providers.
How to choose a web host. A simple 5 point plan
1) Find out if their support is any good
The most important aspect while choosing a web host is the quality of their support. Quality of customer support is a good proxy for quality of the company. A company which values its customer and not only his money is bound to be good. Now the question is that How do you judge a company’s support quality. Here are a few tricks:
- Talk to their support and ask about the plans and packages in details. See if the support rep is technically competent to answer your questions. A clueless support rep is a warning sign. It shows that company has not invested in training their staff. On the other hand , knowledgeable and friendly support reps are a good sign and shows that company is run by technically competent folks.
- Many companies. advertise 24/7 support. Test their claims by calling / emailing them at odd times like Saturday Nights, Sundays and on public holidays. Check out how long they take to respond. Check out the quality of their response. Do they really provide 24/7 support? Or is it just an advertising tactic.
- Look at the support Forums and check how the company responds to the complaints, are they helpful and polite or are they rude and dismissive.
- Crawl their FAQ/Tutorials section. Check if they have informative and elaborate tutorials and How-To’s. High quality Help material is a sign that company takes customer support seriously and is ready to invest in it.
- Ask them about services which they do not offer but their competitor does. See if they try to misguide you into buying their plans or honestly advice you to go with the competitors offering.
- Ask them they are resellers of other hosting companies. The disadvantage with using a reseller is that they might not have the technical skills to provide you with fast and efficient support. Having said that , not all resellers are bad, some could be quite good with support.
2) Ask about the Quality of their Infrastructure:
Quality of Infrastructure matters a lot . Ask them how they handle security and what measure do they take to enhance security and prevent hacking. In case a server gets compromised what actions do they take to handle the situation? Ask them about their disaster recovery plan. Do they take backups? If yes then do they restore it? Involve a technical friend in this discussion. Make sure that the infrastructure they use is of high quality.
3) Ask for References:
Ask them about some big and famous customers. Every hosting company worth their salt must be having some big and high traffic websites as their customers. Try to contact their existing customers and ask for their opinion. Crawl the support forums to get contacts of existing customers.
There is no free lunch in this world and if a hosting is dirt cheap/ free then chances are that their support and infrastructure quality would be bad. If they offer dirt cheap plans then odds are that they will use other tactics like advertising to make a profit. Some Webhosts like Godaddy are infamous for using spammy techniques to profit from their free accounts.
5) Use Social Media:
Google has been polluted by affiliate marketers, most of the review sites are biased and are full of spam. Best way to to research a company is by using social media. Search twitter, facebook and other discussion forums. People express their honest opinion on social media sites. Post on online forums and ask people about their honest opinions. More often than not you will find genuine and informative answers.
I am sure if you will keep these points in mind then more often than not you will end up choosing a high quality web hosting provider. Having said that no Host is perfect and you will need to do some research before deciding on which company will get your business. Happy Hosting!!!!