It goes without saying that a good web hosting service is crucial in the success of your website and your online brand. No matter how good your business is, how awesome your product is or how amazing your content is, it won’t amount to anything if your site constantly runs into problems. Before choosing a web host, it’s important to anticipate the potential problems you might run into and what you can do to prevent them.
Problem: Recurring downtime. This is one problem that is sure to undermine your site, not to mention cause you perpetual stress. Constant outages will negatively affect your traffic and lose your audience. Admittedly, even the best web hosting services will have downtimes. The problem is when it becomes so frequent and worse, when your web host can’t or won’t offer a clear explanation for it.
What to do: Double-check the web host’s uptime claim before signing up. Any web host can claim a 99 percent uptime but it doesn’t always mean it’s true. Look up reviews from a web host’s clients and check their actual websites. Refer to independent review sites but be wary as well of PR write-ups masquerading as reviews.
Problem: Poor customer support. If you do run into problems and technical glitches, your web host should have a good client support that you can immediately contact. Getting a busy tone or having your urgent email unanswered for days is frustrating. It’s also annoying to get vague answers about the complaints or issues you brought up.
What to do: Test the web host’s customer support. If the web hosting service claims 24/7 support, try calling late at night or on a weekend. (Don’t make prank calls though.) Make inquiries about the web hosting package you’re eyeing and other related issues you’re concerned with, and see how they address your questions. If they’re able to give clear explanations and answer your questions well, then that’s a good sign.
Problem: Hidden fees. You might be lured into signing up for a web hosting package by a flashy marketing gimmick offering very low rates. The next you know, you’re paying way more than the advertised price and there are add-ons and extras that were piled into your bill without your knowledge.
What to do: Read the fine print. If you’re availing of a promo, check how long you’re actually going to enjoy the promo rate before the package reverts to the regular rate. Web hosts also offer lower rates if you sign up for a longer period. The lowest advertised rate usually has the longest lock-in period and you have to pay higher fees if you sign up for only three or six months. Web hosts should be transparent and indicate this information up front. If your web hosting service is being shady with their rates and billing system, then don’t hand them your money.
Your web host should be your dependable partner in maintaining your website. They shouldn’t be causing more problems than they’re worth. Anticipating potential web hosting issues and being smart about choosing a good web hosting provider will definitely pay off in the long run.