When starting a website, one of the questions that always comes up is what web hosting company to choose to host your website. Most web hosting companies will promise 99.99% uptime but very few will deliver. And when they don’t deliver, there is no recourse for all the downtime and loss of business your website incurred. You are left with either sticking with them and running the risk of loosing your sanity, or moving to a different web hosting company.
Most website owners ultimately choose to stick with their web hosting companies and give them another chance, after another chance, after another chance. Web hosting companies are skilled with coming up with reasons to justify the downtime (loss of power, hardware failure, Denial-of-Service attacks, software or hardware upgrades and the list goes on) but will never offer any compensation for their failed promise of 99.99% uptime. They know that most website owners would ultimately decide to stay with them than take the drastic and painful step of changing web hosts.
The process of changing web host is painful. You would need to backup up the files and database from your old server. You would need to transfer the files to a new web host. Depending on the size of your website (if you allowed your users to upload pictures and documents, we could be talking about several gigabytes of data), it may be a real challenge to transfer all the files. You would also need to recreate your database and the non-technically-inclined website owners may find this step challenging too. You would also need to update your DNS records to reflect your website move, which make take several days to propagate throughout the internet. As a result, your website may experience a significant downtime when it is moved to a new host.
In addition to all of this, some web hosting companies make it very hard for you to move by offering no support and no refund for the remaining months that you have not used (if you have signed up for a 1-year or 2-year hosting plan as most do). One may just decide to stick with the terrible hosting experience and endure all the downtime until the hosting plan ends. But this would be a mistake, especially if you own a successful website as the frequent downtime may prevent you from getting new visitors and drive away your existing users to competing sites. The website for which you worked so hard may start its decline.
For all the reasons mentioned above, it is very important to choose the right web hosting company from the very beginning. Before signing up with a web hosting company, you must do your homework. Search on the internet for reviews of the web hosting company that you had in mind. Read several reviews posted on different websites. Pay attention more to the reviews that sound negative or that are less favorable to the web hosting company. It is well-known that web hosting companies put out fake reviews that are favorable to them.
Here are a few decent web hosting companies that can be recommended based on their popularity:
- midPhase Hosting
- Bluehost Hosting
- Hostgator Hosting
- iPowerWeb Hosting
- GoDaddy Hosting
- Lunarpages Hosting
- FatCow Hosting
- iPower Hosting
- PowWeb Hosting
Most of these companies offer basic hosting plans for about $7.95/month or lower. A basic plan is what is recommended to most webmasters went starting out a new website, unless the website is expected to be an instant success. As your website gain popularity and attract a larger audience, the time will come to choose a more expensive hosting plan or go with dedicated hosting.