While you can and should do a lot of research online when shopping for hosting, it’s very easy these days to actually test drive or try out a web hosting company to see if it actually is right for your website. A number of web hosts give you a free trial period—and even those that don’t usually have a full-money back guarantee period where even if you decide to cancel, you get a refund. Be sure to check this out before you purchase or try out any web hosting plan!
Typically, your trial period will be 30 days. For web hosts that offer a full refund, the timeframe can be anywhere from 30 to 90 days. While you are testing out your web hosting, pay particular attention to these factors in your evaluation:
1. Speed and Performance
Test out your site at different times of the day. Make sure you can connect through FTP and file manager. Ideally of course, you want your website to be accessible and speedy at all times.
2. User Interface
Since you’ll be spending a lot of time working in the environment, make sure you are comfortable with your control panel. Is it more graphical or text base? How well is it working out for you? Is it intuitive enough for you?
3. Customer Support
Can you reach customer support via all avenues: chat, phone, email?
Are the tech support reps helpful and able to answer all of your questions?
Are you receiving courteous service? A lot of web hosting companies provide great service. But you may be surprised how horrid some can be. In the past, I’ve had a support person put me on hold after every single question I asked. And, I’ve also had experiences with support people that were not very polite.
Do you have access to all the extra features that were offered? Is the selection of applications adequate for your site? Are they trying to constantly upsell you on everything? Watch out for companies that may pre-select some optional services that you don’t need. Not only did I have that happen to me before, but this same company seemingly tried to upsell me on some services every time I logged in.