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Avoid disaster with a simple web search

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If asked about a particular hosting provider, the first thing I will tell someone to do is conduct a basic web search. There are tens of thousands of web hosts out there, after all, and more than a few will go out of their way to cheat you.

Thankfully, it’s not that hard to use a search engine like Google to dig up dirt about a host. Researching a provider before signing up is the smart thing to do. Here are a few tips:

  1. Don’t just search the host’s name. Add red flags like “scam,” “outage,” “down,” “sucks,” or “unhappy” to make your query more effective
  2. Filter your search to include forums and blogs only. These are where most people complain.
  3. Also search common misspellings of the host’s name and its domain.
  4. Just because no negative feedback is found doesn’t put the provider in the clear. It could be new or recently changed its name.
  5. As with anything on the web, take everything you read with a grain of salt. Even the best hosts have their lot of unhappy customers, and sometimes a particularly unhappy consumer will go out of their way to give a firm trouble.

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