When selecting the right hosting account the following need to be mainly considered:

The up time

As you will see, when looking up a hosting service they all seem to have the same up time guarantee. It usually is around 98% to 99%. That is a very high up time. The only thing that uptime can mean many things. Is that up time based on a local basis or country or worldwide basis. You see, some web host have measured their up time based on an average in a specific location. That location is usually well selected and may not be for your area. In the example of a worldwide web host, one that offers there service all over the world, up time can be very high for most places but what if it is only about 85% for the US? That still seems high but think about it. There are 365 days in a years. 15% of that is almost 55 days!!! Can you imagine your online business being down 55 days per year?

When selecting a web host, make choose one that offers an uptime of at least 99.9% and that it is based on your area of advertising. And yes, 98% uptime may be OK but we feel that it is still too low. 98% uptime means that you will still lose 14.4 hours of web exposure per month and that is still more than a week per year. If it happens to be the week business is usually slow then fine, but, unfortunately, you cannot pick your uptime and most time, it is likely to be when the web is at its busiest time.

The price

They are many things that can influence the price of your hosting account. The main ones are as follow:

  • Basic hosting cost – That cost can be all over the place and paying more does not always mean better hosting. Some hosting companies may also offer temporary price breaks in the hope to get your business but become more expensive than average later. That actually may not be a bad way to go as long as you do not mind moving you site(s) to another web host later if the price of your internet host become too uncompetitive.
  • Domain names – Although domain names may be free at first (with purchase of hosting), the cost may be double that of regular price the following year. In some cases, it may be better to get your web name from a direct vendor (GoDaddy, register and network solutions) rather than a reseller. It may be more inconvenient but, particularly if you have several web sites, it can be a big saving.
  • Seals – Seals are commonly purchased to give your web site more authority and trust. There are many seals available and details would be for another article. Seal costs can vary greatly so make sure that, if you need one or more, you take that into account when pricing your web host.
  • Web site builders and more – Most web hosts offer free online web site builder software. Many are free and many are not worth your time. A good web site builder should be so easy to use an 8 year old could use it and build a web site. If don’t have an eight year old on hand you may want to borrow one from a neighbor to test this or you can just try to use the software and see how easy it is to use. Other tools may include a shopping cart, private server and more. In any case, make sure that any tool you may need is well supported and easy to use.

Tech support location and customer service

One thing that many businesses do not often consider is support location. The reason is simple, although sales is usually located in the US, tech support is often located overseas and that can be a frustrating experience. Although we have nothing against foreigners helping you with your tech support (we have some working for us in the U.S.), we have found that most of these people are not well trained or the simple culture difference can make communicating with someone overseas a challenge. When you have a problem to solve quickly, learning someone else’s culture to communicate with them is probably not on your agenda. If at all possible, make a test call to tech support before you buy and see who answers the phone and see how well they respond to simple questions.