How to Choose the Best Host
You've secured your domain name and now you're ready to find a place to build your website. This is the job of a web hosting company, and there and thousands of web hosting companies online. Let me warn you that shopping for a web host is worse than shopping for a used car. You'll find a whole lot of websites with a lot of nice looking front pages, promising 99.9% uptime, fast, reliable service. The reality is that most web hosts are poor. Over the past 10 years, I've worked with almost 30 different web hosts while setting up sites for others and trying to trouble-shoot issues. More times than not, hosting companies will run their server resources as high as possible, putting as many websites on one machine as memory will allow, and when activity becomes high during peak times of the day, your website will suffer. I won't get into list making, but I will tell you the absolute worst host I've ever dealt with was ThinkHost. In 2010, I tracked downtime for a particular client, over a two month period, and found this downtime to be an average of almost 40 hours per month! Can you imagine?! I had a furious client that couldn't get her business off the ground. She had opted for the lowest price host she could find and unfortunately, she found one of the poorest hosts out there.
So who's my pick for the best web host? If I'm handing out my recommendation for the one host that has stood well above the rest, I never hesitate to say that
WebFaction is the way to go. What makes WebFaction better than the rest?
If you make your way around the WebFaction site before you purchase, you'll find that they encourage you to plug "WebFaction Sucks" into Google and see for yourself how they fare. I did this and was amazed that I could only find 2 or 3 actual articles where people were truly unhappy. This speaks volumes! Try it with any other web host you find. You'll typically find hundreds of indexed pages of past clients, who have a lot of negative things to say.
The truth.. When you arrive at the WebFaction site, you'll see a lot of promises, but unlike most hosts I've dealt with, these guys deliver! This website is a WebFaction hosted site. I've yet to ever experience any down time and they don't overbook their servers so my websites (I have over 20 that I maintain) are always fast. This not only keeps visitors happy (slow sites tend to make people exit early), but Google actually gives your website better rankings, based on the speed of your site when they index it. Best of all, I can't say enough about their support staff. They answer tickets quicker than any other web host I've ever dealt with.
Whether you choose WebFaction or any other host, do your homework first. Check out hosting reviews and keep in mind that the first few listings for "hosting reviews" (when doing a search) are often sites owned by the hosting companies themselves, disguised as legitimate sites to promote themselves. Look for real reviews from real people and make sure your new host is someone that will take care of you for years to come!