Once you've got a list of hosting providers that appear
to meet your requirements, visit all their websites.
- E-mail any questions you may have early in the morning
of the business day. It is a test to see if anyone's home,
and how well and how courteously the hosts you're interested
in handle your inquiry. Any that don't respond by the end
of the business day should be dropped from your list immediately
("auto-responders" do not count). Trust us on
this one - although a provider may look “good on paper”,
if they're so busy they can't get back to you by the end
of their business day (make allowance for time-zones), there's
no way they'll be able to give you adequate service, especially
if you run into a serious problem. If you only get an answer
in the evening or at night it's a good sign that the provider
has a “day job” and is a part-timer, making
it likely you'll hear back on a question only once in a
- Make sure they offer what you require. Ask to see a demo
of their website control panel. Ask for a free trial
to test the service.
Make sure they offer a 30 Day Money-Back Satisfaction Guarantee.
If they are not confident enough in their product to offer
this, simply look else where
- Check their User Acceptance Policy to ensure they don't
allow spam or bulk e-mailing. If unsolicited junk mail goes
from a server you subscribe to, the server and/or your website
can be "banned" or "bombed" by recipients
who object to this behaviour. Consequently, you could end
up "off-line" or seriously "disabled"
by a nasty virus!.
- Double-check that the host you're researching will allow
the access you need to install and run any software that
you require for your service.
- Do a "www.allwhois look up" or "who is"
search on the host and find out how long they've had their
websites (refer to the date the record was created). If
it is less than one year, move on!
- Internet Service Providers that offer dial-up access,
in addition to hosting services, are unlikely be specialised
and so their service may not be able to provide you with
adequate support. You should probably avoid them.
- Look for the name of the company's accountant or lawyer
on the web site. This is usually a good indication of the
company's credibility and legitimacy. You can also do a
search on them at the Companies Office. You can also check
any mortgages they may have while you are there and research
information about the directors and other interested parties.
- Make sure there is a contact phone number on the site.
Although generally e-mail is the best way to request support,
may be times when an urgent enquiry has to be made. You
could make a trial call - ask a few questions to see how
helpful they are.
- Ask for a few references of others that are hosting with
them. Generally if they have established business' on there
servers, they must be providing adequate service to keep
these customers happy.
- Your host must have a minimum of a T1 connection. So your
site is delivered at top speed.