Choosing the right web hosting company has never been trickier – all of which is the result of a billion providers all claiming to be better and cheaper than their rivals. And of course, things are only likely to get even more convoluted as time moves forward, which is why as of right now…as in mid-to-late 2015…it’s crucial to know how to weed out the chaff and gun straight for the good stuff.
Free Domains – Gimmicks to Avoid
More often than not, when you are offered the chance of taking up a free domain, you never actually come close to owning it. Instead, it remains the property of the actual owner who may soon enough decide the time has come to charge you a fortune to hold onto it or give you the boot. When a domain is either free or too cheap to be the real deal, ask questions about ownership and renewal fees before signing up.
Disk and Bandwidth Terms and Conditions
More boring that watching paint dry as it may be, you need to read every word of the terms and conditions in relation to both disk space and bandwidth. The reason being that promises made on paper don’t always add up to a sweet deal when put into practice. Disk space and bandwidth may both attach so many ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ that it’s only a matter of time until you hit a brick wall.
Unlimited Storage (?)
There’s one glaring problem with any web hosting service that continues to advertise unlimited storage as of 2015 – there’s no such thing. Quite literally, unlimited storage is a concept that doesn’t exist in any way, shape or form as if you pile enough data into any source provided by any service provider, sooner or later their systems will explode. Of course, they may be able to offer more storage than you’ll ever realistically need, but to advertise unlimited storage is in every respect false advertising as there’s no such thing.
A quick point but an important point nonetheless – always make sure that no matter which hosting provider you go with, you do your own manual backups rather than just relying on theirs. They may have the most robust of backup systems in the world, but none are wholly impervious to disaster so it’s a good idea to have your own backup as a safety net.
Never, under any circumstance make up-front payments when it comes to trialling the services of a new hosting company for the first time. If they’re asking you for more than a few dollars max to at least see how they perform, you’re taking a huge risk by going ahead.
Beware Long-Term Contracts
Last but not least, long-term hosting contracts are becoming something of an out-dated concept these days as most allow their subscribers to keep things going on a non-binding month by month basis. The simple fact of the matter is that unless you have 100% trust and confidence in a hosting company you know isn’t going to let you down, long-term contracts are risky. Not only this, but they’re sort of pointless too these days.