There are literally thousands of web hosting providers on the internet. Our team of professional web hosting experts have taken the time to review a large portion of the available hosts. From our experience we have found that a few hosts really stand out from the pack and provide EXCELLENT hosting at affordable pricing. We outline who we believe to be the top hosts on our homepage sidebar.
Although we have outlined five excellent hosts there is still a chance that you may desire to host with another company. In fact, every host specializes in something different so the real key is find a company that aligns with your personal needs. Should you find yourself attempting to decide on what host to hire, there are always a few questions that I recommend getting answered. I have outlined some of those questions below, we suggest searching the hosts’ website, reading reviews, and even calling the host if needed to answer these questions.
- Question 1: What type of hosting plans do you offer?
There are several different types of web hosting including but not limited to: shared web hosting, VPS web hosting, dedicated web hosting, reseller web hosting, and cloud hosting. The most affordable option of all these will be “Shared Web Hosting” and this type of hosting will work for 97% of websites. Make sure you find a host that offers the services you need.
- Question 2: What is the cost of the hosting plans?
When looking at web host’s it is important to understand how much it is going to cost you. I would not only ask what the initial purchase price is but I also would ask what the renewal rate is going to be. A lot of hosts will charge significantly more when it comes time for renewal. However, some hosts like (HostMetro) pride themselves in never raising the rates on you.
- Question 3: What level of 3rd-party application support do you offer?
WordPress, Joomla, Magento, and other third party applications have became extremely popular over the years. Some web hosting providers will provide support and will help you with these third parties application when you encounter a problem, others will not.
- Question 4: What sort of security policy you have?
DDos Protections, Site-block… You may never need them but it is always good to have protections in place just in case. Most reputable hosts like Bluehost, iPage, etc. have the best security policies while many newer hosts may be lacking in this area.
- Question 5: What level of technical support you provide?
If the host does not provide friendly, fast, and 24/7 customer support I would highly suggest staying away. A good host will offer a variety of ways to get support including: support tickets, live chat, e-mail, telephone, etc. From my research Bluehost definitely excels in this area.
- Question 6: Is it easy to get hold of the technical team?
This is not a problem you will encounter with a major host (like any of the ones promoted on our site) but if you decide to go with a small/new company this is definitely something to consider.
- Question 7: Do I have to pay extra for technical support?
Again, this is rare with major hosts like those listed on our site; however, there are a select few number of hosts that will try to charge you for technical support and I would definitely try to avoid these hosting providers.
- Question 8: Can I have the copy of contract?
Just make sure you understand the rules. Most hosts have a Terms of Service that will act as your contract. Make sure you take a few minutes to read over these Terms. Don’t be surprised later by what you did not take time to read.
- Question 9: Is there any flexibility in the contract?
A great example of this would be money back guarantees. This will give you a little time to make sure you like the host prior to being locked into a contract.
- Question 10: What are the possibilities to void contract?
Most hosts will not allow you to void a contract; however, some may allow it and pro-rate a portion of your money. Hopefully this is something you will never need to worry about; however, this is good information to know it advance.
- Question 11: What type of hosting servers you offered? (Share, VPS, Dedicated server hosting)
We kind of touched base on this in question 1; however, some hosts offer multiple hosting plans and types. I am a fan of these types of providers because you can start off with the basic/most affordable plans and then if your website grows you can easily migrate to another server in the future if needed. Bluehost (our favorite host), for example, offers shared, dedicated, and reseller hosting options.
- Question 12: What If I need to switch servers later on?
Godaddy and 1and1 web hosting providers are two of the larger ones that you may have heard of. However, in our opinion these two hosts make it harder than most to migrate your site. Once you host with them you are almost stuck. That is why I do not like these two particular hosts. Just make sure you research and see how hard it will be to switch servers in the future.
- Question 13: What would be the additional charges in order to get additional bandwidth and space?
A lot of hosts offer unlimited bandwidth and unlimited disk space. Meaning (in most cases) you won’t have to worry about hidden charges. However, some hosts still charge fees based on usage. Just make sure you understand those fees in advance.
- Question 14: What type of control panel do you provide?
Different hosts offer different types of panels. For example: HostMetro uses Cpanel, iPage uses vDeck, and Bluehost offers an awesome custom version of Cpanel.
- Question 15: How much authority do I have over the server?
When you have a shared hosting account there is a good chance you may have limit authority in certain areas of the server. Hosts do this to protect others who share the same server. For the most part you will not need a lot of control for your site to operate; however, really advanced websites will definitely need more authority to get certain scripts to work.
- Question 16: Can I get sample websites hosted by you (HOST)?
You can tell a lot from a sample. However, the number one thing you can test is the speed of the site.
- Question 17: What sort of back-up policy you have?
Even the best of the best web hosting providers have hard drive failures, it is just something that is going to happen. If all of your hard work is on this server this can be a pretty devastating problem. Hosts that create backups for you on a regular basis can really help you feel better in case of a hard drive crash.
- Question 18: Is the back-up service is included in the web hosting plan or have to pay separately for it?
From what I have seen, many hosts offer a basic backup plan which backups your data periodically. They also offer a more advanced plan that backups your website on a more consistant basis.
- Question 19: Are you going to provide free domain registration service or I have to buy one?
Some hosts like Bluehost will give you a free domain name when you purchase a hosting account (this is like a $15 savings for you). Other hosts charge additional fees for the domain when it comes time to checkout.
If you are researching an unfamiliar web hosting provider these are 19 different questions that you will most definitely want to have answered prior to signing up with that host.
The purpose of BestWebHostingGeek.com is to take away some of your research time and provide you with a list of quality and affordable hosts. We stake our reputation on the five hosts listed on our homepage and feel confident any of these hosts will make you a very satisfied customer!