If you choose the right web host for your website it is something that you will take for granted and hardly need to think about again. You never need to give it much thought because your site is always online and there is good help and support available when you need it. Get your choice of web host wrong, however, and it can be a source of grief for as long as you allow it to last.
The problem is that there are just so many web host companies out there now, so how on earth do you know which ones are good and which ones are a nightmare? Well, there are certain basic facts you need to check first, in terms of what services the host is providing at what price. However, finding hosts that offer the kind of package you need and comparing the cost of each one is only the starting point. The web host that looks like the best value on paper is only going to be best value in practice if their service delivery is also up to scratch.
Any bargain offer by a web host company is not a bargain if it brings with it regular down time, technical problems and poor support. To identify the package that is truly the best you need to assess the reliability and support offered by each host. By assessing these things, I do not mean checking out what their websites say they do, I mean finding out what happens in reality by looking into what their existing customers have to say. This kind of feedback is the only kind that really matters.
You can do this by checking reviews and forums to find out what customers who have actually used these hosts think about their uptime performance and their technical support. Any web host can experience technical problems, but what separates them is the quality of technical support you get when things go wrong. Similarly, any web host can boast 99.9% uptime, but how do you know that this is really what they achieve? Look for a report by an independent third party monitoring service, or feedback and reviews from customers.
From customer feedback you will also get a feel for how the host behaves when it comes to exceeding bandwidth limits, etc. There are plenty of stories about certain hosts offering ‘unlimited’ bandwidth, but then taking sites offline for exceeding what they deem to be a ‘reasonable’ amount of bandwidth. Good hosts that offer unlimited bandwidth will normally define exactly what they mean by that.
So your search for top ranking web host companies needs to be a two-pronged approach. Firstly, check out what you are getting from the web host in terms of the nuts and bolts of the package – how much you will be charged for what amount of disc space and band width, etc. Then when you have used these criteria to narrow down your search to what appear to be the best value deals, check out their reliability and real performance by reading user reviews of them.