5 Website Hosting Myths Debunked
From individuals to businesses, it seems no one can get along without a website these days, but setting one up can be a daunting task. The wide range of website hosting choices available in today’s market only serves to complicate matters. By debunking some commonly held misconceptions, it may be easier to determine which choice best suits your needs.
Myth 1: All Web Hosting Providers Are Equal
Looking at any service that you use, from tax accountants to restaurants, no two businesses are the same. That’s just as true for website hosting as it is for anything else, the quality of your hosting provider plays a vital role in how well your website functions. In shopping for a provider, there are some key features you want to look for in a quality hosting service.
Server Reliability – Every provider worth considering will offer guaranteed uptimes. The only thing more important than those guarantees are the actual uptime records. A lapse in uptime of just 0.5% may translate into downtime for your website of two days or more. If the provider can’t provide a 99.9% uptime guarantee, you’d be advised to look elsewhere.
Site Response Speed – This is the speed at which your pages load and respond to customer interactions. Slower speeds will mean frustrated customers who are less likely to revisit your site. Plus Google takes response times into account, so slower speeds mean your website will rank lower in search results.
Hosting Costs – Compare prices diligently. Some less reputable service providers will resort to price gouging, relying on consumer ignorance.
Multiple Domains – Some businesses don’t need multiple domains, so a service that only allows one domain per customer may be okay. If you do need more than one for your business, or can anticipate needing additional domains in the future, you would be best served to look for a provider that offers unlimited domains.
Additional Services – Once you’ve settled on a provider, the service you receive shouldn’t end. You should be able to rely on the provider for customer service and technical support, including educational materials, such as tutorials and easily obtainable help from human representatives.
Myth 2: Free Hosting Services Are Just as Good
Even if your needs are minimal you should be aware that companies offering free website hosting aren’t going to be providing quality services. Your website’s load times will suffer which can drastically affect your performance and reputation. Additionally, there may be limited resources for developing your site’s appearance and your pages may be inundated with advertisements. After all, even a free hosting service has to pay for employees, software, and hardware.
Paying for web hosting isn’t going to break your budget. In most cases, the monthly fee is less than a cup of coffee a day and the quality of service you can receive in return will more than make up for the cost.
Myth 3: Cheap Web Hosting Services are Worth What You Pay for Them
Some people seek out free websites in search of a deal while others frown upon even the low cost providers. This can also be a mistake as some of the cheaper hosting services are high quality offerings. The drawbacks to these cheaper services can often be eliminated by upgrading to their premium services later.
Ranging anywhere from $2 per month to just over $4 per month, many sites like Host Gator and iPage offer low cost hosting services to get you in the door, but also offer premium, high quality services for those willing to spend a little more per month.
Myth 4: You Need Your Own Professional IT Expert
Most website hosting providers include easy to use interfaces that can assist you with designing your website. In many cases, you don’t even need to know any HTML to work with the interface.
Some sites, such as WordPress, provide user guides and support articles to further help new users to set up their websites. It may take some trial and error, but it won’t take long to learn your way around.
Myth 5: Look for a Service That Doesn’t Have Negative Reviews
When people are satisfied, they’re more likely to be quiet and not make any comments. However, when they’re dissatisfied with a service or product, they generally want the world to know about it. For that reason, you’re far more likely to find negative reviews than positive ones when searching for your next website hosting service. Additionally, as any business grows and amasses a broader customer base, they’re likely to experience more disgruntled customers. That’s just the nature of doing business.
That’s not to say negative reviews should be dismissed completely out of hand, but they should be read and dissected for truth. For example, you might be better off dismissing any remarks that seem personal or added out of passion and instead focus on facts directly related to the service. Wading through negative reviews in this manner can help you identify problems that are common to multiple users. Once you see a trend, that particular complaint may hold some merit and help you determine if that hosting provider is the right company for your business.
It’s also worth looking at the web hosting provider’s responses to those negative comments. Do they fire back with personal insults? Do they reply with a more professional comment? If a customer service representative responds in a caring manner and seems eager to resolve the complaint, that may be an indication that the provider’s quality of service is improving and therefore worth going with. Continue looking at other negative comments to see how that company responded to each complaint. That will provide a good indicator as to the kind of service you can expect to receive as a new customer.
Overall, the key to finding the web hosting service that will best suit your needs is to take your time and shop around. Compare prices and compare services and features. By examining these aspects of each provider, you can determine which company provides the best quality of service at a comparable cost. In the end, you may have to take a chance and trust your instincts. If you guess wrong and are dissatisfied, some companies even offer website moving services to prevent you from losing your data. So all you really lose in the end is a little time and the cost of a cup of coffee.