Everyone has a website today, it seems. And everywhere you look, every one of these websites is set up and hosted by a different webhosting company.
You need a webhosting company for your new site, but which one? With a combination of simple research methods, you'll have an easy choice of the best company for you.
You'll want to get recommendations from friends (both webhosting companies to talk to and companies to stay away from), do some independent research on your own, and then examine your options.
Make a list of the five websites you like best, in terms of their look and technical performance. Find out what company hosts each site. Look toward the bottom of the page or the About Us page for this information.
If you can't find it there, contact the website owner or administrator. Look for sites with the kind of graphics you want on your site. Look for sites that have a good up-time, sites that load quickly. Ask the people who's sites you admire for their recommendations.
Some of these people have moved to or from more than one webhosting company. Take notes and see what they liked and did not like about each. Taking careful notes will help you compare webhosting companies later.
Check out tech and computer magazines, especially the advertising section. You may find articles that profile or compare different webhosting companies. Some consumer publications may also do an article that surveys webhosting companies and what they offer their customers.
Look at the webhosting company ads for more ideas. At this point, write down everything that looks interesting; you're just making a list of possibilities. Get a feel for the language of comparison, the terms that webhosting companies use to talk about their products and services.
Do an Internet search for webhosting companies. Again, you want to list all the ones that look like a good fit. Stay away from the ones that look scammy or have a lot of ads on them.
Stay away from webhosting companies that don't give you a lot of details, ones that don't make it easy for you to communicate with them, or don't have a lot of clients.
Get the details
Pick the top ten webhosting companies from your list. Contact each of them and ask for details on their services. Take good notes and try to reconcile the information you receive from them with what you've obtained from your friends and colleagues in step one.
Sit down and compare the lists and your notes. Look for things like customer support, up-time statistics, and costs compared with website size.
In general, if you consult with friends and colleagues who are already using a webhosting company and then do your own research into what's available, you'll have a good idea of what webhosting company is right for you.
If worse comes to worst and you find you've made the wrong decision, don't get stressed about it, unless you've signed a long-term contract, it's relatively easy to move your site from one webhosting company to another.