What Is Important When Choosing A Web Host? PDF Print E-mail

The company that is going to be hosting a website that you're working on should be able to meet all of your needs. To find out just what to look for in a web hosting company, you'll need to read the following article. Make sure to do your research so that you don't end up wasting time and money.

Does the web hosting company you're going with have a good reputation? You should be able to find reviews online about any web hosting company that has been around for a while. Sometimes you may find that a company has just started, but you probably should avoid going with them until they have a reputation built. This is going to be the company hosting your website, and if you find out too late that they're no good, you could be out of a lot of time and money as well.

Do the servers that this company runs go down often? This is what's known as a server's up time. If they're consistently up, then that's a good thing. If, however, the servers seem to go down all the time, then you need to avoid this company. The reason that it's bad for a server to go down is because you're not going to be getting any traffic when this happens. Once people notice that your site is down a lot, they'll probably just go elsewhere to get the information they were looking for.

Does the web hosting company have enough space and bandwidth for your website? The space that they offer is basically how much memory they'll allocate to store your files on their servers. If you have large files, then you need more space. Bandwidth is basically how much information users can download or upload using your website. This is important because if you don't have enough bandwidth and have large files being downloaded, then you'll get your website shut off until the next billing cycle begins.

What kinds of files are you able to use for your website? Things like WordPress require that your hosting company allows you to host PHP files along with other types of files. When a web hosting company does not allow you to do this, then you won't be able to host whatever it was you were working on. See if you're allowed to build databases and use certain types of files. Go through your website's design plans and see exactly what kinds of files you're working with before signing up with any web host.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if the company entrusted to hosting your website and all its data including customer databases stole some of that information for its own purposes? It is analogous to a fox guarding a hen house. Most web hosting companies are honest and would never even think of compromising your data security or stealing your customers' personal information, but as in all industries, there are a few shady operators out there

The best "cure" for this thankfully rare problem is prevention. You don't want to have to tell hundreds of customers that their personal information has been stolen by the very people responsible for maintaining the server that the information is on. When a customer gives you personal information such as their mailing address, email address and credit card number, they are placing a huge amount of trust in you.

Identity fraud is a serious crime that has ongoing consequences for victims. With a name, a credit card number and a social security number, a criminal can assume a false identity and set up bank accounts or even take out mortgages using that identity. Meanwhile, the real person whose identity has been stolen watches his or her bank balance and credit rating take a huge plunge before they are able to halt the damage.

It's is better if before you sign on for domain registration and web hosting that you check out that web hosting provider as thoroughly as you can. The first red flag should be a lack of contact information. Do they only give a P.O. Box, or do they give a street address too? Do they offer any way to get in touch than through email? If you have any suspicions about a company you are considering (and sometimes even if you don't), run their company name through a search engine and run the address through a search engine as well; It could be fictitious.

Be prepared to dig for more information if needed. Search for objective web hosting review sites and read several of them. The problem with this is that some hosting and domain registration companies pay forum posters to talk up their products. If you find a "review" site with nothing but glowing praise of the company, be suspicious. Pay more attention if you find a site full of harsh criticism of the web hosting provider, but keep in mind that these sites are sometimes created by the company's competitors.

Unethical practices are often brought up on discussion forums. You can search for forums that mention your prospective host company, and then search the forum itself for words like "scam," "unsatisfied customers," or "dishonest."

If the web hosting company is registered with the Better Business Bureau, it's a good sign. Don't put too much stock into "awards" their site claims to have won unless they are awarded by leading magazines (like PC Magazine or Wired).

Once you find a web hosting company that looks promising, print out and read every line of the Terms of Service. If you find something you don't understand, ask someone at that company and don't sign anything until you get a satisfying answer to your question. Do not sign with a company that puts in any kind of legal loophole that would allow them to access your customer's data files. It is illegal for them to do so and you should definitely not agree to such a thing.

Along with the Terms of Service, read the company's privacy policy very closely to find out what, if anything they do with your own personal data. What do they do with the data (such as a customer database) that you host on their server? If it is unclear, call them up and ask them: "Do you or would you sell customer data from my database to third parties?" You want an unequivocal "No."

As the owner of a web based business, you have a responsibility to live up to your own privacy policy and terms of service, so it is critical that the web hosting company that hosts your site is honest and won't compromise any of this data either. Most hosting companies are reputable and with some internet sleuthing you can usually find the ones that you should stay away from, so don't neglect to do this research before you choose a web hosting company.