When talking about publishing pictures online, the discussion inevitably goes towards web hosting companies. There are so many companies out there, from small to large, from cheap to expensive; they all say the same thing: we’re the best ! How can one choose? Well, I have been publishing online for over eight years and I have tried several web hosting providers…so my opinion is somewhat qualified. If you’re looking for a web hosting provider, I’m hoping that this article will help you choose a good company.
First things first checklist
Before getting into technical details, let’s talk about the company. I think this is more important than the actual technical offering. Actually, most hosting companies offer pretty much the same features when it comes to web hosting. Each hosting company adds their own little twists but for the most part their offering is somewhat similar. Here’s my “first things first” checklist when shopping for a hosting company.
Choosing a good web hosting company is very challenging
- Phone support. Most web hosting companies don’t even have a phone number. I usually don’t deal with these companies. I got burned one time and I lost all my work and I could not call anyone. I really recommend that you talk to them before you sign up.
- Money back guaranteed ! Make sure that they offer at least seven days money back guarantee ! You need this because web hosting performance is very hard to judge just by reading some testimonials and some technical acronyms. You have to try it, load up your content and test it. If it’s too slow…go somewhere else ! Really !
- How long in business. This is also important…I got burned by this one as well. You need at least 5 years! This is enough time to sort out the bad web hosting companies from the good ones.
- Price. I can’t pay more than $100 per year for all this stuff…so that’s my limit. Figure out your limit and stick to it!
There are so many acronyms that web hosting companies list that you can easily get lost. I compiled a checklist for myself with regards to technical things I’m looking for when shopping for web hosting. At least these are the web hosting terms I understand and care about.
- Performance. This is the most important aspect and it’s very hard to find. This is especially true about shared hosting…it’s just slower by definition because many web sites share only one web hosting computer. After you sign up, the web hosting company will place your site on a hosting computer. You can judge performance right after you sign up. My advice is that you use the trial period to the max. Test out your site and make sure the performance is adequate.
- Decent amount of storage space. I need at least 2 Gb because I publish a lot of my travel pictures.
- At least 5 databases. I need databases because I publish two blogs and each one needs one database. If you want a forum or anything interactive, you need databases.
- Free extra domain hosting. I publish two websites for myself and two more for friends. They are all using one account. So, I don’t want to pay for a separate account for each website. This way you can just register another name and add it in the same space.
- Analytics. Every company should provide some statistics tool and should not charge for it. I prefer using Clicky for my analytics even though I still use AWStats some times as well.
- Automatic backups. You’ve got to have it even though you might think you don’t need it…trust me you need it.
I recommend BlueHost.com
Well, if you’re looking for a good and reliable web hosting company, check out BlueHost.com. I have been using them for over six years now and I love them (CHECK THEM OUT). Here’s how they score based on my checklists.
First things first: They rock! Their support is simply outstanding…just call them up and you’ll see. They’ve resolved all my problems, every time. Their support is in Utah, where the company is located…so you won’t get someone in India or China ! And yes, they do have money back guarantee policy. They have been in business since 1996…that’s 12 years, so they should be around for more years. Their price is just great…$6.95/month ! This is very hard to beat. Check out BlueHost.com.
Technical checklist: They’re very good! The features they offer is amazing. I think you can find any application you would need or want. On top of that they offer pretty much unlimited space (actually it is limited to 300Gb). You get 50 MySql databases and you can add an unlimited number of websites to the same account (actually it’s limited to 1000). I wish I could afford dedicated hosting, but for shared hosting BlueHost.com is exactly what I need. I know I can’t expect blazing speed all the time since many sites share the same server. I believe many people recognize the value BlueHost.com offers and their servers probably host many sites…that’s why it’s slower sometimes.
Conclusion: I believe BlueHost.com offers the best value for the money. They are very hard to beat ! Check them out and let me know what you think.
SIGN UP NOW WITH BLUEHOST.COM !