14 May 2009

Finding the Right Web Host

As you may remember, I am in the process of moving-on from my time at Blogger. When I first began my blogging experience, I knew nothing about what it takes to write and produce a blog. The actual writing of the blog was not really a stumbling block for me; it was having to do everything else that caused me the problems. I had to discover how to attract people to my site and actually read what I had published. I also needed to teach myself HTML and CSS, so I could modify the templates that I was using. Throughout this time, I did not have to worry about having to pay a monthly fee to have my site hosted, so I was able to learn at my own pace. However, now that I know just enough to get myself into trouble, I feel that I have outgrown Blogger and I am now ready to strike-out on my own.

One of the first things that you will notice when you begin hunting for a host, is the vast number of web hosting companies there are out there. When I first began searching, I let my wallet do the walking and searched through a number of free hosting sites. Yes, they are out there, but if you want to be in total control of your site, you may not want to go with those companies. What you want to look for is a hosting company that is both reliable and inexpensive. Although this may seem like an impossible combination to find, with the right tools, it is possible.

Although you can run around and go from one hosting site to another and take your own notes, you may want to go to one place and have all the footwork done for you. The site that I found had their reviews nicely arranged on an awards page. On this page you will find the results of independent consumer reviews on separate hosting companies. The companies that have received the highest number of votes in their category are listed and available for your inspection. For example, if you were looking for the best blog host, you would click on the name of the company and be taken to a very detailed description page. They have categories for best budget hosting, e-commerce hosting, PHP web hosting, and forum hosting, to name just a few. I have to admit that there are several companies that I have never heard of, but I now have their information in my arsenal and can use it to make an informed decision.

Once you have a short-list of the companies that you are interested in, you can now go and conduct your in-depth research on those hosting sites. You will want to try and find independent reviews and opinions with regards to those companies. Talk to your friends and fellow bloggers and find out who they use and why. Once you are comfortable and are willing to take the final plunge, be sure you know how to change web hosts, so you limit the downtime of your site. From copying your files to making sure all your internal links work properly, there will be a lot of work for you to do to ensure a smooth transition.

Although the choice can be daunting, I hope that the resources included in this article will help you along the way to making an informed decision. Just be sure to do your research and listen to those that are already out there and using these services. While I can only provide you the necessary information, your fellow friends and bloggers can give you their opinions based on first-hand experience. Try and use both when making your final decision and good luck with your choice.

2 comments:

  1. Good luck! We just made the change from Websitesource (THE WORST!) to FatCow. Moving two websites was a chore and we still have our Church site to move.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Furkidsmom: Thank you and good luck with moving the site. Thanks also for the heads-up and the web host:)

    ReplyDelete

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