Some hints and tips for those seeking reliable web hosting. My goal here is to give you some tools to sieve out the scumbag, liar, cheat, and thief web host providers that are out there. Using these tips you should fill your net with web hosts worth your time and money, enabling you to find a new home for your web site.
First you need to find the web hosts. Just search for "web host providers" and you will get a daunting list of prospects. They will all promise reliability, great bandwidth and storage space and great customer service.
Once you have a kindly prospect or two, you need to crank your screen process up to the next level. You need to search the web on their business name looking for more information. You may find reviews and you may find links to the web host's own forum.
Check out the web host's forum – if they are having technical difficulties you may find signs of that here. You will be able to see how active their customers are and get an idea of how many customers they have. You will be able to see if people are having trouble resolving problems with the web host. You may find the web site names of some of the web hosts customers which you can also check on. Also make note of the dates on posts – little or no current activity could say that everything is going well and no one has any questions or problems. Or it could indicate a web host which client base is no longer growing and could be on a downward spiral.
You'll find sites that purport to "review" sites – check them out. Many of these "review" sites are no more than ads for the web hosts that they appear to be reviewing. site is pretty tainted.
Is the review dated, as in several years old? Things change fast on the www – a good or bad review from a year or two ago may have nothing to do with how current customers are faring.
If the review appears to be from a customer – does it give their web site url – bringing the web site up – are they still on the web? Take their name.com and use a domain registration search to see if their current nameservers still point to the company they have reviewed.
Take the prospective web host's domainname.com and look it up in the domain registration lookup and see who serves them – are they a parent company? See what the reviews are on them – I smoked out one sleazy bad web host provider this way – turned out both the parent and the "child" providers had bad track records.
Also when you look up the prospective web host's name on the domain registration look up – you'll find a person's name. Sometimes it will be a technical admin sort of person, sometimes the president / ceo of the company – whoever it is, do a search on that person's name on the web – you may find that they have a bad reputation and have been hiding in various companies.
Check out their help documents and search features – one site I looked into, all their faq's had documentation dates of April 2004. None had been updated and no new ones added in the three years since – computing just is not this static – it was a red flag, to me. Maybe not enough to throw them out, but it urged me to search further on them.
This should give you a good start on finding that elusive quantity – a reliable web host.