A client of mine paid for a solo advert to promote
his website in the newsletter I publish at
e-bizministry about two months ago. As I
was about to send his advert to my list, he called
me up on phone and told me not to send it yet.
Naturally, I asked him why. His reply shocked me out
of my wits.
He said he had just discovered that his website had
disappeared from the net. He even said the same thing
had happened to the same website earlier in the year
when it disappeared in January only to reappear for
just one week in May. I could not help but laugh
because I knew his problem. He had made a wrong
choice of web host.
Your choice of web host can either promote your business
or ruin your business. You have to be very careful
when choosing your web host or you will be consistently
losing up to 80% of your income due to your web
Here are a few quick tips on how to know which
web host is reliable, affordable and right for your
1. Check if the web host has a web presence. Face it,
if a company claims to be a web host and they don't
have a functional website of their own, then they
have no business hosting other people's websites.
Any web host you will use must have a functional
website where you can check for domain availability,
get support and order for their hosting services.
Additionally, you should conduct random checks on
their website. If you visit their site randomly ten
times and the site is not available more than once in
those ten times, forget about that company except you
want your own website too to be unavailable almost
all the time.
2. Any web host you will use must have an appreciable level
of relevant experience. A minimum of a full year of operation.
A new web host will only experiment with your website and
the result may not be good for your business. Visit
the web host's website and read about them. If they
don't talk about their experience, then they don't
have it. Just leave them alone.
3. Look out for their present clients' testimonials
on their website. Call or email the clients and ask
them questions. If they confirm that the web host is
good, then the company has passed this test. However,
if you don't even find a single testimonial on their
website, they probably don't have any satisfied client.
What to do? Just leave them alone.
4. How fast or how well does the company respond to
support emails? You can find out by conducting this
small test. Visit the web host's website and submit
or email an enquiry to them. If you don't get a
response in 24 - 48 hours, please run away as fast
as your legs can carry you. Why? When you host
your website with them and you have a problem,
it will take them more than a month to respond to
your support emails or requests.
5. You should not forget to check out their prices.
The prices must be within reasonable limits and
their packages must have the features you desire;
adequate monthly transfer, email addresses,
MySQL databases, CGI bin, FTP access, control
panel etc. Very high prices don't necessarily
translate into very good services. Don't be
fooled by high prices. It's a common trick,
please don't fall for it.
6. It must be easy and secure to make payments
to your web host. It is not advisable to fill
in your credit card details when making your
payment. You should rather use a web host that
accepts other forms of payment that do not
require you to fill in your credit card details
e.g. paypal and egold. If you are in a country
where you don't have easy access to credit card
facilities, it is even better to use a web host
that accepts payment in your local currency.
This will ensure that you won't have any
problems when you want to renew your domain
and your hosting accounts.
7. Use only web hosts that give 24 hour online
access to your account. With that, you have
total control over your domain and your website
and you can change anything including your
name servers (DNS)whenever you want.
8. It is better to use a web host that offers
additional web services such as web design,
website promotion, search engine submission
and website management. They can be of help
to you in future if you have any problems
with your website or you need any additional services.
9. Before you make your payment, read the
terms and conditions of the company carefully.
If you don't understand or agree with any
of their terms contact them for more explanations.
10. Finally, I know it may be very time consuming
for you to conduct these tests on the hundreds
of web hosts out there before choosing one. I
have therefore taken the pains to analyse
hundreds of them. I recommend two web hosts
that have passed our simple tests. I can put
my reputation on the line and guarantee their
efficiency, reliability and affordability.
Oyeleke Toye is a web consultant, with expertise in web
hosting, web design, web promotion, website management and
custom scripts installation. The web hosts I recommend are: