Over the years I’ve moved around amongst many different web hosting companies. I had my first website in 1998 and at that time the business of web hosting wasn’t as competitive as it is today. My first web host gave me a great deal on a package. It included 25 MB of storage space and 500 MB of bandwidth/month for $29.99/month, plus a one time $39.99 set up fee. Can you believe that? However, today I’m on a much better plan and pay far less than that (obviously).
Choosing the right web host is crucial for your website/blog. There are many factors you need to consider while choosing a web host. Before you select a host, make sure you know their answers to these questions.
- What is their uptime guarantee?
It should be 99.9% or greater, which means their server is only down 0.1% of the time in the worst case scenario. If you rely on your site for an income, you need to make sure it never goes down.
- Do they support PHP and MySQL?
If you’re going to be hosting a blog for example, having the host support this is the most important part of your decision.
- How good is their support department?
Before you commit to buying anything, test out their support response time by e-mailing them with some technical questions.
- What are their Terms of Service?
The last thing you want to do is spend countless hours perfecting your site and then having your account deleted for violating their terms. Read the fine print and make sure you know what you’re getting into.
- Do they have a trial period, or a money back guarantee?
Some web hosts will let you try their service for 15-30 days and if you’re not satisfied will refund your money. Ask their policy on this.
- Should you pay monthly or yearly?
It’s really up to you. If you find it hard to come up with the cash for a year’s worth of hosting up front, it may be better to pay month-by-month. Most hosts offer a discount if you pay for a full year though. Ask if a discount applies if you pay in advance.
My current web host is Tribune Hosting, which provides hosting and domain name solutions. Their plans range from $4.99/month to $14.99/month, with plenty of options.
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