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Don't Pick a Stinky Host
by Terri Wells | Published Feb. 15, 2006
Article Rating: 3 Stars ( based on 3 votes)
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With the dizzying number of options for a web host for your site, how do you know which one to pick? The answer is to follow your nose -- and avoid making the common mistakes explained in this article. If you do pick a stinky web host, never fear: you will also find some tips to help you keep the damage to a minimum.

Choosing a web host is a big decision for any business or organization. Even someone who is working on their website only as a hobby would like to avoid the kinds of problems we have all heard about: poor customer support, too much downtime, and so on. Short of hosting the site yourself, which has its own issues, how can we make sure that we (and our customers, who shouldn't even notice) will be satisfied with our web host?

There are plenty of articles that explain what to look for, and what to do, when choosing a web host. In fact, there is an excellent one on our Web Hosters site right here:
. So you may already know about what to do. I’m going to tell you about what mistakes to avoid, so you won’t feel as if you have to hold your nose while choosing a web host. Some of my suggestions may even help you if you discover after the fact that your web host is a little, um, overripe.

The first thing you want to do is make sure that smell doesn’t have its start in your backyard. A web host can’t be expected to read minds. Know what your website needs as far as resources, and be prepared to keep your web host informed when those needs change. You might find that certain scripts you want to use on your site are not compatible with your host’s servers, for instance. This will also help you when you want to upgrade or move your account.

Once you know your own needs, you are ready to start doing research. While a hobbyist might not consider web hosting to be a major purchase (and many get by with free or budget web hosting), a business that expects to rely on its website should treat their choice of web host with the same seriousness that they would treat choosing any major purchase or supplier. While it is not irrevocable, it can sometimes be difficult to switch web hosts. You can turn to the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for help if a web host truly engages in foot-dragging about a switch, but ideally anyone would want to avoid the need for this.

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