Where you choose to host your website is one of the most important decisions you can make related to the security and availability of your site. All web hosts are not created equal. I learned that lesson the hard way.
Cheaper is not always better
Many years ago, when I first started building websites, I tried various website hosting services. I eventually found one that I thought was a really great deal. It was only $2 a month charged through a PayPal subscription. I used them for almost a year, building many different sites with their service. Then, the worst case scenario happened: the web host went offline. All of the websites I built were down.
I contacted the web host through their email support account and they informed me that they were the target of a Distributed Denial of Service attack. They eventually returned to service almost two days later, but I was spooked. I decided I needed to find a more reliable web host, even if it meant paying more.
I started researching web hosts and in the meantime, I canceled my monthly PayPal subscription with my current host. I had already paid for the current month and there were several weeks left, so I figured I had plenty of time to make the switch.
However, the same day I canceled my subscription, my web host deleted my account. I contacted them through their email support, but they never replied. So not only were my sites down for almost two days because the web host was offline, now my sites were completely gone!
Luckily, I had been keeping good offline backups of my sites, but now I really needed to find a new web host and I had a lot of work ahead of me to rebuild all of those sites, even with the backups.
Don’t make the same mistake I made: do your research to find high-quality web hosts and don’t let cost be the determining factor when you make your selection.
Researching Web Hosts
When researching web hosts, try to find reviews from independent researchers since many sites that offer web host reviews are really just affiliates for the hosting companies trying to get commissions. You’ll want reviews that include information about the cost of the service, what’s included, the quality of their technical support, and uptime statistics. I’ve found that web host reviews from PCMag and NextAdvisor are reliable.
Personally, I’ve used HostMonster as my web host for many years and I don’t have any complaints about their service. They aren’t the most expensive option out there, but like I said earlier, cost isn’t the critical factor when selecting a web host.
Photo credit: quinnanya