Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hosting Reviews Can Save You Tons of Time and Money

By John Mcdonald

When you're building a website for public traffic, the actual storage and transfer of data between the website and the internet surfer will be handled by the website's hosting provider. As such, any decision about who will host the site is going to affect everything from the speed and reliability of the website to the types of server utilizations that are deemed acceptable by the terms of use.

Since all the data associated with the site is stored remotely on the host's servers, losing access to your account can mean losing access to the entire website. While downloaded backups can help offset lost time, it can still be a pain to transfer and get everything up to date at a new host. If you had read multiple hosting reviews, you might have been able to spot a trend regarding a host that is quick to suspend its users and cancel account access.

Speed and reliability are two other things that can suffer from a poor decision about a hosting provider. Some cheaper hosts cut corners by throttling resources - yet many hosts don't even measure some server resources like bandwidth and disk space because they've already provided enough to accommodate many websites. By reading enough reviews, you should get a good feel for whether or not the host is able to quickly and consistently deliver the content surfers are requesting.

While any host can get a site online, many of them also have restrictions on the types of content and websites that they want to be associated with. So even if a site is fast and reliable, it may have specific policies that forbid certain business plans. Commonly, these restrictions affect email marketing campaigns, adult content, online storage, and certain types of aggregator websites. Reviews can help you spot limitations in the host's policies, but it is also essential to carefully review the terms from the official user agreement as well to make sure your plans are allowed.

Hosting reviews are an essential part of comparing your webhost options, but they also have limits because every user has a unique hosting need and a unique experience. As such, many reviews should be taken in to consideration, and a good bit of research will likely pay off by saving you time and money (and especially stress!) in the long run.

John is a writer and web publisher who current has more than a dozen sites hosted on multiple servers. Click here to read more about his experience with hosting providers with reviews of his current website hosts: A Bluehost review and a Dreamhost review

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