I've been reading this board for a few days as I've considered switching my single, small site to another host. (I don't think the reasons for switching are important to this post.)
I've seen a lot of recommendations to "do your research" before switching ... but how? Is there an objective way of finding out how a host performs in different areas? I've suspected that those host rating sites that show up in Google ads are bogus, and another thread on this forum pretty much confirms that.
So mostly what I've been doing so far is searching on WHT for posts that mention individual hosting company names, but that's pretty tedious, and many posts have an angle or an axe to grind. Is there a better way? I'd appreciate any tips.
Well, to see if the host is reliable, you'd look for reviews on the host by clients with the search function on this site.
For speeds, you can go to http://dnsstuff.com and type in the host's site in the "ping" box. You'll see how long it takes to ping the host in a number written like 34ms there. (The lower the number, the faster the host is)
You've already made a step in the research process - asking for help. =)
As for support and service, try emailing or using a form of communication provided by the host. If it takes them awhile just to reply, chances are they aren't serious about what they do.
Choosing a host can be a very daunting task. Here is how I would go about it.
Make a list of 20 hosts that have the space, bandwidth, features and price that I require.
Contact the 20 hosts support departments with a very simple question like what version of PHP do you run and short list those that reply back in an acceptable time to your needs.
Contact your short list support again but this time at an estrange hour after 11PM and before 6AM. This time I would ask a question that is harder and requires more of a reply. Again short list those that reply back in an acceptable time to your needs.
Phone if possible the sales department and see how there customer service is. See if there is any kind of special for moving hosts and get a feel of if you can trust them.
If you have time place a site monitor on the short list of hosts you have and watch there up time.
From this I think you should have about 2-3 left that you can choose from and then pick the one you feel reflects you. I hope this helps.
Beats sticking with the same service (or lack thereof).
Trust me: In the end the effort you expend in in researching a new host WILL save you time.
You also won't have to deal with any sleepless nights over your e-mail, site, etc. being down. (Not that they are now: The important part here is that you're interested in making a switch.. so make sure to take the proper steps and test the hosts support, read the public reviews, etc.)
Last edited by David; 08-04-2005 at 12:05 AM.
David Web hosting by Fused — For businesses with more important things to do than worry about their hosting.