Author Zoe Davis explores the potential hazards when you choose web hosting for your site and the drawbacks of free hosting solutions.
Seven Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Web Host for Your Blog
Free web hosting may seem like a great solution to your blogging needs, but the truth is this: it really is not for everyone. Although there may be a few advantages to using a cheap web host, there are plenty of drawbacks as well. Before you place your business in the hands of a web hosting company, make sure you know what you’re getting into. Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid.
Number One: Cost
A company may lure you in with promises of low or no monthly fees. Before you go this route, check out the fine print on the web hosting agreement for any undesirable features. For example, some hosting companies will post advertisements on your site that can make it unattractive and possibly even lead your customers away before they see what you offer. Lost customers equal lost profits for you and that is a risk you probably are not willing to take.
Number Two: Uptime
While it is true that hosting companies will probably experience downtime at some point or other, there are a few out there that are virtually notorious for it. The last thing you want is a hosting company that keeps your website down and in turn keeps customers from finding your business. Research your hosting options thoroughly and you should be able to avoid this mistake easily.
Number Three: Tech Support
When it comes to technical support, you should keep the adage in mind, “hope for the best, but plan for the worst.” No one really ever hopes that they will have to contact tech support, but sooner or later you probably will. Before selecting a hosting company for your website or blog, find reviews on their tech support. Are they easy to get in touch with? Do they respond to emails quickly? Is their staff fairly knowledgeable and good at solving problems? This is crucial information. If you can’t turn to your hosting company when you need their help to repair a problem, where will you turn?
Number Four: Data Backup
Although a hosting company may promise to perform data backups regularly, you cannot rely on them to store everything for you. Mistakes can be made, websites can get hacked—you never know what is going to happen. So, make sure that in addition to choosing the best web host, you also perform your own data backups. Even if the web host apologizes for making a mistake, that will not get your blog back to its’ previous state.
Number Five: Add-ons
There is not a lot that you get for the price of “free.” This price tag on web hosting usually means very limited resources when it comes to multiple email accounts, web space allocation, bandwidth, etc. If you plan on adding a shopping cart, order forms, or an auto responder to your website in the near future, it is best to make sure that you can do that when you choose your web host.
Number Six: Income Streams
All businesses have to start somewhere. This is why sites like Wordpress are great—it is a terrific place if you are just getting started. However, you need to keep in mind how you are going to make your business grow. For example, there is nothing wrong with starting a free blog on Wordpress if you sell your own products and will not rely on getting paid from other companies that post ads on your site. Although, if you do want to get paid from ads by other companies, Wordpress probably is not for you since they do not allow things like Adsense on their free blogs.
Number Seven: Upgrading and Planning Ahead
Surely, every entrepreneur hopes that their business will take off and just skyrocket in profits from the very beginning. It does not happen with everyone but it could happen with your business. Growing pains can be a good thing, but they have to be handled properly. Make sure ahead of time that your hosting company will allow you upgrade your cheap webhosting package in the future if you need to. Suddenly discovering that you’ll have to change hosting companies and let your website experience downtime in the move could hurt your business. Try to avoid that by knowing in advance that you have room to grow.
In all honesty, you can easily avoid the most common mistakes made by bloggers when choosing a web hosting company. The main thing you should do is to thoroughly research all possible options before making a decision. Look at plenty of reviews on any sites you consider using for your web host. Look at both the good reviews and the bad to get an even picture. Overall, use your best judgment when you make your choice and you will do just fine.
Zoe Davis is a copywriter of Hosting Observer- an online guide for web hosting reviews. She is passionate about writing about the latest emerging technologies. While she is not writing, she enjoys travelling around the world with her family.
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