As a webmaster you can unknowingly make fatal mistakes which can eventually destroy your website. Here’s are some common pitfalls related to web hosting that you should avoid at all costs:
Before fixing your deal with a web hosting service, it is wise to ask the company for a round-the-clock method to contact them. Then, to make sure you’re dealing with a real company and are not falling into a cyber-crime plot, test the contact method. This holds even when you think you’re dealing with Web hosting giants because cyber frauds are way more common than you think. Also, it is a good practice to tally the domain name of the web hosting company to its actual name and make sure they match. Often, over the internet your shrewdness is the only thing that can ever come to your aid.
It’s a bad idea to hire someone to host your website without having a fairly decent idea of your bandwidth and space requirements. To be on the safe side, maintaining a factor of safety when counting bandwidth and face requirements is advisable. Little can be done once you have paid for the hosting plan and you discover that your site takes an hour to load, or half of it cannot be hosted because of disk space shortages. Furthermore, it pays in the long run to leave some resources for the expansion of your website, both in terms of bandwidth and space. Having to change over to larger host can be a huge pain!
For users with a lot of security requirements, it is essential to make sure that the company is capable of hosting encrypted web pages where a visitor might enter private information ( credit card detail, say) with out running into problems. An easy way to confirm this is to check out for “https” on the URL. Since web hosting is usually a profit oriented investment, it makes no sense to scare customers away with insecure pages.
Once your site is online (this is especially important if you have opted for shared hosts) try downloading the web page from the slowest internet connection you have access to. It is a rule of thumb that a web page has decent server response if it loads in ten seconds from a 56kbps dial up modem (sites running on php scripts are exception to this rule). If it doesn’t load in that time then you should be worried because slow websites are often penalized by search engines and leave a very bad impression on visitors.
Make sure the web hosting service you’re opting for lets you use your own domain name for your website. While most companies provide this facility, some prefer to assign only a subdomain followed by their own domain name, as practiced by most free hosts and blogs. Unless you’re on an experimental run you should not settle for a subdomain for a few odd bucks. Your visitors won’t take you seriously until you have your own domain. Moreover, a customized URL is easy to remember and looks very professional.
A word on security: if you’re new to the web hosting scenario, try not to disclose any personal information to hosts until you’re sure of authenticity. Avoid filling out bank account names and online transaction account details right in the beginning of your contract. Better safe than sorry!