How to choose the best web hosting service

As indie developers we need to do our best to keep costs low and to use all resources wisely.

I develop not only mobile applications but web sites as well. And I carefully chose the hosting company.

Bellow are the factors I’ve analyzed and the reasons It they are important.

  1. Price – This item varies a lot. We find web hosting services ranging from free to very expensive fees.
    At first free services seems a good idea, but usually it is not. Why?
    Many reasons. Let me enumerate them:

    • limited disk space.
    • limited bandwidth.
    • lack of adequate support.
    • usually it is not possible to use a domain name.
    • limited database access (if any).
    • slow loading pages.
    • limited languages available (usually you only can count on HTML and javascript).
    • usually you’re not allowed to include your own ads on your pages.
    • usually you’re obligated to accept  outside advertisements on your site.

    If you’re serious about your business and care about your users/customers, You need to be able to offer the best service to them. This means that limitations above are unacceptable.

    The best approach is to choose a hosting service that provides the best service with the most features at the lowest possible price.

  2. Contracts – Usually you will need to commit to use the hosting service for a specified length of time (usually one year). It has some advantages and some disadvantages. What?
    • Advantage: agreeing to a contract usually reduces the monthly fee (the longer the length of time you commit to use the lower the monthly fee).
    • Disadvantage: If you dislike the service provided by the hosting company you will be fined if you decide to end the contract early in order to go to another service.

    To solve this I looked for a hosting service that had a good reputation, that offered high discounts for contracts with longer length of time but that let me quit anytime for a trial period.

    I found a very renowned hosting service that offers a high discount over an already low price service and that let us try its services for a month prior to sign the contract. Better than that, customers can cancel the contract until 97 days after signing it. It gives you more than 3 months to regret and to end to change the hosting services.

    I’m using the hosting service I chose since May, 2010 and I’m very satisfied with them.

  3. Support – No matter how good you are, soon or later you will need support from your hosting service provider. This time you will see whether you’ve chosen the right provider.Is it easy to get in touch with support? Do they answer e-mails in a reasonable time? Is it possible to talk to a real person? Do they know how to help you?There are two ways to discover whether the support is good:
    • through your own experience (and at this point it may be too later)
    • through the experience of others. This is the best way and is achieved by listening the other’s opinion.
  4. Resources – What do the hosting company offers? Some hosting services offer limited resources. That’s bad because you may need to expend more money in the future to acquire them. The rule of thumb is the more the better. Following are some resources I consider very important.
    • domain name: unlimited domain names allow you to create a lot of services (websites) without the need to pay any new hosting fees. you to host multiple websites (domains) on one account at the price of one.
    • disk space: unlimited disk space is essential. Specially when you have unlimited domain names. Your new services will be hosted at the same account without making you expend any extra cent.
    • bandwidth: you’re working to make your site became a success, right? The more successful your site, the more visitors you’ll get. The more visitors you get, the more traffic your site will consume. What about to have to pay extra cash for these visitors? Not nice, huh? That’s the importance of unlimited bandwidth.
    • database: unlimited database let you accommodate the growth of data without the worry of extra expenses.
    • e-mails: the hosting service provider must supply enough e-mails account with your own domain name. Moreover, each account must have enough space to hold all e-mails.But what is enough space? What is enough e-mails?
      Enough space is a concept that varies a lot. For me, at least 2GB is required because I archive all e-mails I send / receive.The number of e-mails must be large enough to give one e-mail for each worker plus some extra generic or service e-mails, like [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] The rule of thumb is: the more the better.

    I’ve chosen a hosting service that offers unlimited resources.

There are other points you should take in consideration before choosing a hosting service, but these are a guide you can use as start point.

Up to now I’m very satisfied with the hosting service provider I’m using. I strongly recommend it.

This post is part of a series that I’m planning to write to show you what I’m doing to make a living on-line. I hope it will be useful to you.

Disclaimer: Please note that the links for the hosting service (dream host) in this post are affiliate links and I do earn a commission through any purchases that you make.
If you do make a purchase, I appreciate it greatly! If you wish, shoot me an email or let me know on the Facebook Page so I can thank you personally.
Rest assured that I do not recommend a product / service that I don’t trust and that I don’t use.

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