The right web host is an important part of your website’s success and needs to be chosen carefully. Poor customer service, downtime, slow speed, and security breakdowns can be frustrating and take up a lot of your resources and time. To avoid this, avoid the following mistakes.
1. Committing to a full year of service with no refund guarantee
If you have no previous experience with a web hosting company you should never commit to a full year with them. This would entail you paying an advance fee that you may not be able to get back if you change your mind or do not enjoy their service. Although some web hosting providers offer “money-back guarantees”, there are loads of web hosts that make it difficult for you to get a refund. So, if they provide a bad service, you might be stuck with them for the entire year and this can negatively impact your website.
It is good to test out a web host’s products and services for a trial month before committing long term. It is also important to note that most web hosting providers do not offer refund options for beginner packages. Always go with one that has a clearly outlined refund guarantee. A good hosting firm will happily refund your money or switch/upgrade web hosting plans if you need it as it is in their best interests to keep you happy.
2. Selecting the wrong hosting plan
Before selecting a web hosting plan, you need to be clear about your website’s requirements. Is it a basic website with very basic content? Or will it be loaded with lots of content and see large amounts of traffic? If you project heavy traffic to your website, then you will be best served with a dedicated server plan or VPS hosting as opposed to a shared hosting plan. Always choose the right plan for your requirements to avoid wasting your time and money.
3. Overlooking the quality of customer service
You are dealing with technology, so issues are bound to arise even when you are with a great website host. When this happens, you would need to get the help of your web host provider. A hosting firm with poor customer service would mean you would be left to sort out the issues and challenges on your own.
Even though they may have advertised 24/7 support access, before committing to a web host, test out their customer service response. You can draw up a list of questions not answered on their website, then test out all the support channels – live chat, phone, email, sending in at least one of your questions.
4. Prioritizing price above quality
While you may be considering selecting a web host because of the price of a service they offer in order to save money, this would be wrong. More often than not, quality doesn’t come cheap. Going with the cheapest option may leave you with a hosting plan that doesn’t match your website requirement. In order to avoid this and keep your site functioning, you should only go with a reputable web hosting service. This will only happen if you carefully explore all the options available and not choose based on price.
5. Not reading the fine print
This is one of the most overlooked parts during the web hosting provider selection process. If you do not carefully read the terms of service that come with your intended web hosting plan, you are most probably going to end up with a lot of issues. This is more common with unlimited hosting service plans which include limit caps to the amount of resources that can be used in the terms of service.
It is also good to understand the term of your web host’s mailing policy – that is the number of emails that you can send per hour. The terms of service also include the web host’s refund policy. Do not rely on the banner “90-day free return” or “30-day trouble-free return” – Always read through the actual refund policy listed in the terms of service.
6. Falling for the 'unlimited' gimmick
A lot of shared hosting web providers will bombard you with ad messages promising unlimited access to resources such as bandwidth, storage space and so on. This outlandish promise is used to quickly draw in more clients and it is completely untrue. Unlimited storage or bandwidth is only a myth. All shared hosting providers servers have a capacity threshold and will usually not function optimally if there is more demand on the servers that it can handle.
This would lead to downtime problems, slow page loading speed, and poor website performance which can have a negative impact on your website and brand’s reputation. Studies that have been done in the past indicate that over 40% of internet users would abandon a website that takes over three seconds to load.
They never consider web hosting issues and just want a fast loading site all the time. How do you avoid this? By always reading web hosting plan specification and paying special attention to limits and restrictions. This will paint a clear picture of the actual configuration and help you to determine if it would match your requirements.
7. Free web hosting
Free web hosting services are not bad for a group or hobby type websites and blogs – even though this type of service usually comes with pop-up ads and banners and is not search engine friendly. Although there are a couple of good free hosting services, finding good free web hosting plan is difficult. Free web hosting services are not to be relied on when it comes to availability, speed and uptime. And because they are free, you have no legal ground to compensation if you suffer downtime or your site crashes.
With free hosting, you would also most probably not have access to free databases and great customer support. In addition, a free web hosting plan can also negatively impact your credibility especially if your web address reads something like this – www.site.get-free-hosting.com/yourdomainname, as opposed to a standard web address like www.yourdomainname.com. In other words, you get what you paid for, so do not expect much from free. It is better to go with the inexpensive web hosting options available.
Conducting proper research is the best way to avoid selecting the wrong website hosting service. Remember to read all the details so you are not greeted with unexpected surprises. Research the firm’s security measures and uptime scores. Don’t forget to read the terms and conditions and test out customer service to cross out all doubts.