Tips for Deciding on a Good Web Host! An Expert’s Perspective


Choosing the correct web server is crucial to the success of your website. The success of your website, whether for a company, e-commerce, fan site, or hobby, depends mainly on the host you select. How do you know who to trust with your website when there are so many web hosting businesses and packages to choose from? If your website isn’t meant to generate revenue, then you need a hosting service that won’t go bankrupt, making sure it’s always online and has a support team that’s genuinely there to help you when you need it.

The first stage in locating the ideal host is to determine your needs. Think about how many people you expect to visit your site monthly, what content you plan to have (static pages like HTML or dynamic automated range via scripts like WordPress or Joomla), and how much disk space you need. You probably already know most of this if you have a website, but if you’re just getting started, don’t worry if you don’t. As a beginner, you probably won’t need more than 500MB of disk capacity, and 5-10GB of bandwidth should be more than enough. Ensure the package includes access to a database if you intend to operate a personal blog or message board; ideally, you should select a host to access at least three databases. A tiny, basic package from most hosting providers should suffice for now. You may need more bandwidth if you intend to market your website to a large audience or if you operate a company or online store. Before committing to a web server, it’s essential to ask about its capacity for expansion. You can upgrade to a more robust plan if your website is outgrowing its current server environment.

The next step is to establish a financial plan. How much money can you spend on online hosting, if any? Don’t let your host determine your spending limit for you; set it before you start looking for a host. Remember that you need a dedicated web server to keep your site online and assist if you encounter any issues. It can be costly to maintain dependable servers and a constant support team. Have a realistic budget that accounts for this, please. Don’t give your hard-earned cash to hosts who promise the universe for a few bucks—you’ll end up disappointed. A decent web host should cost you no more than USD 6 per month for a starter plan with 500 – 2,000MB of storage space and 5,000 – 10,000MB of bandwidth. However, not all servers selling their packages at this price are up to snuff.

Do not fall for marketing tricks, slick websites, or claims stated online. The UNLIMITED sales pitch is currently the biggest issue in the hosting business. No respectable host would provide you with limitless services. That can’t be done. Web servers are just “heavy-duty” machines, like any other, with RAM and Hard drives. How long has it been since you purchased a PC boasting an “UNLIMITED” hard drive? Bandwidth could theoretically be infinite, but only if one had infinite resources. Most hosts that advertise limitless storage and transfer “oversell” their servers. This allows them to accommodate many users on a single computer.

What you paid for in terms of storage and bandwidth is what they resell to other clients. The services they provide are available to everyone, not just you. If you take advantage of all 25 GB of storage space or more than 200 GB of bandwidth per month, your site will be shut down for “abuse,” and you will lose access to the “unlimited” features. The terms of service (TOS) are a huge secret in the hosting regulations. Despite their “unlimited” advertising, some hosts restrict your data transfer to 500 MB in their terms of service. They may also limit the types of files you can host on your site, stating that only HTML files are permitted. There will be no media of any kind. You can share and use the files, but if they take up too much of your disk space or bandwidth, they may terminate your account because you abuse their service. This is just one of many shady practices that are the standard operating procedures for unlimited hosting providers.

Find a provider that won’t try to push you beyond your comfort zone. One gigabyte (GB) of storage space and ten gigabytes (GB) of monthly bandwidth should be more than enough for any personal, small company, or hobby website. Your site’s popularity will cause it to require more bandwidth, and when this moment comes, you can increase it by upgrading your package. Every server has a dashboard where you can monitor your traffic and storage consumption in real-time.

We now understand your needs, your financial constraints, and the types of providers you should avoid. The search for a possible web server has begun. Perhaps you already have some online businesses in mind. If not, you could inquire around with people you know for recommendations or warnings. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can discover hundreds of thousands of potential web hosts by searching on Google or Yahoo. Most top search results for “Hosting review sites” will lead you to credible resources that can help you limit your options. These sites may be affiliated with affiliate networks that pay a commission if you sign up with a specific host, or they may be paid directly by the hosts to post particular types of reviews. You can discover potential hosts in any way that works for you.

The next step is to do an in-depth study and evaluate the web hosts on your shortlist. Make sure they have a plan that is within your price range first. The server provider’s contact information should be easily accessible via phone, email, or a ticketing system. Make them aware that you are considering using their services and are a prospective client. Inquire about their uptime, reaction time to support tickets, and so on, and make sure you fully understand what is included in their hosting packages. If all else fails, ask them how simple it would be to switch to a more suitable plan should your current one prove inadequate. The question tests their response time, so the answer is usually affirmative. You are testing the response time of a server to your question. This is an excellent indicator of how quick their potential assistance is. You can also try submitting a complaint by sending an email to or by entering a ticket on their website. Sometimes they’ll prioritize answering sales inquiries over helping existing clients. It would be best if you always read this. If you want to see how quickly a support ticket is handled, submit it as a prospective customer. If your site were to go down at 1 in the morning, you’d want to know if they’re available to help you out at any hour of the day.

The next step is to conduct a Google search on the company; to do this, input the company’s name followed by the word “review” (for instance, “ review”), and you should see at least a few reviews. Always remember to use caution when reading online evaluations. No matter how trustworthy, any business will eventually receive a negative review. Find as much customer feedback as possible.

Many hosting providers guarantee happiness for 15, 30, or 45 days. That’s how long you get to “try them out.” You can cancel anytime and receive a complete refund if you don’t like them as a host. Find the small print and study it carefully to ensure no hidden fees or other terms will prevent you from getting your money back if you don’t like the service. Checking to see if a host offers an uptime guarantee is also recommended, as this will give you an idea of how often your site *might* be unavailable due to server maintenance. With an uptime of 99.9%, your website *could* experience 45 minutes of downtime per month. Be cautious of hosts boasting a perfect uptime, as every piece of technology eventually breaks and needs to be fixed or replaced. If a server only guarantees a 95% uptime, your site could be unavailable for as many as 30 hours a month. By today’s norms, this is entirely unacceptable.

Try to find something with extras or perks. One-click script installation for numerous helpful applications like message boards, WordPress, and many others are among the additions some hosting businesses provide. Occasionally, you may find bonuses such as free advertising vouchers worth $25 or $50 on platforms like Google AdWords or Facebook Advertising.

Find out if they provide website copies. If a server or hard drive fails on their end, your site will be lost. If they have backups, you can rest assured that your site will still be accessible in the case of a catastrophe. Keep regular backups of your website as a precaution. The significance of regularly creating a copy of your website cannot be overstated. Never assume that someone else will take care of it for you. Despite assurances to the contrary, not all businesses will have your site’s copy in the event of a catastrophe. Even if your web provider suddenly disappears or goes out of business, you won’t lose too much data if you’ve backed up your site. Everyone who owns a website absolutely MUST do this. The server company’s assistance is a bonus and a third safety net if anything goes wrong.

You’ll be well on your way to finding a good, solid host that will serve you well for years if you follow these steps, use some common sense, and understand that no one can offer you unlimited anything, particularly for a few bucks a month.

Coish, Cameron

Computer System Manager.

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