Searching for a webhost - what should you look for?
There are many customers looking for a new host who where not very happy
with the service their old host provided. We have assembled a small list
of things to look for and to avoid pitfalls...
Unlimited this, unlimited that
Just stop and think for a minute: have you ever found anything to be without
Unlimited cash, unlimited fuel, unlimited time? Really? Probably not.
But you will find some webhosts who offer you unlimited space or unlimited
Are webhosts the big exception? No! What is the pitfall?
The host offers unlimited bandwidth but somewhere in the contract or in
his terms of service he will state that your account will be terminated
if your bandwidth goes over a certain amount. Sometimes this amount is
told but most of the times you will not even be able to get an answer
to this question. What 'unlimited' usually means
is that they think you won't go over a certain amount of bandwidth - and
if you do they will loose money and shut you down. Even if the host claims
that he owns his own Network Operation Center (and most don't) and has
sooo much bandwidth - with some sites he will loose money and go out of
business - sooner or later.
Too much for too less
If you need an account with much bandwidth (>20 GB traffic per month)
be aware of hosts that offer this very cheap. It's very common to offer
someone a 40 GB account and to expect that the customer never really will
need that much. As soon as you use too much of your transfer your account
is suspended and your site offline!
Ability to grow
If your website becomes successfull you will need a host which allows
you to grow. Is the host only able to provide very small accounts? If
yes maybe you will be on search for a new host sooner than you thought.
Ask if he can provide accounts with more than 30 GB bandwidth per month
or even dedicated servers.
If you register your domains through your host be sure that you actually
domain - if you leave your host you want to take your domain with you.
Do a WHOIS search and look at the "Administrative Contact".
Is it you?
Some hosts keep prices low by using cheap hardware for their servers or
by overloading their servers. Does your host use quality hardware and
fast but expensive SCSI drives? Is enough RAM is installed? How many accounts
are on a single server?
Professional host - or not?
Last, but not least: every host will claim to be professional - but will
he back his words with a 30 days unconditional
money back guarantee?
And if you are not satisfied with the service the host provide after a
few months, is it easy to leave? Does he speak clear words about billing,
termination and his terms of service?
Remember: If it looks too good to be true then it probably is!