This guest post has been contributed by Mariana Fang Lin.
I have been a blogger for well over five years and yet I am sometimes rudely shaken by some kind of blog outrage or other. There are things I now realize I must have known but did not. Three issues I consider to be of utmost importance. These are web host server capacity, after sales service including uptime and cost.
1. Web Host Server Capacity
Normally most web hosts provide server space which we take it to be all there is to web hosting. When some hosts proudly declare that they give unlimited space, we are happy. But there are more aspects to server capacity than space alone. You must also find out the capacity of internet backbone to which your server is connected. This is critical because your data is going to flow through this communication channel. If the bandwidth is narrow or there are too many clients using the same channel, visitors to your blog will experience deterioration in performance. The download speeds would be compromised as a result of it. This is something which you cannot live with.
2. Unlimited Hosting is Not Truly Unlimited
Though it may sound tempting when a web hosting company says that they offer unlimited space for your website. You should know that it’s not truly unlimited. But if you are running a blog, the space they offer in unlimited is more than enough. It’s the bandwidth that matters for most of the blogs out there. When the traffic increases you site needs an upgrade in the hosting as well.
3. Server RAM capacity
This is a factor which we as bloggers never care about. Even I never bothered about it, till recently, when due to inadequate RAM, my friend’s blog, along with the server it was hosted on, went down like a rock. This happened because the server could not handle the load or traffic. The server, as a result crashed causing downtime. Unfortunately, my friend lost all the data and had to rebuild the blog once again. This can always happen to you. Remember to find the specifications of the machine in which your blog would be hosted.
4. Finding the Hosting Service with Highest Uptime Record.
Keeping a website always up is a tough and very important job you want the hosting companies to perform, because a single minute of down time can cost you a number of sales. It is very important to look for a hosting service that has a reputation of giving the highest percentage of up time. Almost every company out there claims to have 99.99% uptime but a little research will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
5. After Sales Service (Customer Service)
I have been following the web hosting scene for long and this is one aspect which causes me to freak out. Why is it that web hosting providers are all milk and honey before we sign the check and disappear an instant later? When there is no one listening to your cries when your blog is in a crisis, you feel like killing all the guys out there if you manage to catch them. But the after sale service guys behave like Rip Van Winkle and vanish from earth.
The best way to know about your web host is to ask existing users. The brochures and pamphlets provided by the hosts must not be relied on fully. Doing a quick online search can also be helpful. If service is bad, there would be traces of complaints left on the internet.
6. Cost of Hosting
The buck always stops here. I don’t recommend that you must go for the cheapest provider. At the same time there is no point getting robbed. There must be a balance between cost and quality of service. Obviously none of us can afford a dedicated server of our own. Again, overcrowded servers must be avoided. Taking care of the three essential features, which I have described, would generally keep you out of trouble.
While there are many more things you should know about web hosting before buying, there are few web hosting companies that we have tried on our own and recommend you signing up with. You can check out the hosting deals page to get best hosting at the best price.