In these days of instant everything, patience is one of the few things not going viral online. When you can make a dinner reservation, skim the news headlines or buy a domain name in less than 30 seconds, who wants to take the time to wait around for anything?
While you won’t want to choose a new web hosting plan in less than 30 seconds and without a little research, you can tell a lot by a web host in just half a minute.
One of the biggest complaints that web hosting clients lodge is that their websites do not load consistently fast enough. Point your browser to any web hosting company and time how fast their website loads. Your potential new host likely won’t be on the same shared web hosting server as your domain, but they will use the same network. Test it out. How fast do the pages load? Compare one company against another by using whichloadsfaster.com.
Some hosting companies specialize in dedicated servers and others provide virtual private servers and Linux based shared web hosting plans. If you’re looking for a Windows plan and see nothing but Linux hosting, you can quickly move on to checking out the next host.
Many hosts list their cheapest shared hosting plan right on the index page of their website. Take it two or three mouse clicks further and you should be able to compare the prices of all the web hosting plans from any company.
Candid hosting companies have no problem slapping their uptime guarantee right on the front page of their site. With others hosts, you may find that information included with the details of each plan. Either way, look for an uptime guarantee. If it’s not there, you won’t be protected if your website goes down.
Contact and support information
Next to uptime problems, web hosting clients are most frustrated by a lack of support from their chosen hosting company. In thirty seconds or less, you should be able to discern how every hosting company offers support, how to reach them, and where their offices are located.
Terms of Service
A Terms of Service contract tells you, the client, what’s acceptable to host on your web hosting server. Not reading the Terms of Service could spell the end of your web hosting career if you’re caught violating the terms by sending spam or running disallowed scripts. You won’t find the Terms of Service linked in bold on web hosting company sites, but you will find a link to the contract in the footer of each website.
The host’s history
Wouldn’t you love to know whether you’re hosting your money making website with a 17 year old high school dropout on a reseller hosting plan or with a real company that is established as a business? Take a few seconds and search for an About Us section on each site and then read it.
Taking just 30 seconds to glance over hosting company websites can help you quickly and easily weed out hosts you’re not interested in from hosts you want to find out more about. As soon as you’ve separated the good guys from the bad guys, it’s time to go to work reading web hosting reviews that will help to guide you to the host of your dreams.