It’s time for someone to take a stand against all of the terrible hosts out there. What’s so hard about offering a credible service without any dubious marketing terms or lies? Yes, finding a good host is a little harder than stumbling across one of the thousands of terrible hosts, but it’s time well spent. Here’s exactly what you need to look for in a host for your blog.
Bandwidth and Disk Space
Unlimited bandwidth is a lie, pure and simple. The fact is that unlimited bandwidth doesn’t even exist because there’s a constant flow of data and even all of the servers in the world couldn’t provide this. While there are some good hosts that offer this service, and it’s really not that bad for very small websites that need less than 10GB of bandwidth and disk space, it’s terrible for anyone looking to scale up. It’s much better to get metered bandwidth and disk space with a specific limit. This ensures that you know exactly how much you are getting. Don’t know how much you need? Just multiply the size of your common Web page by your average number of visitors. It’s a fairly simple equation.
Automated CMS Installation
A good host is going to have cPanel, which is also going to have an automated CMS installation program like Softaculous or Fantastico. Yes, you can always install WordPress or Drupal manually, but most of us don’t know or care to know how to do this. Ensure the host has an automated installer for your blog. Uptime Bad hosts are better known for their downtime than their uptime. A host’s job is to keep your website up and running. While downtime is inevitable and it will happen, it should only be for a few hours to days throughout the year. If your host doesn’t supply at least a 99% uptime guarantee, then leave immediately. You aren’t getting the service that you deserve, and who knows what other corners the host is cutting. It’s better to have 99.9% or higher, but 99% should be the bare minimum.
You don’t always need to call customer service because email and live chat are often just as good, but please oh please make sure the customer service team is good. Don’t assume that they will be professional. Most bad hosts have awful customer service teams that just won’t help you out. Grill the customer service team before using the host. Ask about what they will do if a hacker attacks, if their server goes down or if you have a hard time doing something common (like installing a script or using cPanel). If the team doesn’t seem helpful, then move on.
Hosts don’t like advertising their loading speeds for one reason or another. Maybe it’s too geeky for common users, or maybe it’s because a lot of them want to hide something. Never, ever use a host without ensuring that their loading speeds are good. If your website loads very slowly, then this doesn’t just annoy visitors. It ensures that your site’s search engine ranking will drop, you will get fewer organic links and your number of active readers will decrease. Yes, site loading speed is a big deal and your host has to help you out if you want to survive.
There’s no reason to use a bad host for your blog, and I hope that you never pay a dime to these companies. Most good hosts are about the same price as the bad ones, but the service is much more valuable. Remember, you need a Web host that will help your business grow, not destroy you from the inside.