Choosing A Web Hosting Company
These days, there are so many web hosting companies out there. All of them offer roughly the same options, but what makes a great web host? The indirect answer is that it depends on your needs. The purpose of this article is not to discuss the aspects of most hosting plans, but to discuss what you should be looking for.
Since most hosting companies provide the same hosting options, the more important topic is customer service. It’s easy to throw together a few servers, get a dedicated connection, add some more hardware, design a web site, and call yourself a web host. But what’s behind that web site?
It doesn’t matter if you’re new to web hosting or if you’re a seasoned professional, everyone needs to contact technical support sometime. A good web host will offer a “knowledge base” or “frequently asked questions” on their web site to give answers to the most common questions. This is helpful for you because you don’t have to pick up the phone or email tech support if your question is there.
If your question is not covered on the web site, a good web host will have multiple ways for you to contact them. The most common form of communication is email or telephone. The downside of email support is that it can take time to get your questions answered. If you’re new to web hosting, putting your question into words could be a problem in itself. Tech support by phone is usually quickest, but it also has its quirks. After calling the toll free number, you have press 1 or 3 or 2, and then have to hold for the next available representative. If you’re lucky, the person that answers the phone speaks coherent English and actually has a clue about their services. A new form of tech support is “live support” where the company will have an icon on their site for you to click that will open an instant messenger window. This is great because you get to talk with the representative in real-time without making the phone call. You still have to put your question into words, but at least they can help you clarify your problem.
To test their customer service, spend some time navigating their support web site. If it seems to be lacking, move on to the next host. Do some research on the web to see if there are any complaints against the company. There are many forums on the internet dedicated to that subject. Get a feel for what their company is like over the phone.
Another Solution If you are using a web designer for your project, check to see if they offer to host. They probably offer the same packages that the bigger companies offer at close to the same price. The biggest difference should be customer service. Because most web design firms are small companies, you should get personal service that is catered to your needs.