There were 20,000 web hosting companies worldwide a few years ago. Today they probably are more than 100,000… At the same time there is not standard criteria which newbie site owners can use when choosing a web host. I know there are tons of “how to choose web host” articles. This one is not one of them. It is just offering a few simple bullet-proof key points which will help anyone to distinguish fake web hosting company from original one.
I have been a CEO of the quality web hosting company HostColor.com for 5 years, between 2000 and 2005 and I have a significant experience in looking at web hosting from provider’s perspective. Today I’m in journalism and in consulting business. So I see things from the other side, from customer’s point of view. So please take the below listed points as advice from experienced consumer.
1. Avoid oversellers.
If a web hositng provider claims it offers 3 or 4 number disc space quota in shared hosting plan, then stay away. No matter what does its customers say. It is fake! I know good comapnies who say they “provide” 500 GB – 1,500 GB of this space for $5/month. But they actually don’t. No one uses to much disc space. Even customer tries to use 50 GB of disc space for video files they get limited.
“Gighosts” mislead consumers and make them to believe that it is possible to “live in a penthouse while paying rent for one bedroom apartment in a community building”.
2. Real phone support
Make sure that web host provides phone support that works. Having a phone number on their page does not mean they answer calls anytime you need support. Most of the “24×7” companies take your calls using answering machines or faking by leaving you on the line until you hang up.
Call the company you want to use and make sure you can reach real customer suppoer opeator. Tehn ask the msomething by email or support ticket. This way you’ll test their response time.
3. Real business
Web hosting is a business like any other. So web hosts must be legitimate businesses, incorporated in any state or province. And like any other business they have to be responsible both to their employees and to community of its customers…. as well as to be a company in a good standing… which means a good taxpayer.
4. Personal approach
In times when anyone offers web space and data transfer web hosting is not anymore a storage service. It is a service platform. Your web host has to provide blogging, e-commerce, multidemia or any other website services which will allow you to develop and manage online business.
The smost important things are service mode, approach to customer support; and support web hosts provide to your projects… Of course you can not expect to receive proper support for a few bugs per month. But web hosts still have to treat you as a customer not as an “account holder”.
5. Reliable network and hardware.
As kyou web host what kind of hardware platforms thye use to host customers’ websites. Minimum requirement a reliable server is 2 x HDD with RAID 1 mirroring. To be honest I can tell you that this one is not good enough. Today’s web host must maintain either a clusters or RAID 5 mirroring machines.
6. Choise and flexibility
One some one stick their nose to the sky explaining who good they are, just check what kind of plans do they have. Avoid “universal” hosting services. If someone offers a just one single hosting service plan, don’t go with them. Hosting providers must respect diversity. People are not the same, as well as their projects.
This means hosting providers have to offer different opportunities. No opportunities, no customers!
In conclusion I will tell you that you can still find a good web host by ignoring all these 6 points. You can also add a few more to the list.