May 10, 2012 · Web Hosting

Be wary of review sites that are also affiliates of a web hosting company. While affiliate marketing is a legitimate sales approach, if a site is being paid a commission for sales of a product or service, they are more likely to review it favorably. After all, they will not make any affiliate money if nobody makes a purchase. Instead, look for user reviews or recommendations from friends and family if you want unbiased opinions.

Beware of web hosting services that charge very low fees, remembering that you get what you pay for. If you really only need a one-page site to direct customers to a brick-and-mortar business, then by all means go for a $5 a month provider. However, if you plan to do any kind of online business transactions, or are reliant on high-end graphics and a lot of information, then pay for what you need.

Switch web hosts if an outage lasts for more than a day. Even if the host explains why the server is down, the most likely reason is that the host did not invest enough into back up plans as far as outages are concerned. Any truly professional web hosts will have ensured that outages will be short and infrequent.

If you are changing to a new host, you should use a redirecting page for 48 hours. Create a personalized page explaining why your site is moving to a new host with a link to your site. Make sure you choose a host that can guarantee you your site will be up in 48 hours.

Look for a web host that lets you create your own customized error pages. In case your site is not accessible, you will be able to apologize to your visitors and perhaps redirect them to your Facebook page. Instead of getting frustrated at the usual error message, your visitors will appreciate you apologizing to them.

Do not be deterred from using a web hosting service that employs customer service agents in a foreign country. Though it may be difficult to understand various accents at times, realize that many countries spend extraordinary amounts of time and energy in making their citizens technologically superior. This is particularly true of India, which is why many companies employ educated technology services overseas.

If a web hosting service advertises unlimited bandwidth, you should not believe it. You will find that the kind of files you are allowed to share is limited and that unlimited bandwidth refers in fact to a fixed number. Having access to unlimited bandwidth can also depend on the size of your site and as your site grows, you will charged more for bandwidth.

A good site host should also offer good support for if and when you need help with something. This means that maybe they offer professionals that can offer advice to new site owners, or support simply for errors and general questions about how to make your site look its best using the tools the host offers. Some sites are more “hands on” with lots of templates and things to help their users, whereas others are more of a “do your own thing” type hosting site. Make sure you keep in mind whether you are a novice or a professional at designing and owning a website.

Now that you have a deeper understanding of some of the best practices for web hosting services, it will be easier to get the job done–whatever the job may be. Whether you are looking for ways to connect with customers or keep in touch with friends and family, reliable and efficient web hosting will help you to stay connected.

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