It has been over 5 years for me in the web hosting business and during this period I have come to deal with a lot of clients, searching for a good web hosting company in Pakistan. A company that can host their website at a reasonable price, give timely support, provide quality service, and above all a hosting company that you can trust. However, sometimes the visitor ends up buying a service from a shady host and ends up with troubles like:
- No after-sale support
- Unable to even contact the web host
- The web hosting company goes out of business, leaving clients nothing
- Domain thefts
- Upon renewal, the hosting company demands more charges than the 1st year.
- And many other such issues…
So in this post, I would outline some of the common pitfalls that clients face when choosing a hosting company in Pakistan and also a few guidelines on how to make a more informed decision to avoid inconveniences later.
Single Person Hosts
When searching for a web host through Google or purchasing through someone you know (friend, developer), make sure you do not end up with a host that is run by one person. There are plenty of “hosting companies” in Pakistan that are being run by a single person which means you are at the mercy of that one person. It is important to avoid these kinds of hosting services if you consider your data to be important. Below I will list a few points which you can use to detect if you are dealing with a proper company or a shady one.
Domain Ownership Issues
Another common issue clients face is domain ownership disputes when dealing with shady hosting companies. Basically, you purchase a domain name and work hard to build traffic to the website or if it is a company domain name and is associated with your brand and all your emails are working from there. Then one day you need to renew the domain only to find out you are unable to contact the person who registered the domain name. They are either out of business or they want far more amount to renew the same package. Another effect would be the loss of data in case you are not able to contact the company and don’t have the backup available locally.
Avoiding the Issues
Here are some of the steps you can use when searching for a hosting company through searching Google. If you are going to purchase through some person then it is also best to confirm their website address and make sure they have the following:
1. A landline number:- The best option is to use a host who has a Toll Free Number listed prominently on their website. Otherwise, they should at least have a landline number listed. The site that has only cell # listed should be avoided at all costs, as it is a strong indicator of the single-person host.
2. Bank Accounts with Company Name:- Another way to verify the authenticity of a host is to check their payment methods and make sure they have their account names listed under their company name e.g. for hosterpk.com we use ‘HosterPK Pakistan’ in our bank account titles. The bank accounts should not be a person’s name. This means the company has an NTN number.
3. Company Address:- Make sure there is a company address listed on the contact us page of the host’s website.
4. Contact the host:- Before purchasing, contact the host with any query e.g. how long time will it take for the account activation, or call them to see if they reply.