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Host Hunting: Get your money's worth

...go back to page 3Your ability to switch Web-hosting services is the best leverage you have to get better service and support.

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Your ability to switch Web-hosting services is the best leverage you have to get better service and support. To that end, don't be tempted to sign up for long-term commitments, at least not initially. A monthly or quarterly plan leaves your options open in case of trouble. Most services offer 30-day money-back guarantees when you sign up or move up to a more expensive plan. If you're not getting the support you need as you try to get your store off the ground, don't expect service to improve. It's easier to switch hosts before you've set up your store than after you've opened your virtual doors.

Also, don't start with a gold-plated hosting plan for a small business, with the idea that you may eventually be handling thousands of transactions per day. Instead, start with a midrange plan and upgrade as needed. With that in mind, ask whether you'll be hit with new setup fees when you move to a better plan.