What is Managed Hosting? - What to Look For
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Obviously, if you have the kinds of concerns I discussed in the last paragraph of the previous section, you will want to make sure that any web host that handles your managed hosting is familiar with the relevant regulations. But letís put that issue aside for the moment. Regardless of your specific situation, if you need managed web hosting, there are certain things you should look for in a web host. Use these points to compare web hosts, and help you decide which company has earned your business.
The first point to consider is the speed and reliability of the web hostís customer support. As a preliminary test, try sending an email to the web host before you sign up. If you get a fast, helpful response, thatís a good sign. Most web hosts who offer managed hosting will assign you to a specific representative to take care of all your needs; he or she should be responsible for only a handful of clients, so that each one receives a high level of service. Ideally, this person will be your contact during all normal business hours for both sales-related requests and technical support; with a really top-notch web host, youíll also have a second contact person for all other times.
The second thing you should find out is the web hostís flexibility. Remember, youíre not there for the web hostís convenience; quite the opposite. Therefore, if you want to open a managed hosting account with a web host, the host should be willing to let you pick and choose from a wide range of services, and not force anything on you that you do not want or need. That flexibility should also cover how you pay for your web hosting; you might find it much more affordable to pay on a monthly plan rather than be tied into a yearly contract. A good managed web host should offer this option.
The third point almost goes without saying, since itís the whole reason youíre looking for a web host: connection to the Internet. Your web hostís connection should be fast and reliable, and should ideally be backed up with an alternative connection in case the first one fails. You should be able to get information about your prospective web hostís Internet connection on the companyís web site, or if not, ask directly. Itís also a good idea to find out where the web hostís network operations center (NOC) is located. The United States is known for having the fastest and most reliable Internet connections in the world, so having a NOC in the US is a definite plus.
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