How to Find the Best Hosting Company

If you have chosen to pay for your Web hosting, you are going to want to make sure that you are getting the best deal that your money can buy. To do this, you will usually need to make a very informed decision before you try a particular company with a free trial. There are many ways that you can find out what how well a company may perform before you actually subscribe with them. Below are a few ways that you can find out if a company doesn’t leave you were your time and money.

Get a Referral

First there is no better way to tell how a company performs than to get word-of-mouth opinions from other people. Although many people value the word-of-mouth opinions from family and friends most, the Internet has brought a way for strangers to share their opinions on everything -- including hosting providers. There are two ways to find these opinions.

1. You can usually find these opinions on Web hosting forums. The people there have usually tried many companies and some are even resellers themselves. Since many of these resellers have went through company after company to try and get the best product for their own clients, then you can ask their opinions of companies that you want to try. Most times you can get the honest answers you are looking for.

2. If you are part of an Internet community that is completely unrelated to Web hosting, you can see if any of the people there have used a provider that they are satisfied with or ask if there are any companies that you should avoid. This will bring even more honest opinions because hosting is not part of your everyday conversation with these individuals and they are people who have given the company a shot as a customer, not a reseller. Most importantly, they have absolutely nothing to gain in return for what they tell you. These are unbiased opinions.

Get a Guarantee

The second piece of advice is to make sure the company you choose has a guarantee on their services. It is good if they have a 30-day no-questions-asked guarantee, but an ongoing guarantee is better. This is where the provider tells you that they will provide you with a certain amount of uptime (usually 99% or greater) and if they fail to meet this promise, they will compensate you. This conversation is usually within their terms before you sign up. Such compensation is usually a credit to your account or a month of free service. This ongoing guarantee ensures that you will always get the best service because, anytime you don’t, they will lose money -- and no company wants that.

A Complete Service

The third piece of advice is to make sure that the company has everything that you need. Since each company has different hosting plans, you need to make sure that you choose the one with the options that you will benefit from. If you need a certain amount of space, make sure they provide it. If you need a certain amount of bandwidth, make sure they provide it. If you need shopping carts, make sure they provide them. The more options your hosting provider offers you up-front, the less you will have to worry about later. Additionally, it may be in your best interest to choose a provider that can give you several options within each of those categories. So, for example, if you need a shopping cart, it may be best to choose a provider that has at least two shopping carts available for you to choose from. This way, if you’re not satisfied with one, you have another option.

An Affordable Expense

The fourth piece of advice is to make sure you don’t over extend yourself financially. Even though you may be able to pay for the first month, make sure that you can continue to pay for this new financial responsibility month after month. This is why an inexpensive hosting solution can be good, because most people will be able to afford $10-$15 per month no matter what happens. This is especially true for people who are running a small businesses online. If you are paying too much and are unable to keep up with payments, one missed payment will take down your entire site and the customers that you do have will begin to look for the competition.

Once you have found the company that meets these criteria, you can then try them out with a free trial or 30-day money-back guarantee. Although you choose not to do your homework on different Web hosting providers and randomly try free trial after free trial until you find the one that is best for you, this method can keep you very busy moving your websites each month and can blow-up in your face customer-wise if you are running a small business online.

In the end, many people will find that the saying ‘you get what you pay for’ rings true. The more you pay for a service, the more likely you are to get great technical support, a plethora of options, and the space/bandwidth to support any need you will ever have. Of course, you also have to be able to afford it. The best advice you can receive is to get the most affordable service you can without sacrificing anything you need. If you sacrifice your needs for a good price, you will only end up resenting your provider in the -- no matter how good their services may really be.