Donít Pick a Stinky Host - Avoiding the Stench
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There are certain things you can do to help you come out of any problems with your web host smelling, if not exactly like a rose, at least not like raw sewage. Others have made these mistakes before. You donít need to repeat them.
First, and this might seem strange, but make a written record of your web hostís contact information, including the physical street address and phone number. Sure, online contact is great, but what if your web host goes down? Then its website is downÖand youíre up a very aromatic creek. Web hosts should provide telephone-based customer support 24/7.
Second, make your own backups. If your site goes down indefinitely, and you want to switch web hosts, itís better to have that content quickly to hand. There have been far too many cases of web hosts not making backups as required by their contracts. Think about how much time and trouble it would take to rebuild your site from scratch, and compare it to the relatively minor effort of backing up your site yourself. The peace of mind is worth it.
Third, just as you shouldnít necessarily trust your web host to make back-ups, you also shouldnít trust them to use the most up-to-date software. With security being a huge concern on the Internet, this is no small matter. Make sure you ask your web host what software they are running and how frequently they update it.
Fourth, donít put all your eggs in one basket. Yes, it can be less expensive to put several sites into one account; a lot of web hosts give you a better deal that way, and it simplifies the billing process. But what happens if all of your sites are on one server at the web host, and that server goes down? They all go down, and you lose precious work time, to say nothing of customers, money, and reputation. If you want to avoid this scenario, but still want the financial and other benefits of using just one web host, ask your host to split your account across two or more physical servers.
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