You’ve seen the offers, shared web hosting accounts offering unlimited space and bandwidth for only dollars a month. Remembering the adage, “If it’s too good to be true than . . .”, you decide to do more research and find its not just one price-cutting web hosting giving away the farm, its all of them!
Be wary, shared web hosting accounts have not become that cheap, only the advertising tricks used to lure you into purchasing an account. Web hosts know large space and bandwidth offers look fantastic on the sales sticker, but does the customer little good when it comes to operating the website.
This clever sales pitch lets you believe you are purchasing a shared account with ample capacity for growth. In reality you are being unwittingly shoe-horned into running your website on an over worked, crowded server. The web host wants you to believe they profit from low cost hosting plans by selling in large volume. In truth, the web host isn’t accommodating their growing capacity with bulk discounts on web server purchases but are cramming more accounts onto existing servers.
Identifying Bad Hosts
If you hedge your bets with one of these price-cutting web hosts expect the following:
- your account being cancelled before you reach the space/bandwidth capacity
- slow, unresponsive web pages that lose sales and drive away customers
- non-existent or spotty customer support
- shopping cart emails or auto-generated emails not reaching their destination
- web hosting company constantly changing ownership/management because they cannot pay the bills
- lots of complaints, promises and excuses
How to Evaluate a Host
To effectively evaluate a web host, its best to temporarily suspend any thoughts about space/bandwidth offers. Instead, evaluate a web host based on these more important criteria:
- server performance which encompasses uptime, loading speeds, processing power, database capability, and more.
- how many other accounts share a server versus the total server capacity
- how responsive is customer support
- does the host monitor its accounts for spammers, resource hogs, blacklists
- does the host offer tutorials, articles or additional helpful resources
- do you have personal relationship with web host
Without question, most consider space and bandwidth an important aspect when choosing a web host. After all, why pay more when you can get it for less someplace else. However, additional space and bandwidth for most is luxury, not a necessity. The real success of your website will depend upon its operation. Make sure you choose a web host who isn’t just cheap but is an asset to your website’s operation.