When checking reviews, watch for red flag items like:
a) Complaints about customer service
b) Complaints about down time
c) Recent complaints that seem to be in a cluster (this can signal a server overload caused by growth pains)
d) Complaints about viruses and other security problems
e) The best terms to use when searching are “complaints against XYZ hosting company” and “blog post review of XYZ hosting company”. More than likely, you’ll quickly spot those reviews that are written by the company or that are a paid review and be able to weed those out from the rest of the reviews.
I highly recommend checking out "Review Hell" if you want no crap, but genuine reviews about web hosting companies.
There are thousands of web hosting companies -- the services that essentially connect your site to the internet. So how does an entrepreneur choose the one that's right for his or her business?
To ensure that your hosting company supports your business needs and doesn't create unnecessary hurdles to your website's success, you first need to understand the major types of hosting. Then, consider some basic criteria to help choose the best plan for you.
Types of web hosting plans: As you begin shopping for a web hosting plan, you'll encounter a number of different types, including the following options:
Individual plans. These are the most affordable options. Individual plans are sometimes referred to as "shared hosting plans" because they share space on hosting servers with other webmasters. When webmasters outgrow the features made available through these limited plans, they will need to upgrade to ones that grant companies their own servers. Typically, these plans provide hosting support for a single domain only and may limits the features, bandwidth and data storage. So, they are often best suited to beginning webmasters who don't anticipate significant traffic or special needs for their websites.
Dedicated servers. These plans will cost more. If you anticipate growing to a size (Traffic and bandwidth) that eventually requires this upgraded option, be sure to choose a hosting provider that offers both types of plans and allows for account transitions.
Reseller accounts. Reseller hosting occupies a special niche between individual plans and dedicated server arrangements, allowing clients to set up multiple individual plans within a single account. Reseller plans typically cost between $10 and $20 a month and are best suited for businesses that anticipate running several small websites.
What to look for in a hosting plan: Once you've decided on the type of hosting plan, consider these issues in choosing a specific provider:
Cost. While it's important to look for a hosting provider that offers reasonable rates, avoid free hosting programs entirely, as they may be unreliable and their low costs are often subsidized by required on-site advertisements.
Customer reviews. Customer reviews can be an excellent resource in evaluating web hosts because any fly-by-night host can put up a professional-looking sales page and make bold promises. Search for multiple reviews from current or past customers because a single positive review could have originated from the company's own marketing department.
Customer support. Whether you're a beginning webmaster or a more experienced digital business owner, you'll want a dependable customer support team behind your web hosting plan. Things can and will go wrong on your website's backend, but getting support when you need it can go a long way toward minimizing any potential damage to your business.
Look for companies that provide 24/7 phone support, email access and online chat. Before committing to a plan, test out each of these features to get a feel for how well your needs will be met.
Storage and bandwidth allowances. As more hosting plans begin offering unlimited disk space and bandwidth, this may not be a concern for your business. But it's still important to be aware of any limitations to ensure that your plan has enough space for your website to operate effectively.
Script support. One final consideration is the hosting company's built-in support for popular web scripts. Say, for example, you want to run WordPress on your website. Some hosts offer built-in script packages that make the installation of this popular blogging platform a breeze. Other hosts limit the number of MySQL databases that can be created, which you'll need to run WordPress and other programs.
What happens if you choose the wrong webhosting provider
1 LOST REVENUE AND DAMAGED BRAND – When your website is down, potential customers will not be able to read your blog post or buy your products and services. This means that you sell less than you could have done. Recently, Amazon’s website was down for 40 minutes which cost them roughly $5 million dollars. In addition, customers expect to visit your website when they want. If your website is repeatedly down they might associate your product’s quality with the availability of your website.
2 LOWER SEO RANKING – Whenever a web crawler of a search engine (e.g. Google) visits your website, it collects sufficient data to rank your website relative to others. If your website is repeatedly down when the web crawler comes to your website, then this will decrease your SEO ranking. As a consequence you will get less free visitors from search engines. Aside low availability, many SEO experts believe that a slow website can also hurt your SEO ranking.
3 LIMITED SECURITY AND DYSFUNCTIONAL SERVICE – In case of limited security measures (or the ability to encrypt personal or business data) offered by a web hosting company, your website might be at risk of being attacked and damaged. Now, imagine your webhosting provider needs 2-3 business days to respond to your security problem and maybe doesn’t immediately solve the problem. This is an annoying situation that costs you time, money (e.g. lost revenue) and nerves.
Here is a list of webhosting companies I strongly advised your avoid at all cost:
Arvixe, Bluehost, Dot5Hosting, FatCow, Homestead, HostGator, iPage, NetFirms, just to name a few.. be aware of a company known as Endurance International Group (EIG)..
and the reason why? Check these informative websites:
1) The Linux Depot
2) Research as a hobby
3) Web Hosting Secret Revealed: