April 27, 2012 · Web Hosting

When looking for a web hosting provider, a good indicator of a professional firm is a regularly updated blog on the provider’s website. Although it may be overlooked, a blog indicates that the provider is willing to maintain communication, whether it’s about server issues, upgrades, or new features that are on the way. Also look for professional responses to comments left for the provider by other users.

Avoid free web hosting. While a free site may be an acceptable choice for a small hobby website, if you want to make money, there are simply too many restrictions. Not only will you be limited to using their domain name, you will also have restrictions on space, advertising, and little to no support. These features are well worth the minimal costs of an affordable web host.

Avoid paying for web hosting space that you actually do not need. Some plans will entice you into contracts that cost more by affording you unlimited space – but do you actually need this? Remember that you can always upgrade later as your needs increase. Unless you are a large company or are engaging in eCommerce, you can probably get by with 10MB or less.

Research each potential web host’s customer support before deciding on a host. The easier it is to get in touch with the hosting service, the more likely you are to be satisfied. If you’re having problems with your web hosting account, you’ll need to be able to easily reach customer service by email or phone.

Ensure that the web host you sign up with has a strong anti-spam policy. If any of the web host’s customers are involved in spam activities, it could result in the web host becoming blocked which will affect your website as well. Make certain that the web host you are considering is not already blocked, and has stringent policies in place that will help it avoid getting blocked in the future.

By paying upfront for web hosting you could see your money going down the drain. Web hosting is best paid for on an as used basis, like electricity or cable. In the event that you accept a prepaid option, and your web host company goes bankrupt or finds themselves in hot water, you are out of that prepaid amount as well as a host.

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.

You need to use a web host that offers a money back guarantee. If you are not satisfied with the host or find one that offers better services for less money, you need to be able to leave your current host and move to the other one. Typically, you have thirty days to change your mind.

Imagine getting the same kind of service, or better, with a web hosting company that actually charges you less than your current provider. It’s possible to find this type of provider by following the tips above, and make a real difference in your website’s profitability — and isn’t that what’s really important?

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