Finding the right hosting company is no less complicated that finding the right realtor or insurance agent. There are so many of them out there that the task can be overwhelming. The search “hosting company” in Google results 128 million results. Searching for a needle in a hay stack seems like child play compared to working your way through the seemingly endless number of results.
Asking people you know about hosting companies is a simple way to narrow your search. Don’t settle on the first company you run across. Research, do your homework. It can save you a lot of sleepless nights knowing that a reliable hosting company is hosting your web site. When you search on the Internet visit forums small business owners frequent and ask for advice.
Beware of so called hosting review sites. Many of them are affiliates of hosting companies only interested in signing up as many people as possible. The value of a review on such a site is zero. It is like asking a used car sales man for an unbiased review of a car on the lot.
One of the greatest facts about online business is that it is available to your customers twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week. At least you would hope so. Reliability is measured by uptime. Uptime refers to the percentage of time your Web site is available to Internet users. 100 percent uptime is ideal, but it never happens. The closest you can get uptime to 100 percent the better.
Hosting companies often claim 99.9 percent uptime. Unfortunately, the real number is usually lower than 99.9. Actual uptime is difficult to determine since most of the statistics are self-proclaimed. Often, uptime refers to servers not the connection to the Internet. It could be possible that your server is running while being disconnected from the Internet.
You will unlikely find a hosting company where you never run into any problems. On occasion you will rely on support to resolve a problem. Therefore, support is one of the most important aspects of a hosting company. Never settle for a hosting company that doesn’t offer 24/7 support. It is not enough to have 24/7 support. It has to be phone support. Some hosting companies boast about 24/7 support on their web pages, but when you read the small type you’ll find that it is only e-mail support.
Don’t take their word for it, check for yourself. Call tech support, and see if you can get through. If you are on hold, how long is the wait? If you can’t get through, or are treated disrespectfully, you should look for another hosting company. There are more-and-more hosting companies mushrooming up every day, and you shouldn’t settle for low quality.
Free Web Hosting
It is possible to get free web hosting accounts, but you should avoid them for several reasons. Free hosting is great for individuals or hobbyists, but it is a poor choice for a business Web site. Free hosting accounts make money with advertising. Normally you have to have a banner ad at the top of every page. Avoid free hosting accounts if you are serious about succeeding online.