Top 10 Tips to Compare Web Hosting
I’m going to go out on a limb and wager that most people probably wouldn’t buy a house or car without comparison shopping online. Heck, you probably wouldn’t buy a $70 pair of sneakers without shopping around. Yet many of us think nothing of moving forward with a web hosting agreement with no sense of what the average going rate is, and no true grasp of what we’re ultimately paying at the end when the next renewal invoice comes due. Compare web hosting before making your selection. Although websites exist primarily online without a storefront, they do indeed cost money. So, choose a web host by comparing their features and experience.
Americans’ attitude toward web hosting is, at times, laissez-faire when you consider the average webmaster spends $100 a year on it — too big a cost to overlook.
Best web hosting rates
One of the most costly mistakes? Assuming that the attractive discount that catches your eye and influences you to sign up — if you’re lucky enough to have one — is always going to be available for you to count on, later on down-the-road when your billing cycle is over. Depending on your web host and where you are in the calendar year, it may make better financial sense to forgo an up-front discount and pursue a more expensive web hosting plan in order to lower the net out-of-pocket cost that will occur as time goes on.
Or for the surprisingly low number of webmasters on the W3 that are lucky enough to find a web host with discounts that are recurring, take advantage of discounts that are advertised at random times throughout the year. Transfer your domain and move your site to the new host in order to grab the recurring discount. Some web hosts allow you to lock-in a low rate. Most do not! Compare web hosting rates because some of the web hosts out there will do a “bait and switch”.
While some webmasters saw significant increases in eCommerce throughout the last year, it was not an indication that web hosting fees will be reduced. Website hosting is not an easy thing to choose. Compare the web hosts out there and examine their resume. And pay attention to important tips.
Ten tips – Choosing a web hosting provider:
Choose recurring discounts.
Pay attention to the fine print when choosing a web host because of discounts or promotions. Some web hosts will offer attractive pricing only to sneak in a clause that says something to the effect of “Pricing reflects 20% off first invoice.” What does this mean? Well, when your web hosting account comes time to renew, the price will jump to a higher price leaving you surprised and bewildered when your credit card statement comes in.
Choose a web host that offers discounts that are not due to expire after the first billing cycle. Select a web host that offers recurring discounts. Note: most web hosts offer a discount for the first term, but have hidden text that says “contract renews at regular rate”. GreenHostIt grandfathers discounted prices into their program. This way there are no surprises and your web hosting account renews at the same discounted rate.
Choose a web host that offers server-side security.
The top web hosting firms offer hard-wired firewall’s, software firewall’s, proprietary anti-virus and anti-spy ware software, back-up power supplies, lock-down server rooms, elevated servers, staff background checks, algorithmic encryption, redundancy and the latest in updates and upgrades. Does your web host offer McAfee security on their web site? This is a tell-all sign that your host takes security very seriously.
Choose a web host that offers free private SSL.
Some web hosts do not offer SSL certificates, or they offer only “shared” SSL certificates. If you are running an online store, you will most likely need your own private SSL, so choose a web host that offers it for free with their upper end web hosting plans.
Choose a web host that offers dedicated IP addresses.
A private/dedicated IP address will be beneficial for SEO, better e-mail delivery, and allow private SSL certificates for secure eCommerce.
Choose a web host that offers domain registration and domain transfers.
Many people choose to pay for their own domain registration simply to avoid conflict over domain transfer and to keep their future web hosting options open. It is not mandatory to transfer your domain name from your current registrar to your new web host in order to host your web site, but it is much easier to manage your domain and your hosting under one roof.
Choose a web host with North American technical support.
Pick up the phone and call. Does your web host transfer their phone lines to a call center in Bangalore? If so, you might want to re-consider that web hosting firm. Choose a web hosting provider that offers US-based and available 24/7/365.
Choose a web hosting provider that offers free site-building tools and content management systems.
Many of the top web hosting firms offer site building tools, content management systems, blog software, bulletin boards, hundreds of site templates or a complete blank slate. You don’t have to buy extras when you plan ahead and select a web host that offers these goodies. Some of the most popular ones are Joomla, WordPress, and Drupal.
Choose a web host that offers unlimited web hosting.
How much disk space do I get? As much as you need. As much as you want.
Choose a web host that offers green power generation.
By utilizing a green web hosting provider, not only are you doing your part to minimize the negative effects that the Internet has on the environment, but you are able to market your web site to your clients as “hosted by green power”. This could be a good trust builder for those clients that are on-the-fence.
Choose a web host that has experience in the internet hosting industry.
A seemingly unstoppable numbers of new web hosts are entering the market every day. Therfore, it is beneficial to choose a web host that has experience in the industry.
Perception is reality on the world wide web. If website visitors perceive that your web site has integrity, and your delivery of services or products demonstrates that you’re a trustworthy businessperson, you’ll see more and more repeat sales. This is true even if you lose money on a return on that first sale.
Build trust with site visitors and you’ll build business with site visitors. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. To build trust, you need a web site that over delivers in terms of up time, speed, security, and of course – support.
See, that wasn’t so hard. Pick up the phone (assuming there’s a telephone contact option) and start asking questions. The fact is, your web host is your on-line partner. Compare web hosting before you make your selection.
Pick a good one.