How to choose web hosting provider
There are thousands of hosting companies over the world, but you need to choose only one web hosting you can trust. The success or failure of the website has direct dependency on the quality of the web hosting provider.
You have to find one that is affordable, reliable, suits your requirements and has an excellent support.
Hosting prices do not really differ. You can have hosting plan with database and scripting languages for about 3$ monthly. I strongly recommend planning this amount if you are going to make a solid website. You can make a try with free web hosting, but be aware of disadvantages of free web hosting listed below.
The most important is to find web hosting you can rely on. Web hosting must guarantee website availability of at least 99,98% and ensure backup for their servers in case of emergency.
Funny math: 98% availability may sound great but is not enough! There is average 720 hours monthly. 98% from 720 hours are 705.6 hours. So the availability of 98% means that your website is not available for almost 15 hours every month or about 30 minutes every day!
If your website is not available you lost visitors. Moreover, search engines can reduce the rank position of your website in the search results if it is not reachable. Hosting on not reliable hosting (especially free hosting) will negatively affect your website, whether you believe it or not. Period.
But how to decide between different web hosting companies? Start with hosting review websites that offer consumer ratings. Only websites that have consumer reviews are helpful. Beside them you will find a lot of websites with just lists of hosting plans and star ranking without any information how this rating is formed. Be careful: the only way to get into "top 10 best web hosting" list on such websites is to pay the owner of the list. Obviously, no objective opinion can be formed from it.
It seems, the best objective list of hosting companies with consumer reviews and ranking can be found on WebHostingBreak.com. Search for the hosting company of your choice in this list and read carefully user reviews (not the self-presentation part!). Some negative comments are OK if they do not go over 5-10% of the total number. It just impossible to satisfy everyone. Sometimes comments are posted by rude inadequate customers, ignore such comments if there are only few of them. But be careful if the number of such comments is too high.
Secondly, search in Google. Yes, Google knows everything and any mistake ever made is saved in the index for the lifetime. Search for the hosting company name in combination with such words as "experience", "review" or "recommendation". Read articles found and build your opinion upon. Be cautious if no or only few information is found for the web hosting in question. The company can be a nine-days wonder and will disappear as fast as it has popped up.
Thirdly, ask in webmaster forum of your choice for recommendations. Provide the names of web hosting companies in question as well. Pay attention to the answers of users with a high number of forum posts only. Web hosting companies do advertise themselves in forums, but you are not interested in their opinion.
Fourthly, check the requirements of the applications you would like to install. For CMS Made Simple I provide simple check script on this website. Send the script to provider asking him to execute it on the hosting plan you would like to purchase and sending you screen shot back. If there are any failures shown in the script they have to be solved before you register with web hosting.
Ask hosting provider if the failures can be wiped out. Asking questions will also help you to figure out how good support is. By the way, see how the hosting support is organized. Is there any support board on the website? If yes, read the issues and the help answers. Are there any? If a lot of requests are not answered, you are not going to be the next customer waiting for kind support.
Well, you can try it for the beginning, but there are some things you have to consider and be aware of:
- Free web hosting has very slow machines. The load time of the website is often beyond 5 seconds. 5 seconds - is eternity. Count loud up to 5 and imagine that you have to do it with every click on the website.
- Free web hosting does not guarantee that your website is reachable. You lost visitors and search engine ranking is negative affected if your website is "sometimes" not available.
- Free web hosting does not guarantee security and safety of your data. Your data can be lost or damaged and nobody will be liable for it except for you.
- You can not rely on reasonable support if you have problems running your web sites. Free hosting companies can not manage free hosting and free support at once. It is just logical.
- Free hosting offer may expire! Read terms and conditions. In this case you would get an offer to upgrade to the paid hosting or lost all your data.
Free reliable and fast hosting with excellent support is just a dream. It does not exist really, please use your head and save your time trying to promote the website on free hosting or even making money with it.