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10 Questions to Ask while choosing a web host

Are you building a website? Well, that is pretty good way to connect to the world and let other’s know who are you, what you do and how you matters to the world. Whether your website belongs to a specific niche or you have found something different, your web site needs suitable web hosting. Hosts are many; everyone guarantees pretty 99% site up time. Different hosts may have different capabilities.


To begin with, decide upon what kind of hosting your website needs; Windows, Linux or Java and of what size shared hosting, VPS Hosting, or dedicated servers. Shared web hosting is pretty good for beginners; VPS is for professionals, for example if you are a regular blogger, dedicated servers are meant for large sized businesses. Now find answers to the following 10 common web hosting questions?

#1. How many happy customers the web host in question truly has?

Perhaps, by now you have list of fistful web host and considering buying a hosting plan from one of these. Do your research on internet; check online web hosting forums and web hosting reviews for a web host. Find what customers are talking. Today, every business is available on social media like Facebook and Twitter etc. Check for customers talks. Hunt for bad reviews; good reviews may be result of paid comments, but a bad review truly comes from unsatisfied person. Get to know up to what extent a web host may go wrong. This way you will be pretty sure, on whom hands you are going to handover your data, your customer’s data and your business.

#2. How high is server uptime and in what percentage?

The higher the better; most web hosting businesses promises for 99.99% site uptime. Check and Cross Check. Do not just simply rely upon what they say on hosting features page. Best approach will be to find few people who are with same company and know their experiences. Online forums are also another way to know the web hosting facts. Research for previous 5 years data; know how many times a hosting service truly gone down and reasons behind. If a hosting provides was not able to serve as result of natural catastrophe, you find news stories around same. Web Hosts can not be blamed for site downtime due to natural or political disturbances.

#3. What is turn around time of customer support?

Every web host on the planet keeps customer support and technical support staff. How quickly they turns up and how efficiently solves a problem distinguishes a good web host from bad. What are the means of accessibility: Phone Support, Online Chat, Email Form or Any other and if Phone Support is Free. Make a check if web host in question offers 24 hours phone support. Also know how many times over a month or year you can call customer support, if they have some limitations in place.

Check for expertise of a web host. Many also sell services in which they are not truly experienced. Ask them how much they are competent in handling a particular type of web hosting environment. Throw your questions. Better to ask them over email and analyze responses. Again, online reviews will be of great help in this area.

#4. What kind of service upgrade option a web host offers?

Your website may need upgrade in hosting plans as traffic grows. Check for, what kind of upgrade plans they have in place, pricing factors, if they charge any extra for upgrading. Also, check for, if upgrades require any special kind of technical expertise. Best way is to check different plans and compare between them for everything related.

#5. Whether a web host has in place Cron Jobs, Auto Script Installer, .htaccess, and Server Side Include?

This is pretty disappointing. There are many web hosts without above services. You may need Cron scheduler, script installer like Fantastico, .htta access for redirects / security, Server Side Include (SSI) and FTP access. Please keep in mind, a thing or two those you need not today may need tomorrow. Also, may be in future your website require special attention outside your expertise. You may need to hire someone and those people may require some utilities. All above services are parts of web hosting package. If company in consideration not providing services like FTP or .htta access, you are considering for a wrong web host. Now look for the other.

#6. How much is my money worth?

Money is not a cheap commodity anyway. Seek value for money. Perhaps, you will plan more websites in future. Irrespective of hosting package you chose for; make a check how many websites you can host for a selected plan. Ease to host multiple website is always better than a single one. Also know if you will be allowed to configure Free Company Emails and how many. Your staff strength may grow in future.

#7. What are the hosting limitations?

Read a Web Host’s Terms of Service (TOS) very-very carefully. Know and understand properly the circumstances under those a web host may cancel temporarily or permanently your hosting account. Also the Government Rules, if your website won’t go against the rule of local government where web host server located. Later criteria are of much importance if you are going to host your website outside your geography.

#8. What about subscription period and money back guarantee if you want to discontinue from a service?

Many web hosts lures customers on the pretext of cheap website hosting thereby locking for years. If you are new to website business, do not choose for more than a year plan. Check the reasons of cheap hosting services. Are they not selling to enough customers? Also ask about money back policies especially if you are going with a web host for more than a year. No matter, how much reliable a web host is, never chose for longer than 2 years plan. A service pretty good today may turn bad tomorrow; this is true mainly when acquisitions and mergers take place in businesses.

#9. If a web host take backups regularly?

Good website backups turn as life savers for your website and you. A website running perfectly for ages may get ruined within no time. Nobody has controls on inevitable. Those happen everywhere. Precaution is always better medicine than postmortem. Check, if they keep regular backups. Also maintain your own website data backup. That is as important as building a website.

#10. If a web host have smart, easy to access and use Control panel in place?

Many web hosts provide video demo of control panel (also called cPanel). Easy to use control panel is essential and more than a requirement if your website needs to be regularly updated. A smart control panel will save loads of your work time. Watch demo before you chose.

PS: This article was written on demand for a Forum Website. I am freelance writer, and charge for my time. Those people didn't paid me but published on their forum. This article is originally produced by me and property of dkoffice.in Hope my readers will find it helpful. Any suggestions for improvements are welcome.
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