Questions to Ask When Shopping for a Web Hosting Provider

Beginners, especially, are often lost as to what to ask webhosts in order to make a decision about which one will be the best for their situation. Some of us more experienced site owners can forget the important questions as well. In that vein, here is a list of recommended questions to ask when looking for a web host provider:

Do you require any advertising on my site?

Do you host adult sites?

What is your backup policy?

How do you calculate bandwidth / transfer?

What happens if my site exceeds the included bandwidth / transfer?

Are there hit or traffic limitations?

What stats are provided?

What is the minimum contract term?

May I see a copy of your contract?

How long after I order is my account set up?

Is temporary access provided, so that I can set up my site and email before making DNS changes with my registrar?

What are the disk space limitations?

What happens if I exceed my disk space?

Are there any file restrictions (number or type of files)?

Will I receive a dedicated IP for my domain?

What access is provided – S/FTP / SSH?

Do you provide a control panel and, if so, is there a demo of it I can see?

Will I have 24/7 access to my site?

What is your uptime policy?

What kind of notification is given to clients when there is planned downtime?

Are your services backed by a satisfaction guarantee?

How many clients do you have?

How many sites are put on each server?

What platform are the servers based on (OS)?

How many employees do you have?

How long has your business been in existence?

Do you own your own data center and hardware?

How is customer support provided and what are your response times?

What is your privacy policy?

Where can I find your Terms of Service or Acceptable Use Policy?

Do you offer any discounts for prepaying or other?

Do you offer discounts to non-profits or charitable organizations? (if applicable to your situation)

Is there a setup fee?

Will my domain work with the www and without (ie and

Can I host more than one domain on one package – cost?

What programming languages do you support?

Is there any limit to the number of scripts I can install?

What kind of debugging tools do you provide?

Do you offer databases – MySQL, MSSQL, or PostgreSQL?

Will I have the ability to run cronjobs and, if so, are there any limitations?

What kind of configuration control will I have over my site (.htaccess, mod_rewrite, etc)?

Are any pre-installed scripts provided?

What kind of spam filters do you offer?

Where can I see a list of the packages you offer along with prices and features?

What sets you apart from all of the other hosts on the Internet?

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