Choosing A Good Affordable Host

Avoiding The Lure Of The Cheapest Hosting Package
It’s a common mistake that Webmasters will plump for the cheapest possible hosting package. The lure of hosting multiple domain names with unlimited bandwidth and more features than you could reasonably dream of using is obvious. However, the reality is often very different. Hidden charges are common with cheap hosting and it is almost equally common to experience technical difficulties that have a serious ill effect on your website’s performance. If your website is down then there is no way it will be performing as well as you’d hope after all.

Pay For What You Need
Before you start trawling the Internet looking for the cheapest deals you can find, you should consider the exact features you need. If you only intend to build a small website with no downloads and very few web applications then you have to consider whether you need to consider hosts that offer masses of web space. By limiting yourself to the features you actually need you will be able to choose a more affordable host. On the other hand, do not under any circumstances, miss out on a feature that is absolutely necessary just to save a few dollars every year.

Factors To Look For
Affordable hosting packages can range from a couple of dollars a month to ten or twenty dollars a month. While all websites operate on a budget of some description you have to ensure that by trying to save five dollars a month you don’t essentially cripple your website in the process. Some hosting companies are able to provide a better service than others; they are by no means all equal. One of the most important factors to look for regardless of any features on offer is the network uptime guarantee. This is the amount of time that the host guarantees the network will be accessible. You should attempt to find a hosting account that offers at least 99.9% but many can offer more than this.

Doing Your Research
The technology and equipment that a host uses is also important but this is all essentially useless if the network administrators don’t know what they are doing. Try to find out as much information as you can about them. Look on the pages of the host’s website and also read as many reviews as possible. This will help you determine whether they have multiple Internet connections, whether they employ high quality technology, and how quickly they resolve problems when they arise.

Unfortunately, it is more than likely that any shared host will suffer from periods of outage. In most cases they are planned and your host will provide you with some kind of warning. The most important aspect is to ensure that any downtime is dealt with quickly and accurately. Again, the only real way of finding this out is to do a little research. Contacting the host themselves can provide you with some invaluable information but they are unlikely to tell you if they perform badly. Research the site on the Internet and always take advantage of any references that are offered.

Future Proofing Your Needs
Websites have a tendency to grow over time. It is not uncommon to add new pages and new resources on a regular basis. While a hosting package might offer exactly what you want now you should aim to future proof it to some extent. Consider paying for a little more bandwidth and disk space than you currently require but always make sure that you are able to upgrade your account easily should the need arise.

Keeping Documentation
The worst of the hosting companies employ some despicable billing practices. While the money can usually be clawed back, without the proper documentation you might struggle to win your argument. Always keep copies of your billing and any form of receipt you have for your payment. Paying by credit card affords you a very good level of protection in the event of any spurious payments and also allows you the opportunity to dispute payments.

Cheap Hosting Summary
Once your site is being hosted it becomes much more difficult to make the move away from your current hosting service provider. By doing as much research before committing to any package you should be able to effectively ensure that you won’t need to make the troublesome change to another host at least until your website demands it. Shop around to find the best provider and the best deal for you, but never base your entire decision on price alone or you are likely to pay in other ways.