Trying to find a suitable website hosting company can be a difficult task. The simple truth is that there are so many different web hosting options that choosing between one host and another can be perplexing. There’s Linux web hosting, Windows Servers, VPSs, dedicated servers, cPanel and Plesk control panels – the variations and options are endless.

These usually-confusing options are further compounded by the sheer number of Canadian web hosting companies available today. While who you choose to host your website is ultimately up to you, here are some tips to help you filter out the bad or incompatible hosting companies from your list of potential candidates.

Look for hosting features that meet your needs

Different Canadian web hosting services offer different types of hosting accounts, different plans and different account amenities. Unless you have very specific needs or plan on maintaining a very busy website, a personal hosting plan on a Linux server will probably work for you. However, if your website has to interface with Outlook, you plan on running an ecommerce business, or you need to install custom scripts on your website, you will need to be sure that your perspective hosting company can accommodate your various needs.

Choosing a hosting company simply because they host websites is probably not the best way to weigh out the merits of a particular host. Only consider a web hosting company if they can give you the platform and hosting features that your website needs.

Look at their support

The importance of hosting support is relative to your needs as a website owner. If you’re just interested in hosting a personal blog, having real-time telephone and chat support probably isn’t an absolute necessity. That being said, timely support is imperative when you’re hosting a website, especially if it is a for-profit website.
Unfortunately, too many web hosts, Canadian web hosting companies included, purport to offer 24/7 technical support but fall short of those claims. Sure, they may have the equivalent of a secretary handling their live chat service, but if you send an email to support and it takes 10, 18 or over 24 hours for a response – that is not 24/7 support. If you’re running a for-profit website, you really need to read reviews of a prospective hosting company’s support due to the potential of financial loss if your website is unavailable for a long period of time.

Read real user reviews and feedback

User reviews of a web hosting company can give you a great deal of insight into a particular host. In fact, for an established hosting company, so long as they offer the hosting options you need and their support falls in line with your needs, user reviews can help you make your final hosting decision.

While people are more prone to complain about a hosting company than give them praise, reputable Canadian web hosting companies will have a comparatively large number of positive reviews. If you don’t know from first-hand experience yet, finding a website host that works for you can be a process. Sometimes it’s a long and arduous process. However, when you find a company that works well for your needs, you’ll probably find yourself writing a positive review about them yourself.

Researching and ultimately choosing a web hosting service can be a challenge, but the rewards far outweigh the initial time investment. Make a list of perspective hosting companies, weigh their offers against your needs and check out user reviews on each host. After all, it’s your website, and if you’re going to pay for a hosting service, you might as well be sure you choose the right hosting company the first time around.

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