Caution: Before you buy hosting

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Informational Bot
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Research first:
Before you buy or lease any hosting plans from any web hosts, make sure that you research them first, do not base your decisions on shallow entities, such as cosmetic (how their website looks) or how many members are recommending the host.

While the mentioned factors could be a positive thing, but it's not definite, and it certainly does not mean the web host is up for the task.

Research, look at the services, try to interact with them to see if they're professional with their services or is it just a host started as a hobby, which also doesn't mean it's bad.

Know your limits:
Before you lease a hosting plan, you also need to understand that there are limits. If you lease a shared hosting plan, don't expect to get a top notch service, because that's exactly what it is, shared, it also means limited, no matter how any host advertises shared as "unlimited", it really isn't.

Understand your rights:
Also, you need to read the host's terms of service and policy, to make sure that the host agrees to host the type of website or script you're going to use. If you don't read it or research, you'll be risking your data and having your account suspended. If you can't find any pages on their website that explains their terms, contact them and ask them for it, know your rights.

Duration and age:
Seniority is some what important with web hosts, there are many web hosts that are newly started then after a couple of months either get sold or shutdown for whatever reason, that also might lead to trouble, so always go with seniority, a web host that existed for a reasonable amount of time and indicates stability.

Beware though, sometimes seniority isn't always a definite positive factor, as changes can occur to well established web host.

Always backup:
There are so many tools, scripts and applications out there that help you backup your files, use them on a regular basis, or automate a backup system via a cron job, if you don't know how to, ask for help or research it. It is very easy to find tutorials if you search the forums or even Google.

The conclusion here is you must always be prepared, sometimes hosting failures cannot be controlled, such as hardware failures, if you weren't prepared then you basically lost your website and will have to start all over again.

Leasing a hosting plan is not just a one way responsibility (the web host's), it's your responsibility as well, don't expect for anyone else to protect or preserve your data for you, always expect the worse and prepare for it.
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