How To Find A Good Web Host?
Usually when someone contacts me online, one of the most frequent questions I get asked is this: "How do I find a good web host?" or "Which web host do you use?"
This is one of those essential things you will need in order to earn that online income. You will need a web site and you will need a web host - somewhere to place that web site.
Sure there are countless marketers who work without a site but most have at least one main site which acts as their online calling card; where people can find them on the web. Of course, you can always use the social networks like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter... but that's like operating your office out of Starbucks!
Instead, a well designed site is just more professional and business like. It also means you're serious about your online business.
Picking a good web host is not easy. I have had numerous different web hosts over the years. Most of them have been very good and served their purpose, but I have had some bad experiences too - what long term webmaster or marketer hasn't? Something always goes wrong eventually, especially if you have a lot of sites and many different web hosts.
Sometimes having a web host can be downright scary. Several years ago, the web host that I had my main site on was first sold and then went bankrupt. One day your site is running fine and the next day the web host is completely gone. Shut down. Your site and all your files completely gone. Vanished. Your host can't be reached. Total blackout!
Fortunately, I had my site backed up on several systems and since that experience I always back my sites up on several computers and I go even further by copying them onto DVDs should those computers crash. If you have a site, I always suggest you back up your site files and make it redundant. The very worst can happen to you.
Overall quality and good 24/7 support should be your first objectives in choosing a good web host. You want a site that's fast, easy to use, rarely down and has good support that you can reach at all times, should something go wrong.
You need to check exactly what features your web host is offering and for what price:
- How much storage space?
- Daily traffic limit or transfer?
- Email system? How many accounts...
- What type of server Linux or Windows?
- How many other sites will be sharing your IP address?
- Do You need SSL or a secure site?
- Are sites/files backed up? How often?
- What are the support hours?
- And of course the Price?
But don't always try to get the cheapest price hosting, keep in mind, you always get what you pay for. A cheap web host won't save you money if it's a poor service and your site is always going down. So don't always pick the cheapest web host.
Match up your hosting service with the type of site you will be running; a simple HTML site will have or make simple demands on your hosting service. So a shared hosting service may be quite adequate to meet your hosting needs. For SEO reasons, you should always check the location of your site, I have found which country your site is hosted in, plays a role in your rankings, especially in Google.
However, if you have a site that's extremely interactive with forums, discussion groups, get large bursts of traffic or you're running a lot of server-side scripts and programs - then you may need a more robust hosting service to meet your needs.
In this case, you might need a dedicated server to handle just your site. Many web hosts offer this service and it's worth looking into if you have a site with extreme amounts of traffic or if you're running forums, affiliate programs, email services... from your site. Most of my own sites are very simple and I have them on many different web hosts. Mainly because of my own experiences, I just don't want to have all my sites on one host... the old "don't put all your eggs in one basket" reasoning.
At the moment I am quite pleased with all my web hosts... many of my sites are on GoDaddy and I find them OK for simple sites like mine. I also find it convenient because they are also a domain registry so I can easily use them to buy my domains. Although many experts suggest you should always keep your domain registration separate from your hosting service because if your host should suddenly vanish, it is only a simple matter of moving your site to a different host. If your host controls your domain, this can be a major problem. Always keep control of your domain in your own hands, but you probably already knew that.
Another web host I use is Bluehost which is very good, can't remember the last time my site was down. They are very popular with around a million sites and my only concern is that they may become too popular and their services will be spread too thin. However, I have had very few problems with them and you can always reach their support.
I also have a site with Ken Evoy's SBI (Site Build It), but I created that one mainly to get access to the enormous resources connected with SBI. It is slightly more expensive than some of the ones listed above, but SBI is an overall online marketing system that in my opinion can't be equaled on the web. Well, perhaps the Warriors group could give them a run for their money, but it's the community of like-minded webmasters with SBI which makes it special. They are always ready and willing to help you out, doesn't matter if you're an experienced pro or a complete newcomer. Several years ago, I took a very close first-hand look at the hosting service provided by SBI. You can find my opinions/review on SBI located in the resource box below.
There are countless webhosts you can choose from when picking a web host. But do your homework, check around to the different forums and see how everyone is rating the web hosts they are using. First-hand experiences are the best judge of whether or not a web host is good and reliable.
Although moving a site from one web host to another can be a real pain, especially if you have a large scale site, but if you're not totally satisfied with a web host and are having serious problems - simply change your hosting. Just make sure you're not going from bad to worst.
Still, finding a good quality web host will be a major chore, no matter how you look at it.
Perhaps, in the final analysis, nothing beats checking with your friends and fellow webmasters you trust. Ask them which hosts they're using and if they're satisfied with it. Nothing beats first-hand experiences when it comes to choosing a web host. Just make sure you're comparing oranges to oranges, that is: make sure you have similar site requirements as your webmaster friends. If you both have similar type sites, then finding a good quality web host can be as easy as having a friendly chat over a cup of coffee.