It never ceases to amaze me just how many people conduct online business in a shoddy and shameful manner. Since the Internet provides a great deal of anonymity, many people try to prey upon the trust that people naturally tend to extend. I guess it does come down to being once burned, you’ll be twice cautious. However, here are 10 tips to follow when choosing your Internet website host.

1.Too Good ? – Possibly the old adage for soliciting three bids – and throwing out the highest and the lowest – can be applied toward selecting a web host as well. More ineffective web host companies provide the attractive lure of extremely low-priced hosting. Some of these prices are too good to be true, and I need not remind you about the old clich about too good to be true, do I? A good rule of thumb might be to ask yourself if you could make a profit offering such an usually low price for your goods and services.

2.Stay Clear of Inexperienced Resellers – Placing your website with a reseller is not necessarily a bad thing or the wrong choice. In fact, many resellers were originally website owners who became so disgusted and so disappointed with the service they received, they decided to do something about it and contracted to offer hosting services – not only for themselves – but for others. Also, many talented website designers have chosen to become resellers offering one-stop shopping to clients, and a solution for effective hosting for their particular web designs. It is very important you always research the company you select as a host, and if you do ask a question about them being a reseller, a reputable one will answer in the affirmative when they actually are. Additionally, many reseller hosts will provide a greater degree of personal attention when the big-time hosting companies do not.

3.Know Your Requirements – Fundamentally, it is the owner’s responsibility to research a web hosting company to see if they can fulfill not only your present requirements, but any future ones you wish to entertain as your needs grow. For example, if you think you may in the future entertain the prospect adding a WordPress-based blog to your business site, make sure you inquire in the beginning if the company can provide the necessary capability to host this format. It’s important to understand just what server-side applications the host you are examining offers to their clients. If you are dealing with a separate website designer, ask this person or company for advice about the necessary requirements for hosting whatever site they develop. Your website designer can help you come up with a list of requirements, or questions, you can pose to a potential host.

4.Skip the Auction – You may want to go back and refer to point number one. Personally, I am not a big fan of buying hosting through an auction site. Although you may get an incredible bargain from a cyber-recognized hosting company, there may be additional terms and conditions that you wouldn’t have in place if you bought the hosting directly from this company. This can lead to a great lack of flexibility if, for example, the terms of the auction do not allow you to make future changes from static HTML to dynamic page construction. Cheap pricing usually comes with expensive limitations.

5.Looks Familiar – If during your online search for a hosting company you land on several websites that look like several websites you have landed on, steer clear of these. Hosts that cannot or will not take the time to create their own design and informational site probably do not have the savvy toward providing experienced and reliable service.

6.Managing Several Websites – If you are the owner of, or webmaster for, several websites, don’t place these all on the same server. If your host company cannot provide separate servers for the websites for which you are responsible, then this limitation may come back to haunt you if you have, say, 10 sites on a single server that goes down. This is especially problematic if you are conducting e-commerce through connected sites. Ask hosts that you examine if they have the capacity to spread your managed sites across several servers. If so, it’s a go. If not, you may have to accomplish this by hiring more than one host.

7.Of Course They Are Positive – No self-respecting hosting company will ever publish negative reports about its service. Therefore, take all those published, effervescent and glowing praises with that proverbial grain of sand. If a host lists customer names with URLs, go ahead and make contact asking about the hosting service. The fact these are published indicates the host has no concern about making contact.

8.Keeping in Touch – In the event of an emergency, a potential web host must have an alternative form of communication since, obviously, contacting them through your website will be impossible. Be wary of any potential web host who will not publish their physical address or other contact information. Additionally, a good web host will provide 24/7 support. If your site goes down and you’re either losing visitors or sales, you definitely will want to be able to talk to somebody in person.

9.Have a Backup Plan – It is important that you have available the most recent version of your website in the event your current host is down indefinitely for whatever reason. You can gain short access to the Internet (24-48 hours) by hiring a different host, but if your images and files are sitting on a downed server, you’re going nowhere. Keep your own backup files.

10.Make Sure it’s Secure – A reliable host will stay current with latest security software reducing any opportunities for someone to hack into your website. A reputable host will keep you up-to-date when they make security additions and changes – not only to make sure you have the latest information – but that you have continued peace of mind concerning the fact you made a wise choice when you selected them as your web host. Use a good deal of common sense and a little bit of research and you should walk away an informed consumer completely capable to make the right choice when selecting a web host.

Want to find out more about Website Design, then visit Ted Smolkowicz’s site on how to choose the best Hosting for your needs.

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