What is Managed Hosting? - Accept No Substitutes
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Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts here; nothing will substitute for actually doing the research on web hosts and the managed hosting options they offer. There really isn’t an “industry standard” package, price, or service level as far as managed hosting accounts; this makes a certain amount of sense, since many businesses require a custom configuration to fit their needs.
Likewise, there are certain things a really good managed web host will offer that simply can’t be substituted. Perhaps the key word here is “quality.” For example, a good managed host’s hardware will be top of the line, and backed by warranties and on-site service contracts. The software should also be the best in the field, and actively maintained.
The technical resources tell only half the story, though. A good managed web host’s greatest asset is its human resources. Remember, these people will be dealing with your equipment, and the lifeblood of your business (your web presence), much more often than they would be if you held a shared hosting account with the same company. For the technical people, find out whether they are certified, and if so, on what operating systems, applications, and hardware. For sales and customer support personnel, ask how many years of experience they have in the field and specifically in the web hosting industry.
Keep in mind that you’re putting a huge chunk of your business in the hands of this company. You need to be comfortable with the quality of hardware, software, and above all, people, who will be handling this trust. Can they provide you with the high level of efficiency you have every right to expect from them? If you can answer that question affirmatively, you have found the managed web host you need.
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