Despite the common misconception, there are huge differences from one web hosting company to another. Don’t just grab the first host you come across. Take your time, do some research, and choose a host that works best for you. These hints should help:

Be sure to register the name of your domain separately from your web hosting service. In case the service shuts down, or you have conflicts with the company, you will still own your own domain name and can just change to a new host. You might not have any control over your website’s registration, the host will.

Your web hosting company should do business out of the country where your target audience lives. For instance, if you target customers in the UK, make sure you choose a web hosting company whose data center resides there as well.

After you have your site up and going, it is important that you gather statistics about your site. These statistics tell you many things including how many customers and their actions. Find a great web hosting service that provides these types of statistics for you to make business decisions about.

If you’re searching for the very best web host, you need to consider the look of the host’s website and the site’s usability. You don’t want to use a web host that has a badly designed website. If a host’s website is designed badly, this either shows that they are new to the world of web hosting or they’re only in the business for the short term. You don’t need a web host like this. Instead, choose one with a website that’s excellently designed.

You should keep a backup of your site on your computer or on a flashdrive. In case your web host is encountering major issues and you cannot have access to your data, you will be able to switch to another host by simply uploading your site to a different server.

When searching for a reputable web host, you should aim to find one that has all the important documents. These include terms of Service, Acceptable Usage Policy, and Privacy Policy. These documents are meant not just to protect the host, but also the users. Ensure that when you find these documents that you look over them really carefully. If you can’t find these documents on a host’s website, then you should look elsewhere.

Decide which host to use based on how well it meets your hosting needs rather than on other services it provides. You might not get the best deal on domain names or other extra services from your web host provider. Don’t purchase these extra services when you sign up for web hosting unless you’re confident that you’re getting the best deal.

Now you really understand the difference between your average host and great companies that have racks filled with servers, all running dedicated memory for hosting your files. Review these tips when your contract is up for renewal, or whenever you’re ready to choose a better host.