Your choice of web hosts is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. It’s more important than design, branding, and general marketing. Your web host is the engine that drives your online presence forward.
Before you commit to any web host, though, you should consider opting for a free trial service. This guide is going to explain why this is one of the most important decisions you can make.
Check the Uptime Stats
Everyone knows that you need a 99.5% uptime rate in order to not fall foul of Google’s rules. The problem is that anyone can put a percentage on their site.
The fact is that the average website is down for three hours every month, which is too much.
By using a free trial you’ll be able to confirm not just whether those uptime stats are genuine but also how fast your website is. Remember, uptime isn’t a measure of speed. It’s a measure of downtime.
Do You Have the Right Design Options for You?
Your web host will have a few different Content Management Systems (CMS) built into their dashboards that you can use.
Everyone has different preferences when it comes to design. For a start, you should already have WordPress available on your hosting dashboard. WordPress powers 26% of all websites on the Internet, and for good reason.
But if you want to build a custom theme and a custom backend your host should be cooperative with this.
Free trials enable you to check out how easy it is to build a website alongside your host.
How Good is the Customer Service?
Every so often you’ll have to deal with the business behind the host. You want to know that they have your back if you run into technical problems.
Don’t commit to a provider and pay them your hard-earned money before you check this out. Run a free trial and speak to them. Monitor their customer service and see if they can fulfill your needs.
Check Out the Reviews and Ask Other Users
Every guide will tell you to check out that HostGator review or check out that Namecheap review before you commit to anything.
But this should coincide with a free trial. Look for the most visible reviews and focus on the characteristics that come up most. Confirm the reviews. Don’t just take someone’s word for it.
Last Word – How Long Should a Free Trial Last For?
Ideally, a free trial with a web host should last for at least 30 days. This will give you adequate time to stress test the different systems you’ll be using. Less than this doesn’t allow you to consider outages and perform speed tests.
But the general rule of thumb is that the longer the better.
With that in mind, it’s time to start testing. Practically all the major web hosts offer a trial of some kind. Just make sure that if you don’t like the trial that they don’t charge your credit card. Some hosts require that you cancel the trial manually.
Do you have a web host in mind yet?