When you are looking for a home for your web site, you may be tempted into going with the first company to offer you 99% uptime and a cheap price for lots of space. Unfortunately, there are many web hosting companies out there who look legitimate, but are really only interested in taking your money and running with it. But with so many bogus companies making their deals look legitimate, how can you possibly tell one apart from another?
Contracts are one important aspect to look at closely when trying to determine if a web host is for real. A host who only offers long-term contracts may be one to avoid. After all, there’s no reason to enter into this type of contract when there are so many other shorter-term contracts available. As well, many hosts offer short-term trials so that you can see if you like them before you buy. Not having that level of choice should raise some red flags.
Watch also for the terms used in the advertising you see for web hosts. Are their terms logical? For example, a host that requires payment in advance for a block of time may be one to think twice about. The same is true for those sites offering many benefits and features for a low price. Any time a host asks for advance payment, think about why they are doing business in this way.
And although a host that also offers domain registration services may appear to offer something that increases your convenience, beware. This could spell trouble down the road if you want to switch. There are many stories which tell of web hosts who held sites and domain names hostage when a customer wanted to change companies. There are also stories about companies who deleted sites entirely when a customer expressed their desire to move on.
The history of a company will also speak volumes about it. Find out whether or not the host has testimonials from legitimate clientele. Better yet, if you know someone, whether friend or family who has worked with the host and had a positive experience, this can help to make your decision much easier. In addition to the above, check to see what a host’s history is of resolving issues that a customer had with them. A company with many unresolved issues may not be the company for you.
Many would-be site owners flock to hosts that offer unlimited bandwidth. But this can mean many different things. Just because something is unlimited, doesn’t necessarily mean that you are getting the best deal possible. Most times, the reason hosts can offer unlimited bandwidth is because they already know how much bandwidth their customers use on average. As well, there may be rules for how customers can use their unlimited bandwidth.
There are certainly many traps to be aware of when searching for a site host. But as you navigate the sea of web hosting sites, being sure to consult as many expert sources as possible will help you to avoid the pitfalls of a company that only wants your money.