Hello, I am an unofficial n00b making the transition to official n00b.
I had a Topcities account, originally a free account, and then I upgraded to the No-Ads plan. My website was up for a good couple of years. Two weeks ago, my whole account was erased. My sign-up name no longer existed; my website was gone.
I e-mailed Topcities. Never recieved a single reply. I have no idea why it was removed, or if/how it violated the TOS (which incidentally, also had changed from the last time I had viewed it when I went to check to see if I had done wrong... and was not e-mailed about those changes, either.)
I am feeling quite upset about the whole deal, and now have no idea where to look, inundated with different places proclaiming to be the best. I just want somewhere quietly reliable. (My website is pretty small...) Is there an effective way to shop around rather than wallowing through the sea of data? All I wants is a nice simple domain name, a few gig o' bandwidth, and 200MB space...
Do you have a local copy of your website? Hopefully you do.
The #1 thing most customers really need in a hosting provider is communication. Your experience is the perfect example of this. A lot of companies can promise a lot of technical features, but without proper communication for tech support and billing support it really doesn't mean much.
Every web hosting company claims to be the best just like every other market sector. Who is better McDonalds or Burger King. The answer is neither, they are both good at what they do. Web hosting is not unlike traditonal business markets.
Personally I would contact a few companies via email, ask them a few questions, and see what their response is like. That will give you a general idea of their communication with their customers.
I can't seem to find The Right Plan For Me out there - either too expensive (and offering too many features/too much) or not enough, or like one website I found, have only 1 part-time student-type running the show. But yes, I am in the process of doing as you say, e-mailing around.
The jargon is the main hamper to my efforts, sadly. I've used free places like geocities etc. for so long I find myself a bit overwhelmed. It's like being an AOL user stepping into the sunlit rays of a real Internet browser.
My previous host was at 150MB space, and 1GB bandwidth - only twice went over the bandwidth limit in the 2 years I had the site, so maybe 2GB to cover myself. The space preferably at least 100MB.
And preferably as cheap as possible - but not compromising quality. I believe in, "you get what you pay for" so if I knew I was getting the quality, I'd pay more. But so many places offer hosting in excess of what I need.
The other thing is I don't really know what the "average" price is - it seems to vary wildly from site to site. I guess no more than $7/month to keep my pocket alive.
Check out the signatures of forum members who make
competent and knowledgeable postings, read reviews
about webhosts here at WHT and have a look at threads
where people ask for webhost recommendations.
The Shared and Reseller Hosting Offers here at WHT
are also useful to get an overview.
When you have found a host you feel comfortable with
use the WHT Search Feature for more information.
If your search is not successful just ask in the forum for
It's always the best to make your own informed decision.
I wish you much success