Internet hosting alert!

What to watch out for when choosing web hosts

The web is saturated with Internet hosting providers and ads touting them. Many of these web hosts are solid, top notch companies. But some take advantage of a booming industry to trick people into paying good money for little value. In order to avoid these unsavory characters, we offer the following 5 Internet hosting alerts. Here's what to stay away from when choosing web hosts:

Free Internet Hosting: Far from a blessing in disguise, free web space can be a detriment disguised as a blessing. This option can be rife with problems, not the least of which is all the advertising that will likely have to be on your site in exchange for no hosting fees.

Many of your site visitors - those are potential clients - would sooner find another site with similar offerings than deal with all the annoying advertising that comes with free web hosts. What's more, even if a visitor is not turned off by the ads (or the ads aren't placed in an obnoxious manner) those ads are still designed for one purpose - to steer your site visitors away from your site and on to another, which runs completely counter to your objective in getting traffic to your site in the first place.

(Some) Cheap Internet Hosting: By this we mean Internet hosting in the range of $2.99 or less. But even then, not all low-cost Internet hosting is bad - but some sure are. If you're on a tight budget or are just starting out, cheap Internet hosting may be the only option you can afford. Which is fine, so long as you make sure that certain key features and services are not sacrificed for price, namely security, uptime (reliability) and adequate storage space and bandwidth to serve the needs of a growing online business.

Restricted Services: There are certain Internet hosting services that pretty much every website needs to become successful - like forms, web forums, web stats, and more than one email account. But a lot of web hosts leave those services out of their packages (or at least their lower cost packages) in exchange for offering a bargain price on your Internet hosting. But when you realize that you actually need services not offered by your web hosts and you're forced to pay extra to purchase those services "a la carte," then it's no bargain at all.

Contractual Commitments: Many web hosts will lock you into a long-term contract in exchange for a lower price. But many of those contracts outlast the websites they're meant to serve, which leaves you paying a whole bunch extra up front that you'll never see reimbursed. On the other hand, plenty of web hosts let you pay for your Internet hosting from month to month, so if your needs ever change and they are unable to meet those changing needs, you are free to go seek Internet hosting that does.



Of course you can still take a discounted price, if offered, and agree to the up-front payment and contractual terms as outlined. Just do it knowingly - be aware of what you're getting yourself into before you get yourself into it. This applies not just to Internet hosting, but to life. And so does the next item...

Not Knowing Your Needs Ahead of Time: If you don't know your website's requirements before you begin analyzing and comparing web hosts, you're liable to be courted by the sweetest sounding Internet hosting deal with absolutely no idea of whether or not what you're getting for that deal would actually suit you.

For example, if you build your website in a certain web design program, you'll want to make sure that the web hosts you consider all support that particular program. Otherwise you might have to build your site all over again.

Without knowing exactly what you need before you begin looking for web hosts, you could end up spending too much on a service that gives you way more than you actually need, or paying too little for an Internet hosting package that doesn't suffice.

Take your time in preparing for your search of web hosts and it'll not only go much smoother and quicker, but you're also more apt to find the right Internet hosting company for you at the right price.

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