I’ve had websites online for six years now and have been through about six web hosts – the shortest lasting one week, longest lasting maybe two years. I’ve had shared hosting, virtual dedicated hosting, and dedicated hosting – so I have a bit of experience. Surfing online for a good web host is like surfing online for good erectile-dysfunction or penis-enlargement pills, you’ll just get flooded with bullshit and lies. So here’s some tips…
1. They all suck – This is the sad truth. Anyone who runs a site with high traffic knows this. They’re all misleading on their websites and won’t deliver on their promises. If your livelihood depends on your website, you’ll need to spend thousands a month for a company that treats you like a real client. Not to start off sounding pompous but, if you’re saying to yourself “My web host is great!” you’re either a new client or your sites don’t receive that much traffic.
2. Never pay more than one month in advance – Trust me on this one. Never pay in advance. Never choose a web host that forces you to pay more than one month in advance. When they get your money, they’ll never give it back. And one day, you’re gonna have a beef with your host, and you’re gonna want to quickly leave.
3. Get shared hosting – Start off with an inexpensive shared hosting plan, for two reasons 1) Upgrading to a bigger server is easy, downgrading is difficult. They’ll bend over backwards to get more of your money, but won’t be too willing to take less of your money. Even if you think you get so much traffic you’ll need a bigger server, start off small. 2) If you’re on a shared plan, you share your server with dozens, if not hundreds of others. When there’s a problem with your server, 100 of their clients are angry. When there’s a problem with your dedicated serer, only one of their clients are angry.
4. Investigate the company – Only trust well-respected companies (but they still suck). Do research on the company, read other customer’s complaints. If a site is giving web host recommendations, make sure they’re a respected companies, there’s web host review sites out there that give out phony reviews for a profit. Try out their support e-mail and phone contacts, see how long they take to respond.
5. Forums & blogs are plus – When you find a company you’re interested in, make sure they have public forums and an official blog, look for complaints from members. If you don’t see any, bad sign, they’re probably filtering out any negative messages.
6. They always blame everything on someone else – You’ll never get an apology from them, they’ll always blame your account’s problem on something or someone (like your ISP or registrar) that’s out of their control. A denial-of-service attack is a popular one cause they can’t control them, and they can’t stop them. If they say your account is receiving DoS attack, be suspicious. Typical IT-support bullshit, they’re always quick to blame it on everyone else just to get you off the phone.
7. You’ll never get a refund – Read the fine print of your refund, most likely you’ll never get one. Anytime something happens to your account, they’ll pull a #6, then they don’t have to give you a refund.
8. 24/7 support is just front-line – All sites promise 24/7 support, right? Well that’s just “front-line” support. It’s just one retard who answers the phone and if your problem is anything more difficult than “How do I setup my e-mail?”, the support ticket gets passed on to bigger retards, but these retards work Monday-Friday, 9-5.
9. You’ll probably know right away that they suck – Transferring your sites from one server to another is a goddamn nightmare, there’s a good chance you’ll have some difficulties (make sure you have two overlapping accounts for a few weeks so you have time to migrate and work out the kinks) and will need their support right away and they’ll quickly show their true colors. Find a web host that offers a 30-day no-questions-asked money-back-guarantee (including setup costs!!).