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WEB HOSTING ARTICLES

Avoiding the Web Hosting Nightmare
By: Jennifer Sullivan Cassidy
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    2005-12-14

    Table of Contents:
  • Avoiding the Web Hosting Nightmare
  • The Webhost Who Deletes Upgrades
  • The Webhost Who Doesn't Deliver
  • Reliability and Support
  • Moving a Site, Dedicated IPs and SSL
  • Hosting with Your Web Design Company

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    Avoiding the Web Hosting Nightmare - Reliability and Support


    (Page 4 of 6 )

    Reliability

    If a web host has great features, price, and support; these things don’t mean much if your server isn’t reliable, and your websites have a great deal of down time.  Most web hosts, when you ask them directly, will tell you they have 99.999% uptime.  My first thought is:  yeah, right.  You say to them, “Be honest!” and they respond “No, honestly!”  My point here is that it really doesn’t matter what your host says, because they will all have the same answer.  So you’ll need another method of finding out how reliable the web hosting company is.

    Find out what web host companies others are using, whether in the Web Hosting forums or from people you know, and ask them what problems they have had.  Trust me, you’ll get an answer, and probably more reliable information from those who have used the web host you are considering.  It also never hurts to ask your web host for references.  Good companies will gladly give you information on satisfied customers.  If the web host is reluctant to give you this information, whether citing privacy issues or whatever reasons, then it should be a red flag.

    Support

    For me, web support is probably one of the most important aspects of deciding on a web host.  One test I have when choosing a web host either for me or my clients is how soon their support company responds to a trouble ticket, or an email.  When researching a host, chances are you are going to have questions.  Simply sending them an email with your questions and find out how long it takes them to respond.  If they respond within 24 hours; great, but how helpful is that really?  If your site goes down in the middle of a customer order, do you really have a whole day for them to respond to the crisis? 

    Maybe you’re thinking that an initial question email to the company won’t necessarily tell you how they’ll respond in a support situation.  But you better believe it does.  Think about it this way:  when searching for a new host, you have literally thousands of companies out there that you can choose from.  If a web host catches your interest, and you send them an email that you are interested, they are probably going to go out of their way to impress you with their prompt response.  Once they have you’re business, and your money, there’s not necessarily that need to impress.

    Make sure they have multiple forms of communication: phone, email, trouble ticket system, live support, and instant messaging as well as being available 24/7.  Having more than one form of communication is important.  And again, ask around.  People will be more than happy to let you know if a web host’s support is good or not.

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