How to find a Good and Reliable Webhosting

This post is part of a series. To read more posts from this series go to “Creating a Small Business Website“.

There are thousands of companies out there offering cheap and affordable web hosting but not all of them are good. It is important that you go with a company that offers reliable and affordable web hosting. Then again, they all claim to be reliable and affordable, how do you find out?

I go for word of mouth. I was working on a small website for an NGO and my agreement with them included web hosting and domain name registration. Normally I go for DreamHost which has proven itself very reliable to me. But a friend of mine had used Bluehost recently so he suggested that I should give them a try. I did and I have found another reliable and cheap webhosting solution. But you shouldn’t just go for what your friends say, make sure that you do check out reviews and packages before buying them.

First of all you should never go for the advertising jargon most web hosting companies use on their websites. Instead, you should carefully monitor their offerings. Compare packages and read their descriptions carefully. There might be some words that would confuse you but don’t worry lookup for them in web hosting glossary or search the web. While comparing packages you should pay attention to:

  1. Bandwidth and Disk space. To make sure that it meets your needs. If you are going to upload lots of audio video files on your website than you need more bandwidth and disk space. But since hardware is becoming cheaper every day so all good web hosts offer quite enough disk space and bandwidth for a medium sized popular website to run swiftly.
  2. Do they offer you to add additional domains and subdomains. This is important because at some point you might want to add additional domains and subdomains. like for example you might want to add an extra customer services website under your main site. If they do not offer you to do that freely than they are a bad web host. Dreamhost offers me to add as many domains and subdomains as i want to my existing hosting package.
  3. How many email addresses they offer. You might need this if you start offering email accounts to your clients or staff.
  4. Do they run latest PHP/MySQL. Since you will be using a CMS and most open source CMS use PHP and MySQL and most web hosts support PHP and MySQL. But some lazy web hosts use older versions which might cause you trouble while installing or upgrading your CMS.
  5. What support options they offer. do they have help pages, do they offer email and phone support. You should make sure that help is available whenever you need it.

 

You can find answers to all these questions on their website but if its not there you should email them for the answers. I would say that you should email them any way because it tells you how quickly they respond to user queries. Ask them questions and make sure that they satisfy you with their answers. If they don’t then move on to the next web host.

After that you should check out forums such as Webmaster World and Ozzu Web Master forum. These forums have sections for web hosting related discussions where you can ask other web masters to advise you chosing the right host. Most probably someone has already used their services and you can hear from the users directly how they found the services. There are also many websites around that offer user submitted reviews of web hosts. Web Hosting Geeks is one such site.

Web Hosting and Domain Registration are two different things. There are many web hosts that offer free domain registration for your hosting period. But some times a Domain is not included in your web hosting package. I would say that you go for the web host that offers Domain Registration with hosting, but if your prefered web host does not offer this then you will have to register a domain name elsewhere and then redirect it to your web server. It is very simple and most of the time your web host will assist you with that.

Or if you want, I have connections with Dreamhost and I can talk them to offer you a special deal as an special Easy Life subscriber. Drop me an email if you want the details.

I have carefully handpicked a few webhosts some of them I have used personally and others are considered reliable in the market. But you are once again advised to review the offerings and package details to make sure that you are buying the right services.

  • DreamHost: This website is hosted with Dreamhost. We have used them and found them very reliable. They have great customer support with wikipages and user forums, you can also email them, or telephone them. They offer unlimited diskspace, bandwidth, add your own domain names and subdomains, unlimited email accounts.
  • Bluehost: They also offer unlimited diskspace and bandwidth and enough email accounts and mysql databases. They have good support options and I have used them for a client once and my clients are satisfied with their services.
  • Yahoo! Web Hosting: Yahoo web hosting for small businesses is just as reliable as it gets. It is a little more expansive than the previous two hosts but they have great features to justify the price tag.
  • AN Hosting: They are in the market since 2001, they offer you reliable installation and upgrades to many popular content management systems such as wordpress, joomla, drupal, b2evolution, etc. You add 20 additional domain names, 500 GB disk space, 5000 GB bandwidth and unlimited MySql databases.

 
All above mentioned hosting services also offer one free Domain Name registration with their hosting packages. Remember that you should do your homework before signing up with any webhost including those listed above. Let me know if you found some other reliable web host and we will add them to this list here.

This post is part of a series. To read more posts from this series go to “Creating a Small Business Website“.

Published by Noumaan Yaqoob

I am a full-time WordPress blogger, I write tutorials about using WordPress, WordPress themes and plugins. Need help with your website? Feel free to contact me.

Comments

  1. Nice step by step guide!

    To enhance your list, I am thinking about adding the “location of hosting”. If the targeted users of the web site are from certain location or country, it is always good to have the web hosting located at that place for a better user experience.

  2. […] Finding the right web host. […]

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