Whatever type of product or service that you are in the market for, there are a few golden rules as consumers that we should try to remember before we make any type of commitment or purchase. Choosing a web host is exactly the same and those same principles should be applied.
These principles include:
Shop Around – You should never just plump for the first product that you come across. You wouldn’t dream of going to a car showroom and picking the first car you clap your eyes. Firstly, you should do a lot of research on the type of car that you want to buy. Then you would look at which web hosting companies can offer that type of car and how the prices compare, whilst taking into account the key factors like mileage, bodywork condition, service history etc. You should follow this same pattern when it comes to selecting a web host.
Test/Trial – If you are buying clothes you would generally try on the item before making a purchase to make sure it is the right fit and looks good on you. Some web hosts will enable a trial so that you can see how it works for your website before committing to signing up for it. After the trial you might see that it really isn’t the right fit for you and you need to go to a different web host altogether.
Read Reviews – Reviews have become a major part of decision making for many types of purchases.
All web hosts will be able to tell you how excellent their service is because they want to sell it to you. Going back to the car sales example, if you’ve ever bought a car from a second hand dealer then you may have come across people who would try to sell ice to eskimos. They will happily sell you something that has underlying engine problems or overprice the car to make a tidy profit for themselves.
When it comes to web hosts, they aren’t going to tell you where their service lacks compared to their competitors so you’re going to need to find some unbiased reviews that will give you an overview of all of the top hosts. It will also save you time if you can find a comparison table that pulls a summary of all the key performance statistics together, or look for information from authoritative sources like university studies that you know aren’t biased.
There are lots of technology experts that will regularly publish reviews or opinions of websites and web host, so find them.
Understand the product – Reviews are great if you understand them and with web hosts it’s not as easy to understand all of the different features. If you’re buying a car you would do a bit of research to find out what some of the terminology means if you’re not already familiar with them: BHP, MPG, etc. aren’t common knowledge to someone new to cars so it is wise to find out what they mean and how it will impact your car’s performance.
Web hosting reviews can use lots of technology jargon that isn’t clear to a novice, so if you’re not sure what something means like Uptime for example, then make it your business to understand what it means so you can make a more informed decision when it comes to selecting your web host.