How to Choose a Hosting Company

A question which constantly comes up on forums and recently on TidBits talk is how to choose a web hosting company.

The rules are surprisingly simple.

Number one: avoid the bottom tier budget webhosts: they sell on unlimited bandwidth and disk storage. It's simply impossible to fulfill those unlimited promises with quality service

This would include popular hosts like

  • BlueHost
  • Dreamhost (enter promo code FREEIPFORLIFE to get a dedicated IP for life: $4/month value)
  • Hostgator

The above names are actually the best of a bad lot and at least try to serve some customers sometimes unlike the real fly-by-nighters. If you insist on cutting your hosting budget to the bone, your chances of not losing your website or your business go up if you use one of the three above.

How do the unlimited guys try to make it work?

  • they limit CPU usage ("sure you have unlimited bandwidth but your website is using up CPU minutes serving")
  • they slow down your site (if your site is serving slowly, many users will abandon it - not what you want to do with your hard-earned, valuable traffic)
  • they slow down larger downloads (large images, video: who wants to sit around and wait for video to come down at 20 KB to 80 K/sec)

As a web design and marketing company we have a lot of experience both on hosts of our own and the hosts chosen by our clients (I've had first hand experience with all of the hosts I mention, including an active account on one of them) run our own hosting for our clients and chose LiquidWeb as our hosting partner.

It's not the cheapest but server loads are always under control, downtime is non-existent and the IP's are clean (no porn, no spammers).

For business hosting the following five issues are the big issues:

  • speed
  • reliability
  • availability of tech support
  • competency of tech support
  • clean IP's for search engines

You want your site serving fast.

You don't want downtime.

You want to be able to reach tech support when you need them by both ticket and telephone (or online chat).

You want the right answer fast, not the wrong answer which will send you on a weeklong goose chase.

You do want to rank well for Google. Which means clean IP's.

By choosing LiquidWeb as our partners for Foliopress hosting, our own clients get the benefits of LiquidWeb but with our additional expertise in WordPress.

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