How to Find Out More About Your Webhosting Company

Before you make your final decision on which company will be hosting your website it is important to make sure that you know all that you can about them. Since you will be paying them your hard earned money, you need to be aware of any issues that may arise.

You cannot always expect a host to be forthcoming on all of their information, especially if it is not good. Many hosts will have testimonials on their website, but how do you know if they are truly from past customers?

Although the majority of hosts are ethical, it is always a good idea to make sure that you have done your research on them. Read through every single page on their site to see if there is anything that triggers your alarm bells. Actually read through their hosting agreement and terms of use, to make sure you understand everything completely. You will also need to do this with their privacy policy. If you can’t find this information on your host’s site, you may need to look elsewhere.

Although this will help you make up your own mind, you are still relying on the host to supply this information. They may not be the best source for the type of information you need to know, such as support issues, billing problems or unethical behavior.

Luckily, the Internet has provided consumers with a number of ways to quickly find information. You can take a number of steps to find out all of the information on a hosting company ahead of time.

1. Search for the company in a variety of different search engines. Try putting your query in quotes to narrow down the results. For example, “hosting company name.” This will pull up any pages that contain this exact phrase. This is a very useful way to find exactly what you are looking for.

2. Ask for references and then do some follow-ups. Are the references real customers, or employees posing as customers? Again, do a quick search to see what you can find.

3. Visit the BBB.org site. You can visit the Better Business Bureau online to see if anyone has lodged complaints against a host. Since many companies change their names, try searching for a phone number or email address if you have one.

4. Look for reviews. Many sites now feature hosting reviews. Try to see if the company you are interested in has had any bad reviews and then weigh these reviews carefully. Keep in mind it is impossible to please every customer, so one person with a bad experience may not constitute a bad company. However, if there are several people with the same complaint, be on the lookout.

5. Do a traceroute and a whois. See how many gateways you go through before ending up at your host’s site. You can also do a whois to see if your hosting company is actually a reseller. There is absolutely nothing wrong with purchasing a hosting plan from a reseller. However, if you prefer to do business with a company directly, you can approach them instead.

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Posted on 12/14/05 10:43 PM

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