You need a new web host. You do a Google Search for “Web Hosting” and you feel a little overwhelmed by the 252,000,000 results Google presents in return. Admittedly, choosing the right host can be a overwhelming endeavor – no doubt. Now what? You pick a couple of web hosts and look at their websites, investigate pricing and hosting features. Now more confusion – all these web hosts pretty much look alike. Same pricing (though sometimes prices are $0.50 higher or lower), same features, same bandwidth and disk space and even the website design looks somewhat familiar going from host to host. It almost makes the impression they are running their web hosting business of the same blue print or the same manual.
Now, where do you turn to find a new web host? While you can use one of the many web hosting comparison websites (including my own list of web hosting recommendations), the best way is usually to follow the recommendation of a friend or family member. Personal recommendations are the best way to pick a new web host.
But when these personal recommendations are missing, how can you choose the right web host? Use common sense, spend some time researching and then create a list of 3 possible web hosts you like to try out. Verify that each webhost offers a money back guarantee and then move forward. Using a web host that offers a money back guarantee is important as it allows you to leave quickly without occurring any cost. Important in my opinion is the choice where you register your domain name. I personally do not want to be tied to a certain web host by registering the domain name I use through the web host. I prefer 3rd party domain name registries like NameCheap as an example. I keep control over the domain name. If I would try a new web host and have my domain name registered through the web host, they might either keep the name or charge a higher than normal price or make it really difficult to leave. What good is a money back guarantee if you have to leave your domain name behind?!
So, register the domain name at NameCheap (or if really necessary at Godaddy (be warned of the many upsells Godaddy has)), then work your way through the list of 3 web hosts that you like to try. Keep a good backup of your website so that you can easily move to a new web hosting provider as needed. Some web hosts offer better pricing if you pre-pay for 12 months or more. While this is a good deal, you might want to go month to month first and once you like a web host, contact their billing department and switch your payment option and pre-pay. Or at least pick the lowest pre-payment option and then upgrade later on. Do not let the lowest price force you into a decision you do not feel comfortable with. Every webhost will want you to stay and so it is never a problem to change your hosting plan option later on.
Here are my 3 favorite web hosts at the moment. Feel free to make them your list of web hosts to try out.