How To Choose A Web Hosting Company

Written by NaijaEcash

Topics: Entrepreneur, small business

How To Choose A Web Hosting Company

If you are wondering how to choose a web hosting company, then read this article. There are thousands of web hosting companies doing business online. Each one have mouth watering hosting packages and makes reassuring promises to keep your business online 24/7. Making a choice among these can be quite difficult. How can you know the one that will truly provide your business the much needed excellent hosting solution at an affordable price?

Web Hosting Server

Web Hosting Server

Big business enterprises can afford to own their own web hosting servers or pay for dedicated web hosting servers. This is not an option for most small scale entrepreneurs. Small scale business owners especially the home based business owners often have to make do with shared web hosting due to their small business budgets. This article is meant to provide help for such entrepreneurs.

What are the qualities to look for in a web hosting company?

1. Excellent Customer Support: Your hosting provider should be there for you 24/7 and give you instant access to the technicians you need to solve your problem. Ask them how long it takes for them to typically respond to your problem. A good test is to call them in the mid night to check if you get to a live, level 3 support. There must be provision for Live Chat as this tend to be more efficient in helping to troubleshoot website issues than phone calls or email. Go ahead and use their ticket system for pre-sale support, taking note of how many hours it takes them to attend to you. If their response time for sales is slow, then you can be rest assured that their response time for technical support will most likely be worse.

2. A Sound Infrastructure: Check whether they offer a multi-homed network powered by multiple bandwidth providers to ensure redundancy. Some offer a 100% guarantee on its network availability or network uptime. Getting information about this is not easy though. You may need to spend some time doing research about the web hosting company you have zero on. Read reviews and comments about their services in forums. Avoid website previews as they are often bias. A good place to get information about webhosting companies and their performance is webhostingtalk.com

3. Financial Stability: If you’re running very critical operations, you can’t afford to be with a hosting company that may not be in business in a few months. Check to see if the web hosting company is a one-man business being operated from a bedroom. There is nothing wrong with doing business with such as long as he or she is a reseller for a reputable web hosting company. However, you will be doing yourself a disfavor and courting trouble if you host your business website with a sole-proprietor who owns the servers he is using for business. Web hosting servers cost a lot of money and as such cannot be easily run by small scale business. Incorporated businesses tends to be more reliable.

4. Scalability: Be sure your web host company can easily upgrade your hosting package as your business grows. There should be provision for migrating from shared web hosting packages to dedicated servers or virtual private servers. Ensure the web host can accommodate e-commerce and storefronts, wireless capability, blogs, forums, chats, online interactive helps and anything else you may need to add onto your site as your business expands. The last thing you want to do is change host mid way. It is never an easy nor smooth experience moving your website from one hosting company to another.

5. Provision of Regular Backup: Ensure that the web host company is willing to make regular backup of your website which will be kept on a separate server. This will help to reduce the recovery time in case of a server failure. You need to make enquiry about this as some web host may deman extra payment to provide such service.

Pitfalls to avoid in choosing a web hosting company

Avoid like a plague, free or very inexpensive web hosting services. They often end up creating headache and heartache for entrepreneurs, with bouts of server downtimes. As a small business owner, you don’t want to start spending hours on phone or chatting to find out why your website is not up. Having paid for the web hosting service, you will love to focus on your core business and grow your business. Chasing after web hosting technicians and doing follow-up on support tickets will not increase your revenue. Also note that you are likely to have significant limitations in storage, number of email addresses, FTP upload, ability to install scripts etc when you choose a free web hosting company or a very inexpensive web host.

Avoid web hosting companies whose data centers are located in volatile areas. You don’t want to loose your online business website due to civil unrest in the location where the data center of the company is located.

This post is not a review of any web hosting company. Therefore there is no link to any web hosting company. If you have experience you will like to share as a user of web hosting services, kindly share it in the comment section below. You can get future updates to this post, How to choose a web hosting company by subscribing to my RSS feed. Cheers.

19 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Rene says:

    🙂 thank you for the advice 🙂 I read this post and now I am ready to choose my web hosting :)) but do you know some popular hosting companies 🙂

  2. I’ve currently signed up a web hosting company for my client, the performance for the web hosting company is kinda lousy, I do mean the downtime, quite frequent. Anyway, the signup cost is low, if the downtime keep like this, I’m going to ask for refund.

    Anyway, nice tips on choosing a web hosting company, I’ll be following these tips to get the next web hosting company for my client. 🙂

    Regards,
    Lee

  3. Thanks for the post. Sound analysis. But there is no webhosting company in Nigeria. We only have resellers. I’m one too. The one I subscribe to are very reliable and affordable since 2 years now that i have been using their platform.

  4. It is not necessarily true that free hosting services should be avoided like a plague. Some premium web hosts do offer some sort of free hosting as an incentive for new clients and make money through other means.

  5. I agree with you Niyyie. But you would withstand their marketing pressure to for upgrade. I’m speaking out of experience.

  6. I mean to say “you will be bombarded with emails and aggressive follow up for upgrade.

  7. @ADAMA J. ADAMA,
    I think there are many people used Hostgator even they’re from other countries, Hostgator is reliable and you can try this, I’m going to subscribe too. 🙂

    Regards,
    Lee

  8. mma shorts says:

    I think one of the most important aspects of a good webhost is their support team and how responsive they are. Dreamhost is best support in my opinion, they answer emails right away.

  9. Naijaecash says:

    @mma
    I agree with you that the response time of a web hosting company is very crucial.
    If the support service of a webhosting company sucks, nothing can make up for it.

  10. shagufta says:

    The topic which you have discussed is very informative as well as valuable for all…Thanks for providing this information for us….
    WEB HOSTING

  11. Hostmot says:

    Those are very nice tips you have written up there. I hope people get to follow them.

  12. This is one hell of a comprehensive post on web hosting. Really detailed and I’m jealous. lol. I’ve got something similar scheduled on my blog but it ain’t as good as this one.

    If you’ve got the money go with Hostgator. They are quite pricey but TOTALLY reliable. The only setback is that you’ll be subject to screening as a Nigerian. I ordered using Zenith Mastercard Websurfer but the order was rejected until I presented scanned copies of my international passport and mastercard websurfer. It’s been almost 8 months now and I’ve got absolutely no complains about them. Emails get responded in as little as minutes in some cases. I’ve even prepaid for another year of hosting with them.

    Beware of Nigerian web hosts. I was trying to launch a blog focused on solely Nigerians and decided to go with Utiware.net’s 3,500 naira offer. Till date, I’ve been unable to install wordpress and their customer service has been useless. It’s been 2 weeks since I asked for a refund and nothing yet. At a point I was even insulted that I didn’t know my way around the net and that their servers were in top condition only for them to turn around and apologise that they were having some techical difficulties, which BTW are yet to be fixed. I thank God I only lost 3,500 naira to them but I’ll definitely be blogging about them to warn others.
    Shine your eyes well well oh!

    P.S: 100% uptime guarantee doesn’t exist as far as I know. It’s more like 99.99% uptime guarantee.

    P.S: Your blog is the first Nigerian blog that really demands my respect and I’ll be adding you to my blogroll soon. Most Nigerian MMO blogs are just filled with sales pitches here and no real value. Will definitely stay subscribed to your blog’s feeds.

  13. Brenda says:

    I think this blog post was probably a awesome start to a potential series of articles about this topic. Most bloggers act like they understand what they are talking about when it comes to this stuff and most of the time, nearly no one actually get it. You seem to really dominate it however, so I think you should take it and run. Thank you!

  14. Afam Orji says:

    Great articles keep it up.

    @ Chukwudi

    That you had a problem with Utiware does not mean all Nigerian host companies are like that.

  15. bimbolady says:

    I too was weary of nigerian web hosts, but a friend introduced me to qservers.net, 3 years and 5 websites later, still there with no worries. Nigerian hosting companies are OK, if you get the right one. I’m happy i can go to an web hosts office in lagos instead of a host in US, where i can’t go in case of an emergency.

  16. thanks Naijaecash,
    that’s a great article from you.

    It is not advisable to just jump unto hosting services without a simple and personal research about the site services.

    and one need to read their TOS (Terms of Service) first.

  17. Idiaro Rasaq says:

    I’ve got quality information from this page….thanks everyone

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