Communicating With Your Web Hosting Provider

Signing a contract with a webhosting provider is a lot like getting a lease on a new car in the fact that there is a lot of fine print, and you will find out all of the bad stuff after it’s too late. That being said, here are some things to look out for when you are signing up with a new web hosting provider.

1. The Price: If the price is the lowest one you can find, you may use it for a personal website, but never use it for a business. Low-cost web hosting providers always have a catch. Like for example, there may be so many websites on your server that it crashes or gets a virus from someone who hacks in and starts changing FTP files. Remember, cheap hosting is always shared hosting and that means you could be sharing the server with anyone.


2. Your Domain Name: Make sure that you own your domain name. Usually, if you sign up for cheap web hosting, they will give you your domain name to use for free. The key word here is ‘use.’ This means that if you don’t like your hosting company and want to leave, you will have to buy your domain name. If you have a business and you want the domain name to keep, it is always better to buy it up front so that you can take it with you wherever you go.


3. Unlimited bandwidth: If someone offers you unlimited disk space or bandwidth, they are telling an untruth. The reason why we say untruth is because most websites don’t go over a certain bandwidth or disk space and your web hosting company counts on the fact that you won’t either. The limit will be spelled out in your contract somewhere, so make sure you find it and understand that you can’t go over it.


4. Outdated software: Many people don’t know this, but most web hosting companies use a Linux operating system. This is because Linux is open software, which means it is free to have and update. However, if you want to use a Windows operating system and the software that goes with it, you will have to check the webhosting company and see what versions they are running. Windows software is expensive and many hosting companies run old versions hoping you won’t notice. This goes for other proprietary software as well.


5. Free website builders: If your hosting company offers a free website builder, don’t use it. If you change hosting companies, you probably won’t be able to take the website with you because it won’t be compatible with anyone other software. Instead, use WordPress or other open software to build your website.


6. Customer Support and Uptime: These are two things that all companies promise, but never deliver. So don’t count on 100% uptime and make sure that you have a backup of your website in case yours crashes permanently. This way, you can take it to another web hosting company if you need to.