Tips for saving time, money and frustration when it comes to choosing a decent web hosting company
I’m often asked to recommend a good web hosting company, so I thought I’d write a post describing exactly what you should look for when choosing a good web host.
First, I think it’s important to understand exactly how a website & hosting works (just 30,000 foot view)
Although it’s technically very complicated, there are really three main components that make a website work:
- domain name
- website files and data
- web host
Think of it like what it takes to make your cell phone work.
You need the following:
- a phone number (i.e. domain name)
- a phone (i.e. website files/db)
- phone service (i.e. web host)
When I mention there are many crummy web hosts out there, believe me there are… and I’ve used just about all of them. From lousy hardware and servers, cr@ppy software, poor customer support to lack of proper backups, bad web hosts are indeed available to take your money and it’s up to YOU to stay away from them. It is a very important decision you need to make when it comes to hosting your website, so choose a great one when you do.
Quick note:Don’t ever try to host your own small business website.
No matter how many IT guys tell you that they can do it “in house” do a better job, it’s cheaper, safer or that you’ll have more control… don’t believe them. They are wrong! These days there is no room for error. There are so many components involved in web hosting (some that many IT folk aren’t even aware of) It is far better, safer, cost effective for you to leave it to the pros.
So here is an abbreviated list of tips for choosing a decent web host:
- Choose a host with phenomenal support
I can’t emphasize enough how important this is. Sh*t happens on the web and you most definitely will need some help from time to time. Make sure to use a web hosting company that takes their customer service very seriously.
- Choose a host with the proper web-based tools
These tools will allow you to easily make changes additions and deletions to your hosting account. We prefer cPanel webhosts . cPanel is a web-based control panel that allows website administrators (or you) to easily make server-side changes to your web properties. We prefer one host in particular, and I’ll mention why, below.
- Ensure that your web host maintains nightly backups
This means that every five days to backups will overwrite the oldest files. (and make sure to archive these yourself) Meaning download your backups and burn them to removable media ( like a DVD) and keep them safe. How often? as often as you wouldn’t like to have to re-do your work in the event of a hard drive failure.
Don’t base your web hosting decision entirely on price
Like anything else in this world, you’ll get what you pay for. You should give yourself a reasonable budget of $12-$15/month for decent “shared” hosting. If you need “dedicated” hosting, then you’ll be into the $2500 – $15,000/year range (price completely depends on resources and management needed.)
- Don’t choose a company with phone support
WHAT??? WHY??? Because you get layers… layers of non-English speaking, low-level, time wasting support that will *prevent* good customer service. You’ll find that issues that should take mere minutes can take hours on the phone. Take my word for it to be doing yourself a favor… go for web-based ticketing support
Who do we use for web hosting?
Most definitely Acenet. Why? Because of the aforementioned reasons. As a web development team, we need great resources for our clients (we like sleeping once in a while and knowing that our websites will be well protected and online let’s us do just that) We’ve used to just about every wrong host in the world and finally have found a great web hosting team in Acenet. These guys have phenomenal support, terrific servers and uptime, they are reasonably priced and did I mention that they have phenomenal support? :-) Without fail, over the many years we’ve been with them, Acenet’s tech support team have solved most every issue within minutes. (truly) Looking for a new web host? Definitely check them out. You can even have a WordPress site up in just a few minutes.
This is just an example of what Acenet offers:
- 500 GB Disk Space
- 5,000 GB Bandwidth
- Host up to 20 Domains
- Unlimited Email Addresses
- Unlimited Sub-Domains
- Unlimited MySQL Databases
- Loaded with Popular Features
- 24/7 Technical Support
- 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
- 30-Day Money Back Guarantee
- Starting at $9.97/month
- Dual Quad-Core Intel Xeon Processors
- Kingston DDR2-667 ECC FB RAM
- 3Ware 9650SE Raid-6 Controller
- Seagate Barracuda ES Hard Drives
Hope that helps… if you have any additional questions or concerns with web hosting, then hit me below. =)