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By: Jennifer Devitt on January 22nd, 2012

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3 Things to consider when choosing a webhost.


Today's post was written by the founder of SYDCON, Dave Devitt.

Over the past several weeks we've had a rash of misfortunes with 3rd party Webhosts with a few of our clients. I know your probably thinking "Doesn't SYDCON host their client's websites?" Yes, we do provide hosting services, but sometimes we are not the right match for the website or our client would like to stay where they are currently hosting their site. So we often tell our client to consider the following when deciding to stay with their current Webhost or move to a new one.

Bigger is not always better

Recently one client of ours was with a very large hosting provider. They went from a static HTML website to a newly designed website with a CMS that we programmed. Their hosting account wasn't enabled for PHP & MySQL. So our client battled with the host to have them enabled. This ended up taking 2 FULL weeks to accomplish. On top of that, the host installed a version of PHP that was 6 years and 14 versions old.

Smaller is not always better

Another client of ours was hosting with a very small local company. The client was not happy with the service they were receiving from their host, so they wanted to move. We were assisting our new client in the move and needed to get the standard FTP info, cPanel info, etc. to get the files and database to install on our server. Our client reached out to the host to get this information and low and behold the webhost just packed up and moved with no forwarding phone or address! Apparently, this was a one-man show hosting operation and luckily our client found his FTP info so we were able to get the website files and through some highly intelligent programmers on staff, we were able to grab the database thru code.

You get what you pay for

Although it looks highly attractive, the low budget webhosts are not always the best choice. From our experience, some of these hosts will only perform backups one or two times a week, not backup databases, have hundreds of websites on your server or have offshore customer support. Now I'm not saying you should invest hundreds of dollars per month in dedicated hosting fees if it's not necessary. But you should consider this...what type of support can be expected from a $4.00 per month host?

So the bottom line is do your homework when deciding on a new webhost. Ask your developer for suggestions or recommendations on who would be a good match for your website. Since 1998, we've worked with very many hosting companies and can recommend some very good ones (outside of us) and some to stay far, far away from. Do you have a nightmare-hosting story you can share? Or recommend a good one?