One web host looks the same as any other, right? They all show similar plans, look pretty similar and are similar in price. Here is a random example. If you have ever looked for a web host you know most hosting sales pages and plan details look a lot like this one. So, if all web hosting companies seem pretty much the same it’s probably okay to just pick one that looks good and go with it, right? Wrong!
There are certain traps and pitfalls when buying hosting that you should be aware of since you are likely to make them without even consciously knowing about it.
Here are a lot of the common traps you want to make sure to avoid:
1. You choose a web host with bad customer service
Most web hosts look alike and say what good customer service they have but saying they have good support and actually having good support is totally different. You don’t want to find out customer service is bad or incompetent after you sign up for your account. You want to know that before you sign up.
Before you sign up give the company a call and ask them some questions about their products. This is really important and can help you decide whether they will provide good or bad support when you need it.
2. You opt for a free or low cost hosting service
Is a free host too good to be true? Maybe. Not every company that offers free hosting or very cheap hosting is a scam you do need to be careful. A lot of times what you think you are getting with these services differs from what you actually are getting from these services. They need to make their money somehow so if they are offering free services how are they doing it? In most cases, everything you want or need will cost money and is a ‘paid’ extra. Want your own domain name? It’s an extra cost. Want to avoid ads on your website? It’s an extra cost. All of these ‘extra costs’ add up. For low cost hosting reliability is often a big issue meaning your website may not be online 24/7 like you want it to be.
If you are hosting a website that is the identity of your company and the potential location for client conversions, think very carefully before going with a free or low cost web host. Don’t be penny-wise and pound foolish when getting your website.
3. You use one host for multiple related websites
This is a cardinal mistake that can take your web presence tumbling down in an instant. You may have several websites for your company. One website may cater specifically to the online presence, while the other may be a blog or an ecommerce site. In addition to google potentially not liking this arrangement thanks to Panda and Penguin, getting them hosted all on one server may not exactly work in your favour on a technical front either. This is simply because an error in the working of the hosting service will cause damage to all the websites that you have hosted. None of the websites will be available and this can be disastrous when it comes to client conversion.
4. You haven’t matched your web host with your requirements
You may have designed the perfect website but if your web host account doesn’t give you the disk space, bandwidth and programs that you need to run your website effectively and easily you are going to be in a world of hurt.
While this isn’t a list of every mistake a person can make when looking for a web host it does hit the major ones. Although web hosts can look similar, many times the similarities are skin-deep. Just like in real life you don’t want to be fooled by a pretty face, it’s the same with web hosts. Look under the hood before you buy and you will be a lot happier with your choice.