Check List for customers
A web hosting client looking for a new web host should check a couple of things first before signing up. Also – if you are a web host – what questions can you expect from your future clients when they research your business? The following list is a beginning – it is certainly not complete, but it might be a good start.
1) Where is the company located? Whom are you actually dealing with? Is it a sole proprietor or a corporation? How much information can be found on the company’s web site? You can also research information in public registers or just even ‘Goggle’ for the company name to see what kind of results come back. How long is the company in business? Only do business with a company that has nothing to hide.
2) Where are the servers located that will host your web site? Are the servers leased or owned by the company? Try to choose a web host that has servers close to your geographic location and/or close to the geographic location of your customers if you run a business. For the United States you can choose basically any location on the continent for your web site location. Also – a company that owns its own hardware might have advantages over leased equipment – it depends on the big picture.
3) Does the web host chosen offer a money back guarantee? If so – you can test drive their hosting packages for a while and then deciding if performance and service live up to the promises of the company.
4) What do extras like additional disk space or bandwidth will cost you? If you reach the allotted limits – how is that being handled and what does it cost? Can you upgrade to the next package without penalties? Extra used bandwidth should reasonably priced. If a company charges $6.00 for each additional GB bandwidth, I would consider a different company for my web hosting.
5) Is support available 24/7 and how can you contact support? Is there an online helpdesk? Does the web host eventually have an online community where clients help clients and where you can ask simple questions? How long is the average support ticket open before being solved? Try it – send a test email or support request and see how long it takes for the web host to reply?
6) What technology is being used? What server hardware will your web site be on? How much RAM memory does the server have? Who’s the maker of the servers (Dell, IBM, Compaq/HP or self-made)? If you feel uncomfortable with the self-build servers – decide to go with a different web host.
7) How about backups? What happens when the server crashes? Is your data safe? How can you access backups (if at all)?
8) Ask for specials and/or if you would qualify for a special if it gets released within 10 days after you sign up or an account.
9) Is a domain name included with the hosting package or how much does it cost if purchased through the web host? Who will be the owner of the domain name if it comes with the hosting account? Make sure your name and your contact information is the main one for the domain name registration.
10) What features do come with your hosting account? Will there be an online control panel? Any add-on scripts? Ask and also read through the entire web site of the web host.
11) There is only one chance for a first impression. If the business does not look professional – stay away.
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