Choosing a Website Host

You've put a lot of thought into which web development firm to trust with your new site, which content management system is best, etc. But as for website hosting? Many people assume host providers are all alike, so cost becomes the deciding (and sometimes, only) factor.

But your mama was right when she told you, "Sometimes, you get what you pay for."

goddaddylogo.jpgUnfortunately, it's a lesson millions of GoDaddy customers learned the hard way earlier this week when their websites and email services were down for several hours. While any host may be susceptible to outages, our experience with Godaddy has been one of poor customer support. A company's reputation and response to crisis are more important than the fact they're cheap.

So what should you consider when choosing a website hosting service? Price is, of course, important. But here are some other factors you should not ignore:

1. Recommendations: If you have friends or colleagues who also manage websites, what company do they use? Has the experience been a good one? Would they recommend the company?

2. Support: Pick up the phone and call the support line. Were you able to connect with a real person? It's best to find out if you have quick access to help before you actually need it. Also, compare what types of customer service avenues you have - just email? Telephone during business hours only? Live chat? The options can vary from company to company.

3. Services: When comparing host providers, make sure you consider all the services included in the package. How do the storage space and bandwidth limits compare? If you exceed your limits, will you be charged? How much? What security features and backups are included?

4. Advertising and ethics: Is this a company with which you want to associate your business? Sometimes the way a company advertises itself can tell you a lot about the mindset of the company's leadership. Do you want a company that tries to draw you in with ads depicting scantily clad women, or one whose advertisements focus on customers service and dependability? We know what we'd choose.

Still have questions about choosing a website host? Let's talk.