When it comes to choosing the right Internet hosting provider, the majority of business owners know very little. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice:
1. Understand the different types of hosting available.
It’s crucial to understand the distinctions between shared, collocated and unmanaged dedicated and managed dedicated hosting so you choose the one that’s right for your business. As the hosting industry has matured, hosting offers have split into a couple of distinct categories, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.
2. Find out if the network has blacklisted IPS
Some hosts care little about who’s hosting on their networks, so long as they pay their bill. That means they will allow porn sites, spammers and servers that create security issues on their network. When a network gets black holed for spamming, for example, this has a negative impact on your business.
3. Don’t confuse size with stability.
Just because a Web hosting company is big, doesn’t mean it’s stable and secure. Ask how long the host has been in business, who owns it, and if it is profitable and cash-flow positive from operation-generated revenue.
4. Don’t make price your only priority.
The old saying “you get what you pay for” applies to most things in life, and hosting is certainly one of those things. When you over-prioritise price, you run the risk of ending up with a host that’ll provide you with a connection to the Internet and little else in terms of support (and even that connection may be running at maximum capacity or have uptime issues).
5. Make sure your host has fully redundant data centres.
When dealing with smaller vendors, make sure they have their own data centres that are fully redundant in terms of power and connectivity.
6. Do they have experienced systems administrators on their support staff?
When you need technical support, it can be frustrating to talk to “customer service” representatives when you really need a systems administrator who can resolve your issues. Find out how quickly you can get to an actual systems administrator when you need to.
7. Make sure the host is flexible.
It’s important that the hoster understands how important quality servers are to their clients’ businesses. Find a hoster that has a vast amount of experience to support a wide variety of applications, and one that can bring that expertise to you through their services.
8. What do clients say about them?
Can your prospective host provide you with success stories for clients with similar configurations to yours? Are they able to provide references from clients who can tell you about their experience using that company?
9. Make sure the host’s support doesn’t include extra charges
Any host you consider must provide you with a comprehensive list outlining the support they offer so that you understand what’s supported for free, what’s supported at a fee, and what’s not supported at all. Many hosts will try to hide a sub-standard level of free support behind non-specific statements of high-quality support, so make them be specific to win your business.