Many newbies are so confused when they first start a website, they usually end up making a mistake or two when choosing a web hosting service provider. One of the most common mistakes is looking only at the price tag and ignoring some very crucial aspects that later can have drastic effects on their success.
Fortunately, this guide is here to show you what you absolutely must be aware of when choosing a web host. If you make sure to avoid the below mentioned 5 mistakes, you can rest assured that your host provider won’t stand between you and your success.
Mistake 1 – Falling for “Unlimited” Storage Limit
This is a mistake that even more experienced people usually make. Most web hosting services advertise themselves as offering unlimited storage and bandwidth. While every sane person would believe that this means that there’s no limit to what they can store or how many visitors they can receive (after all unlimited means “without limit”), this is unfortunately not the case.
You can only receive unlimited traffic and store unlimited data if your website operates under “normal circumstances” as defined by the web hosting service. This usually means that as long as your receive little to no traffic, they really provide you with unlimited numbers. How generous of them… However, the moment your websites becomes successful and starts receiving serious amounts of traffic, your costs will increase as well.
So to avoid this mistake, I suggest you read the “Terms of Service” very carefully, and if you’re still not sure you should contact the customer support of the hosting service.
Mistake 2 – Not Choosing a Host With Hassle-free WP Installation
Statistically speaking, more than 90% of people use WordPress for starting a website or blog. Chances are, you’ll be one of them. So if you want to be able to install and run WordPress from your hosting account as quickly and easily as possible, it’s important to choose a service that offers one click WP installation. A perfect example would be BlueHost or HostGator.
Mistake 3 – Ignoring Site Backups
If you’ve been using a computer for more than a few months, you know that accidents can always happen. It’s the same with the servers your future hosting company operates, so you should make sure that they offer automatic and secure site backups in case any glitch happens.
Sure, you can back up your site by yourself using various WordPress plugins, but those methods usually require more money.
Mistake 4 – Overlooking “Limited Email Accounts”
Since most web hosts offer unlimited email addresses and accounts, it would a shame if you settled for a company that limits this number. Also, you should make sure that their webmail interface is easy to use and that they offer Google Apps integration, since that can make your life a lot easier.
If you can’t figure out this by yourself or they don’t mention it anywhere on the website, you should contact their customer support and ask them these questions directly. And this leads us to the next and probably most important mistake…
Mistake 5 – Not Checking Customer Support Before Purchasing
I probably should have started the list with this mistake at the top, since this is undoubtedly the most important aspect you should consider when choosing a web hosting service. This is the thing that can make or break everything.
In every site’s “life” their will be more than one occasion when you want a glitch to be resolved. It happens even to the most professional websites, it’s not something you can avoid. Therefore, it’s of utmost importance that you can solve every glitch that arises very quickly, without ruining your visitors’ experience.
The customer service of your host should be live and offer very quick responses. Also, the personnel should actually care about your problem and want to solve it with all their determination. I guess you don’t want to discover that your site is not working properly (ex.: it’s not accessible) only to find out that even your host provider doesn’t respond to your messages.
How can you know whether a company offers great customer support or not?
First, you can read reviews about the company at Google if you type in hosting company + review into the search box. This will usually bring back forum threads and other reviews talking about the customer service of the company and whether they’re satisfied or not.
And another, probably better, way is to contact their customer support yourself before purchasing any hosting plan. This way you’ll have first-hand experience with dealing with the company and you can decide for yourself whether they lived up to your desires or not.
Bonus Mistake – Choosing an Unknown Hosting Provider
And finally, as I said in the beginning, one of the most common mistakes people make is choosing a hosting provider based on the lowest price. You can imagine that the cheapest services are not the best, and if you choose them you’ll probably run into most of the mistakes I was talking about so far.
So don’t let any company lure you in with very low prices or ridiculous claims (such as 100% uptime).
Also, read the fine print so that you don’t purchase a service which you won’t be able to leave for 12 months or so.
It’s sad, but it’s true: if something sounds too good to be true, it probably comes with problems like these.
Conclusion: How to Choose the Best Web Hosting Provider
If you keep these five aspects in mind, I can guarantee that you won’t fall into any pitfalls. Also, if you take away only one thing from this article, make it Mistake # 5 about customer support. It’s usually a perfect indicator of how honest and reliable a web hosting company is.
And finally, if you’d like to get a concrete recommendation, I think the best web hosting company is HostGator or BlueHost. They fit the bill on all counts in my opinion, so you can’t go wrong by signing up for them.