It was about 4 years ago when I decided to set up my first website. Back then I didn’t know what html, or WordPress, or a Cpanel was, or even the term “keyword phrases”. I just needed a website and so I typed “best hosting company” into the little search box. After some looking around I selected a company who appeared to have the best deal. I should have remembered the old addage “You get what you pay for“
They had no Cpanel so working around in the back office was confusing especially for a newbie, even the login button was inconspicuous and hard to find. When I called their customer support I waited a long time only to finally hear a voice that was not only difficult to understand, but was not overly friendly or anxious to answer my newbie questions. I wanted to install wordpress, but it was very complicated because they had no Fantastico, and it was my first wordpress installation.
Since that time I have had a number of hosting accounts, but it is one that shines above all the others and that is Hostgator. One thing I can’t stress enough is that if you ever have a real problem with your hosting account you will want to be with a company like Hostgator. One day I tried to log in to my Cpanel and someone had hacked into one of my sites, and remotely changed the password to my hosting account. They were hosting close to 50 sites from my account. After I recovered from heart failure, I called Hostgator support. They had my problem solved within the day.
If you are a new to having your own site you may not know what types of things are most important when shopping for a web hosting company. Take it from me – customer service should be a the top of your list.
Here’s what I wish I would have know back then about finding the best hosting company.
1. Make sure the company you choose uses Cpanel. That is simply your control panel and it is very east to navigate. Any newbie can easily read and click their way around inside a Cpanel.
2. Make sure it has Fantastico. Fantastico is a utility that allows you to install wordpress onto your domain from inside your Cpanel with just a few clicks. If you have been on the internet any time at all you will eventually want to have a wordpress site. Once you use Fantastico you’ll see that it really lives up to it’s name.
3. Call their customer serviced and check them out. How long did it take them to answer the phone? Can you understand them? Are they available 24 hours? Are they friendly and eager to help or do they seem in a hurry to get off the phone?
4. Can you use FTP? Some free hosts allow you to design with an online site builder, which might seem really cool, but if you want to add custom pages as your site grows you will need to be able to use FTP. (FTP stands for File Transfer Protocal and it allows you to transfer information from your computer and make it live on your server so it can be seen on the web)
5. Some free hosts also have file size limitations. You may not be able to upload files larger than say 200MB. The best hosting companies will not impose these limits.
6. You should think ahead too. Is there any chance you will want to want to have more than one site. If so, then you may want a hosting company with a plan that allows you to host unlimited sites for a small monthly fee. For instance, you may be able to host one site for $5 a month but you may want to pay $15 or $20 and host as many sites as you want.
I’m sure there are other considerations, but these are things you should consider when looking for the best hosting company. As I said previously, sometimes you get what you pay for, but in the case of Hostgator, I have gotten more than my money’s worth many times over again. I give them a five star recommendation
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