Choosing the right web host: 5 must-know points

Shopping for web hosting? Here’re the main 5 consideration points when you’re looking for the right web hosting: Hosting uptime, server load time, hosting features, pricing, and free domain offers. Be sure to read on in case you’re about to start hosting your website online soon, as I’ll be revealing each consideration points in detail.

Hosting Uptime

Web hosting down

When choosing a host for your new (or old) website there are many things to consider. Your host is the one who is responsible for your website being online and being able to be accessed by users, and potential customers.

Seeing such, you will want to look at the uptime that the hosting company guarantees first. You really can’t take their word for it, however, but anything under 99% should be a red flag to you. In order to better check out the hosting company’s “real” uptime, try to visit a few of the sites that you know they host. They normally have links to them somewhere on their site.

Also, if the hosting company’s site is ever down for an extended period, say an hour or so, this should also be a red flag. Basically, you’ll want your site up and online as much as possible, so in order to make sure this happens, you’ll want to make sure that other websites that a hosting company is hosting are up. Try checking at different times during the day, too. If there is a routine time that sites are down, this will not be good for you, and it should be a sure sign that you shouldn’t be using that hosting company.

Server Load Time

Another thing you’ll want to check is load time.

Web hosting server load time

This is just what it says, how fast your site will load. You can time how fast the hosting company’s site loads and how fast other sites it hosts load, and compare them with other hosting companies.

If you want a pretty accurate reading, you can try using the Fasterfox extension for Firefox . It gives you a time that the page took to load up to the thousandths place in seconds. This should be sufficient enough of a timer for your purposes.

Hosting Features

Features are always important as well. Some hosting companies offer loads and loads of features; more features than you’ll ever even think of using. Do you really need those FrontPage extensions? How about unlimited databases? No, all you’ll probably ever need is the latest PHP, and about 2-3 Email accounts, FTP accounts, and 2-3 databases.

Keep in mind that this is based on one website, so if you are looking to host, say ten, on one account, then obviously, you’ll want to multiply those numbers by 10. Another important feature to look for is regular backups. This will save your site if something extremely horrible goes wrong, which is rare, but it does happen, so it’s better to be safe rather than sorry.

Pricing

After you’ve examined everything you need, it’s time to look around for the best deal.

If you’re reviewing web hosting according to this article, you should have established a minimum amount for each of the features you want, including by now. What’s next is to weed out the best deal. While the cheapest deal always is the most appealing, be very sure that you look beyond the first year of pricing, because some hosts like to trick you with cheap hosting for the first year, and then change the fee to the most expensive ever without you even noticing. Sometimes (but not a must) the hosting companies with fees right in the middle work out for the best.

Free Domain?

Lastly but not least, if you’re hosting your website for the first time (meaning you do not own an existing domain), you should look for web hosting that offer free domain registration. Take BlueHost for example, they are offering lifetime free domain for customers.

Conclusion: Who should I go for?

Honestly, I think there’re way too many lousy web hosting around the market – most are overselling their bandwidth, overpromised and underdelivered in hosting uptime, overpriced hosting plans, and dishonest merchants who disallow cancellation. From my experience, Network Eleven is one of such companies and I would advise you to runaway from them as far as you can.

To play safe, what I suggest is to host your website with my Top 5 Hosting Picks.