Do you think price is the most important part of a web hosting service?  Do you automatically look for the cheapest deal?  Or are you prepared to look a little deeper and read the small print?  Web hosting services are a dime a dozen these days, and there’s fierce competition to come up with the most attractive sounding package at the lowest possible price.  However, if you allow yourself to be seduced by flashy features and crazy prices, it could well end up costing you more in terms of time and trouble.  You need to thoroughly check your web host’s policies before you sign up, and this article will show you how.

Check before buy a web hosting service

Meet The Neighbors
What sort of people use this service?  Does the web host actively prohibit server heavy sites, or does it not particularly care as long as the monthly fee gets paid?  Does it have a vigorous anti-spam policy?  Does it take steps to ensure that its servers aren’t used for illegal or disreputable sites?  Virtual bad neighbors are like real bad neighbors – they run down the neighborhood and people don’t come to visit you.  At best, you may find your website running slow, as those spammy sites suck the resources out of the host’s servers.
Check The Terms Of The Lease
Of course, it might be that you’re planning something which the neighbors might not like.  So check your web host’s policies to find out exactly what you can do and what you can’t.  If you’re planning to offer your visitors downloadable TV shows, does your host actually let you do that?
Check The Mail
Does your web host place a limit on the number of outgoing emails you can send?  Although that sounds like a restriction of your online freedom, it’s actually for your benefit.  Who uses unlimited email?  Spammers!  So if the IP address of your web host is associated with spam, it will be listed on spam databases.  In which case, your email isn’t going anywhere, except into spam filter limbo.
Know Your Tenancy Rights
Looking for a web host is like looking for an apartment, and you should ask the same sort of questions.  How often does landlord put up the rent, and how much notice do you have to give if you want to quit?  In other words, is the cost of web hosting likely to increase, and if so, is there a tie in period?  What happens if you’re not happy with the service?  Find out about the host’s refund policy, and how it operates.   Are there guarantees for uptime and technical support?
Know The Jargon
Key phrases to look out for are TOS (Terms of Service) and AUP (Acceptable Use Policy).  They’re inevitably long and boring to read on screen, but it’s crucial that you do.  Make sure there aren’t any other sets of policies you need to know about, such as email usage or bandwidth policies.
As with any other contract, it pays to read the small print, if you want to avoid nasty surprises.  Check your web host’s policies thoroughly, and you’ll find out more about them than you ever will from a list of features.

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