How Do You Pick A Reputable Web Hosting Company?

We originally complied this in 1998. I have resurrected this page and updated it to modern standards, but many of the underlying points are still valid.

Every day we have people call here with some sort of problem caused by their hosting company.

We’ve seen domains registered wrong They weren’t provided a username and password. We’ve had some who’s files have just mysteriously disappeared. Others that have been down for weeks. Some that are taken off line for billing errors that are the hosting companies fault. On and on and on goes the list of how hosting companies screw their customers and frankly we are tired of seeing it happen. So even if you don’t choose us, but you can find your self one that is decent then maybe you won’t have these problems.

Now we aren’t trying to scare you. We just want you to be aware and to make an informed decision.

So Here’s a few rules:

Rule 1: Size doesn’t matter. What matters is reputation. In fact the bigger the company the more they forget the meaning of customer service.  Check the BBB. They will give you good feel for who’s out there and who’s had problems. Even if it says they had problems but rectified it, I would take that as a warning sign. They should have done the right thing in the first place and waited until someone complained. Did you know that if you researched the largest hosting companies, the majority have been kicked out or have been kicked out in one city only to take out a membership in another. if you are unsure. Look for BBB’s reliability seal or call the BBB.

Rule 2: Know all about  what your doing with your domain registration and know how to get back into your account Treat this like keys to your house or the title to your vehicle. Its that serious!!!!!! Wouldn’t you hate to build your business only to find out you don’t own the name or don’t have the authority change the information.

Rule 3: Don’t believe everything you read.  Since the advent of Google Adwords, there always seems to be websites that review web hosting companies. They were sites only setup to live in the adwords world and direct traffic to web hosts that give them affiliate kick backs. Although Google has algorithm penalties in place to stop these type sites from ranking naturally, they do allow this type site to promote itself in the PPC space. We used to advise researching the domain but frankly that’s old school. Its better to recognize these sites for what they are, data aggregator that looks like a recommendation site. Users are much more sophisticated this days and can spot this type activity. Fake Reviews are all over the internet now.

Rule 4: Don’t sign up just because your webmaster says so.   We wrote this statement close to 20 years ago and since that time, this is one of the best buyer beware statements we can give out. Again this goes back to know who you are doing business with. But we have many sites though the years that webmasters sign up and then vanish. Poof.  Best of all they register it to themselves, they own the domain and bam, they drop off the face of planet  and your name is no where to be found, giving you no legal rights to a website that you bought and paid for.  Make sure you know who is hosting your domain and that your name is on the account with the host and on the domain registration.. I would say that this rule has no exception.

We have also prepared a check list for you below to use as you do research on these companies. This truly is a buyer beware industry. Yes there are some very good companies out there, big and small. Just make sure you try to find them. We encourage you to look at our hosting company if your found us though Google. We have been around longer than GoDaddy and HostGator. We have evolved from a web design firm to a full service digital marketing agency. We also have a full service hosting company that surpasses any other host on security and custom service.  We work with Small Business Development center in Houston, through the University of Houston’s Bauer College of Business. We are so available to our customers we actually run classes to help them compete on the internet. What other host would be willing to do that. Our Houston web hosting customers, we encourage you to take the time and check our calendar and come out and spend a class or two with us.

Company Name:
Web Address:
YesNoDo I own my domain?
YesNo30 Day Money Back Guarantee
YesNoIf I cancel after the first 30 days, will I get a refund of the time I haven’t used?
If No what is the policy:


YesNoAre their penalties if I go over my space? Read our page on unlimited web hosting 
If yes what are they and how is it calculated:


YesNo24 Hour Support
YesNoEmail Support Only
If yes what is the normal time I should expect an answer:
Have I tried it? How long to get a response?:
YesNoPhone Support:
YesNoHave I called to see how long the hold time is?
How long in business:
Better Business Bureau: Have I checked their file, do they have complaints?
We strongly urge you to take a minute or two and research any web hosting company you are going to do business with. The #1 complaint the BBB receives is regarding internet related companies. Remember there are no consumer protection laws with web hosting companies like there is with the some other utility companies you may already deal with. It’s up to you to protect yourself. The info is easily found online and may save you hassles in the long run.
Beth Guide - ACTWD

Beth Guide – ACTWD

Owner at ACTWD
Beth Guide, owner of ACTWD, is a leader in SEO and Digital Marketing. She also is a well known public speaker and technology expert within Houston.
Beth Guide - ACTWD
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