Reliability, Affordability, and Functionality: The Web Host Trifecta

May 13, 2013

Whenever you seek out a service, there are certain considerations you must keep in mind. When it comes to choosing a company to put your website on the World Wide Web, there is a trifecta of considerations in play. Reliability, affordability and functionality are what really matters when you are attempting to find the best company. Read on for the questions you need to ask to narrow down your choices to one.

So, who do you like? Ask this question of friends, family, coworkers, your dentist and anyone else who might have a website. They’ll have recommendations for hosts they actually use, so they truly have the inside scoop. You can find out the good and the bad about each company and then turn that information into a solid list of contenders.

What do I really need and what do I just want? For example, I really need a MySQL database and PHP scripting. I’d like cPanel as my control panel, and I would like to have unlimited email addresses. Turn this into a list of musts and wants so that you can compare it to what each company offers. Be very honest about what is truly a requirement as those are things which will make or break your choices. If you can live without it, consider doing so.

Now you can check out the websites of those companies you were referred to. Compare the packages they have on offer to your list of needs and wants. Also look at the sites themselves as the more effort a company puts into creating a professional website; the more likely they are to be a high quality business. Once you have shortened your list, write down the cost of the package you expect to choose from each host so you can compare costs, too.

Now I would recommend calling each company. Tell them what you are looking for and ask what they think the best option would be. Sometimes you can get special discounts as incentive for signing up, such as getting a special rate for 6 months or having a feature added for free for a year, but you only get it if you call them directly. You can also get a feeling for their customer service by calling in, giving you another metric to compare your options on. Be sure to get everything they offer in writing by asking them to email it to you so you can get that great deal after you consider your options for a little longer.

Test out each form of customer service offered, including email, live chat and phone. Do they answer right away? If not, you may be in trouble if a real problem crops up down the road. Any company which doddles should be crossed off the list.

Once you have the answers to these questions, one or two companies should rise to the top. Once they do, pick the one you feel most comfortable working with. Thanks to this article, you will have found a host you can trust, afford and who offers exactly what you need. Good luck with your new partnership!