If you're looking for a cheap web hosting service, there are many companies that offer low monthly rates to host (store) your site. Some examples are Yahoo, Bluehost, Network Solutions and Hostgator, just to name a few. Of course, not everyone is looking for the same webhosting features, but are all offers the same? The answer is no
. Believe it or not, there are web hosting companies that have millions of websites on their servers. If you multiply that by the average monthly fee of around ten dollars a month, that adds up to some serious cash flow! No wonder they are able to offer special deals to new subscribers with all the bells and whistles.
The information that follows is based on the widely used Linux server webhosting packages, although some firms offer Windows web hosting also. Forget about the difference here, as it will not affect you, unless you are an advanced user and intend to create your site using ASP, FrontPage, the.NET environment, Windows Streaming Media, Access, MSSQL, or any of the other Microsoft technologies, in which case, you probably need to use a Windows host.
Remember that a web host is simply a company that provides a storage area for your website. Along with this service, they usually provide a variety of obviously necessary and other nice to have add ons. Some of these include, bandwidth, disk space, a sitebuilder, free website templates, customer and technical support, MYSQL databases, POP email accounts, Fantastico, statistics like Webalizer or referrer logs, more than one hosting plan and of course other features too numerous to mention.
More specifically, we all want and need to save money and we don't want to waste it, so, based on what is discussed on internet forums and elsewhere the most, here is what to look for when searching for the best cheap web hosting plan. However, right away, it would be advisable to ensure you are not paying more than $10 a month for hosting, because it is not necessary unless you want extra special management controls. We'll also assume that you only want one website, but if you plan to create more in the future, best to get a plan that allows several or unlimited domains.
For the list that follows, one point should be given for each of the 5 items if the web host has these features. When researching hosting companies, a total score of 4 is very good, but 5 is excellent.
Top 5 Cheap Web Hosting Service Features
1. Customer Service and Technical Support - does the company offer email, phone and live chat (at their website) 24 hours a day and 7 days a week (24-7)? Do they reply to your questions within 24 hours or within minutes using live chat? How would you know? Try them out, even if you're not a customer yet - send them an email or try their live chat. Or, go to business forums like the Warrior Forum and search for similar discussions. If they have these features, then add 1 point for this company.
2. How long have they been in business? At least 1 year? Go to Google and type in "Who Is" and type in the company name, like xyz.com and see when their creation date was - if it was more than a year ago, you can at least know they have been in business for a while and will hopefully be here to stay. I would give them 1 point if they have been in business for at least 2 years to be on the safe side.
3. Do they offer unlimited bandwidth? Bandwidth can be best described as gas for a car. If your website runs out of bandwidth nobody will be able to visit it. 1GB of bandwidth is equal to over 100,000 hits. The average website uses less than 2 GB of bandwidth a month. Your bandwidth number used will normally reset back to zero on the first of every month.
Similarly, do they offer unlimited disk space? The more disk space you have the more files, pages, emails, and everything else you'll be able to use and store. Yes, unlimited sounds excessive I know, but if they offer it, better safe than sorry. If the company offers unlimited in both cases, give them one more point.
4. Guarantees - do they offer a money back guarantee, if for any reason, you want to cancel? If it is at least a 30 day guarantee and they will refund 100 % of your money, that's good. Also, do they guarantee your site's uptime, in other words, that it will be live on the internet all the time, or over 99.9 % of the time? If that doesn't happen, will they give you a full refund for that month? If the answers are yes to both of these questions, then add 1 more point.
5. Do they have Fantastico Deluxe? This program will allow you to install over 50 scripts instantly. Examples are WordPress, Joomla, discussion boards, ecommerce, polls and so on. Most people these days build websites based on WordPress because of it's search engine optimization features and available plugins, so using fantastico makes it easier. Give them one point if they provide fantastico at no extra charge.
And yes, there are some free web hosting plans out there, but do they place ads on your website? Do they offer 24-7 customer service? Will Google view your site the same if you are not willing to pay for hosting each month (they know which sites are free)? Frankly, are you serious about your internet site and are you treating it as a business? If so, then you should be willing to pay out a few dollars a month for an essential service. Also, if you want to build more than one domain, do they let you build them under one account? Not likely. All in all, it is advisable to skip the free webhosting for life offers out there.
So, there you have it. If you watch for these five recommended cheap web hosting features, you should be able to find one heck of a good home for your website.
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