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How to Find an Affordable and Reliable Web Hosting Provider.
So your new web site is finished and ready to be hosted, now it is time to choose a web hosting provider. How do you find a reliable web host that is also affordable for your new web site? Below are some of the pitfalls to look out for when choosing your next web host.
Problems occur, it is inevitable that there will be some downtime caused by server maintenance alone, a reliable web host will not only maintain your server will but also find problems with your server and fix them quickly, a web host that is not as reliable and one you will want to avoid is a host that has poor downtime, downtimes measured in days are unacceptable.
Reliable web hosts will answer support questions timely fashion (within hours) and appropriately, the last thing a customer wants to hear from support when there is a problem with their hosting is "that there is no problem". If support takes days to answer support questions, they are definitely not worthy of your business and you should consider another web hosting provider.
If your site relies on a feature such as mail to perform daily duties and it is down, it can cost your business a loss in revenue or a loss in time, problems with databases is another feature to be aware of, reliability of databases is paramount in this day and age for any business.
Be careful of hosting providers with billing problems, things to look out for when evaluating a web host are reports of overcharging, hosts not honouring money back guarantees, and hosts not cancelling automatic billing after you have cancelled your hosting account.
How to Research Web Hosting Providers
Finding web hosting providers is all too easy these days, enter in "web hosting" into your favourite search engine and you will given a list of millions of web hosts, but after you have trimmed down your list to the features you rquire and the price, how do you find which web hosts are reliable?
Read the Web Hosts forum
What is the general feeling of the forum, are customer's questions answered satisfactorily? Don't be overly concerned if all you see is problems, generally the only people who post on forums provided by web hosts are the people who have problems, the customer's that don't have problems for the most part don't post at all. The main thing we are looking for here is how quickly a customer's problem was resolved.
Read Reviews of Web Hosts
Look at how web hosts are rated against other web hosts on review sites, if you see a trend across review sites saying a particlar host is better than another, there is a good chance that this is the case.
Check the "About Us" or "Company History" page at the web site, look for how long the host has been in business, a host that has been in operation for more than a few years is a good indicator that the host will be around for a long time to come.
Where are the companies servers housed, do they run their own in house hosting, or is it housed elsewhere where it is being run by a 3rd party? What are the uptime statistics, a good web host should publish a link to an uptime monitor, or should give you a link to one if asked.
Send Pre-Sales Questions
The answers to your pre-sales questions can tell you a lot about a prospective host, firstly you will see how long the company takes to reply, and once you recieve the reply, how well they commuinicate. You should ask questions related to the points above and also ask questions that relate to your specific needs.
About the Author: David J. Smith writes about Dreamhost and other prominent hosts at Webhost-Advisor.com