How to pick a Web Host and avoid problems later:
Another example of outstanding customer service provided by www.webhostingforidiots.com
We’ve made this page plain on purpose. You can print this, and put it next to your computer as you search for a web host. You may ask why we put a page up like this. Well its simple:
Every day we have people call here with some sort of problem caused by their hosting company. We can’t stress enough that, even if you choose another hosting company, you need to know the answers to these questions.
We’ve seen domains registered wrong. They weren’t provided a username and password. We’ve had some who’s files have just mysteriously disappeared. We’ve seen companies that have just mysteriously disappeared. Others have been down for weeks. And, there are some that are taken off line for billing errors that are the hosting companies fault. On and on and on goes the list of how hosting companies screw their customers, and, frankly, we are tired of seeing it happen. So, even if you don’t choose us, but can find yourself one that is decent, then maybe you won’t have these problems.
Now, we aren’t trying to scare you. We just want you to be aware and to make an informed decision.
So here are a few rules:
Rule 1: Every web host is not created Equal: Know what you’re buying and don’t just find the cheapest out there. If I had a nickel for everyone who has ever said its all the same thing, why should I pay more…
Well, truth be known, its not all the same thing. If you generate revenue off your site, how much does down time cost you? If you think there is a problem, wouldn’t it be nice if someone answered the phone? And, if you are getting all this extra, what aren’t you getting? Is there a fee every time you call? Is your name being sold to marketing lists to generate extra revenue? Sure, everyone wants the best deal, but if you pay for a Yugo, there is no room to complain when it doesn’t perform like a Cadillac. So ask yourself this: How important is this major investment in your business to you? How much is piece of mind worth to you? How much is reliability and having someone care if your site is up and running worth to you?
Yes, competition has forced hosting companies to offer large spaces and huge amounts of bandwidth. But in doing so, are they limiting how fast your site can go, how many people you can have visit, and in effect, limiting the growth or success of your site? Remember, it’s all give and take.
Rule 2: Size doesn’t matter. What matters is reputation. In fact, the bigger the company, the more they forget the meaning of customer service.
Check the BBB. They will give you a good feel for who’s out there and who’s had problems. See if they have complaints; how many in the last 3 years? Did you know that if you researched the largest hosting companies, the majority have been kicked out or have been kicked out in one city only to take out a membership in another? If you are unsure, look for BBB’s reliability seal or call the BBB. Sites that legitimately display the seal are subject to strict guidelines to retain their membership.
Rule 3: Know all about what your doing with your domain registration and know how to get back into your account. Treat this like keys to your house or the title to your vehicle. It’s that serious!!!!!! Wouldn’t you hate to build your business only to find out you don’t own the name or don’t have the authority change the information.
Rule 4: Don’t believe everything you read. Recently, we found a site that professed that they were objective judges of hosting companies, worked in the industry, and had no affiliation with any hosting company. Guess what? It was an affiliate site, and they were being paid for every site they referred to the hosting firm. Do a whois search on the company and see how old the domain is. If it was registered last week, be very suspicious that it is just a front for another company. Find out who these people are before you do business with them and before you give them a cent. Look for testimonials and see if these are real live websites or just words typed in and attributed to Bob Smith or Bill Jones. Do this even large computer manufacturers that offer hosting. Make sure it’s not someone who has just purchased someone else’s name and is trying to sell under it. Resellers of less than stellar companies are all over the internet. Don’t be fooled.
Rule 5: Don’t sign up just because your webmaster says so. Again, this goes back to know who you are doing business with. We have many sites that webmasters sign up and then they vanish. Poof. They register it to themselves, they own the domain and bam, they drop off the face of planet. Then, your name is nowhere to be found, giving you no legal rights to a website that you bought and paid for. Make sure you know who is hosting your domain. Make sure your name is on the account with the host and on the domain registration.. I would say that this rule has no exception!
We have also prepared a check list for you below to use as you do research on these companies. This truly is a buyer beware industry. Yes, there are some very good companies out there, big and small. Just make sure you try to find them if you don’t like what we have to offer.
We can’t stress enough that, even if you choose another hosting company, you NEED to know the answers to these questions.
Click here for a completed version of the ACTWD family of websites.
|Yes||No||Do I own my domain?|
|Yes||No||30 Day Money Back Guarantee|
|Yes||No||If I cancel after the first 30 days, will I get a refund of the time I haven’t used?|
|If No, what is the policy:
|Yes||No||Are their penalties if I go over my space?|
|If yes, what are they, and how is it calculated:
|Yes||No||24 Hour Live Support|
|Yes||No||Email Support Only|
|If yes, what is the normal time I should expect an answer:
|Have I tried it? How long to get a response?:
|Yes||No||Have I called to see how long the hold time is?|
|How long did I have to hold until I get a representative
|What Kind of Servers:|
|How Much Ram:|
|How many sites per machine:|
|How long in business:|
|Better Business Bureau: Have I checked their file, do they have complaints?|
We strongly urge you to take a minute or two and research any web hosting company you are going to do business with. The #1 complaint the BBB receives is regarding internet related companies. Remember there are no consumer protection laws with web hosting companies like there is with the some other utility companies you may already deal with. It’s up to you to protect yourself. The info is easily found online and may save you hassles in the long run.