Choosing the right web host for your content is a complicated decision to make and it can be easy for website owners set and forget the hosting of their site. While it can be a hassle at times, carefully researching your hosting and re-evaluating from time to time can help minimize your site’s expenses. Below are some common web hosting mistakes that you can avoid by doing your due diligence.
Making the Assumption that Bandwidth is Unlimited
Just like in your cell phone contract, it is important to read the fine print. Unlimited bandwidth on your web hosting plan may not actually be unlimited. There are usually clauses in your plan that say something like “within reasonable use” or similar language. Outside of what the company determines as reasonable use, you may be asked to pay more or leave. Most websites don’t need unlimited bandwidth, so, in reality, few hosts actually offer it.
What was advertised may not be the actual price for the services you are receiving. In many cases, when it looks like you are getting a deal on web hosting services, you are really on getting a deal for the first month, while the price goes up for the rest of your time with the service. Some services will pro-rate the first year and jack up the price for subsequent years. Read the smaller print to make sure you are aware of the actual costs!
Poor Customer Service
You have just set up your website on a service that has sold you a bill of goods and the help they promised is nowhere to be found or incomplete. Now, you are stuck with terrible customer service when you have a major problem with your site. While many hosting services provide around the clock customer support, there is nothing to guarantee the quality of support received. Always check reviews about web hosting services online, to ensure you know what you are getting.
Neglecting to Upgrade
Your site is booming and you are having trouble keeping up with all the traffic, but since you have a plan that worked for you before, you decide to stick with it. This is a mistake! If your site can’t support the traffic it is receiving, you need an upgrade to ensure your clients and visitors don’t have trouble accessing the site. Your hosting company should be able to provide you with information about what type of upgrade you may need. Deals for existing customers should be available and conducting research beforehand is important when determining upgrades to your hosting service. Your hosting company will want to keep you, but look around at comparable plans before buying!
Doing your research may seem like an obvious necessity, especially when reading about common mistakes, but you would be surprised at the number of people who take the first option shown to them in the web hosting business. Just like any service, there are great, bad, and ugly companies out there, and it is your job to determine the best options for you. Don’t just look at the price of the services provided, look at the TYPE of services provided and how they fit with your needs as a business and website. Everyone is different and certain features may not be applicable to your needs. Also look to see if a service has received awards for going beyond the call of duty.
In the end, any type of contract with a web hosting company should be properly researched and compared to others in the market. You want to do the same due diligence for your choices as you would expect your customers to do for your business. Pro and Con lists are always my go-to when determining my best options. Don’t let the variety of choices overwhelm you!