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Linux Containers Authors: Samuel Scott, Mike Kavis, Tim Hinds, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan

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Thoughts on Web Hosting: Five Web Hosting Mistakes to Avoid

If you’re anything like us, you are somewhat obsessed with web hosting, web hosting technologies and web hosting solutions. From dedicated servers, to VPS solutions, to knowing how to get FTP access into your server’s control panel, having a healthy obsession with web hosting (we believe) is good for the soul. With this in mind, we wanted to take a few moments to speak with you about what to look for in a web hosting solution and more importantly, how to avoid making some terrible mistakes.

1. Reviews, Reviews, Reviews

Whatever you do, don’t let all the good reviews you read on a particular web hosting service be the end all of your web hosting search. When looking at web hosting reviews, you have to understand that the vast majority of reviews are used as marketing tools and sales pitches to attract new clients. Whether a review was penned by a prominent digital destination due to a sweetheart deal they have with your review provider of reading choice or whether the review itself is written by the web hosting provider’s content team, be weary of all the reviews you read.

Quick Fixes: Instead of looking for dedicated web hosting reviews, look for genuine reviews on forums such as www.webhostingtalk.com (WHT) orhttp://www.sitepoint.com/forums/. In the web hosting industry, companies live and die on these forums. From the comments forum goers post to the threads regarding web hosting hardware, web hosting companies live and die by the information being shared on forums like the aforementioned.
Another quick fix to getting hit over the head with a nonsense laden hosting review is talking to a few webmasters. This process may take a little longer than perusing WHT or Sitepoint, but in the end cultivating a good working relationship with a few webmasters will serve you well in the long haul when you are looking for your Windows or Linux VPS provider.

2. Choose Your Web Hosting Solution Carefully

Aside from weeding out bad or misleading reviews, another important factor in picking a web hosting provider is the information they display on the own website along with how long the company has been in existence for.

It goes without saying but the last thing you want to do is select an unknown, highly questionable, unreliable web hosting provider to take care of your entire business web hosting needs. If you do choose to utilize a not-so-well known web hosting solution, you run the risk of experiencing heavy technical difficulties and myriad of IT issues which could cause your monetized website to go offline for expansive periods of time. Moreover, if you’re website stays up and running, your web hosting service might not provide your site with enough bandwidth to allows your clients to buy the services you are selling. Again, be careful.

Another issue you need to be on the lookout for is datacenter management. When looking into utilizing a particular web hosting provider, enquire into their datacenter management. Ask questions like:

  • Do you own your own datacenter?
  • Who has access to your datacenter?
  • If you don’t own your own datacenter, where is my website being hosted? With what company is it being hosted?
  • If you outsource my website to a third party datacenter, who has access to that datacenter?

These are all critical questions you need to have answered when looking for a good web hosting provider. Aside from the age and IT concerns which go into selecting a competent web hosting company, another major concern is money.

3. You Spend How Much For Web Hosting?

The web hosting industry is flooded with all sorts of options. Some of the options you will encounter are being run by college kids out of their dorm while other companies are being operated by the good folks over at Google. DedicatedNOW aside, it is your prerogative to weigh the specifications you receive from your web hosting provider as compared to the money you spend per month on those services. For example, if you are searching for an Unmanaged Linux Dedicated Server with a bare amount of RAM, memory and disk space, you might not want to spend $50 per month. On the flip side, if you are in need of a Managed Windows VPS with three CPU cores, 2TB of bandwidth, 60GB of disk storage and 3.5GB of memory, paying anything over $125 per month isn’t advisable. Again, before choosing, weigh price and services.

4. Domain Names Are Important

So, you have selected your chosen web hosting solution of choice and now you need to determine if you should or if you should not register your domain name via your web host of choice. This is an issue ever blogger & IT professional encounters at some point in time. The simple answer to the question: do not register your domain name via your web host. Regardless of the price of the offer, regardless how good your web hosting company makes it seem, registering your domain name via your web hosting company is a bad idea. Why is it a bad idea?

  • Registering your domain name through your web hosting company means you are and will be completely dependent on that web hosting company for as long as you hold your given domain. In the vast majority of cases, a web hosting company will not allow you to cancel your web hosting plan without killing your domain. As such, if you ever want to switch web hosting companies and keep your domain, never register your domain with a web hosting provider.

Quick Fix: Instead of registering your domain name with your web hosting company of choice, register it via another solution which allows you to access your domain through your server.

5. Connect With Customer Care

At the end of the day, your web hosting provider is only as good as the support they can provide you with. If you are looking for a managed or semi-managed dedicated server or VPS, it is a very good idea to get to know your web hosting provider’s IT team. You want to make sure that when you call your provider to fix an issue, you can talk to the same IT professional at least 80% of the time and be able to reach customer care at any time of the day. A good web hosting provider will supply you with 24/7/365 customer care along with the industry standard of 80/20 customer service. 80/20 means even if you call customer care to fix your server at 3 am, 80% of the time you will talk to the same IT professional. Building a long lasting relationship with your web hosting IT team is important to the life of your website. Just as you want to utilize the same retirement investment professional who knows your financial goals, you want to use the same IT professional who knows your web hosting background and goals.

So, there you go. Make sure to avoid these five major mistakes when looking for a web hosting provider and your digital business life will be much easier.

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