Professional Web Hosting
Negotiating the professional hosting jungle
So-called professional web hosting companies are everywhere today. But, for every truly professional web hosting company out there, there are many unethical companies that have launched just to make a killing. They hunt down website owners, promise them the earth, and then fail to deliver. What does this mean to you? Well, make the wrong choice of hosting company, and you won't only waste money on hosting costs, you'll lose even more money in the long run.
The internet is a vast unregulated technical jungle. For those of us who don't yet know how to negotiate our websites through to being published and available on the web, it can be a difficult and costly process. Forget about tigers and snakes lying in wait to pounce on you. You'll have to avoid something much worse in this jungle - the bandwagon hosting expert!
Internet users are fickle creatures with little patience. If users can't access your site or if it lurches slowly from page to page, they'll simply give up on it... no matter how badly they want to buy from you. Not only will you waste valuable money on your hosting package but you'll also lose sales and your reputation. Choose a professional hosting service and the outlook can be very different. With a site that is visible on the internet ALL of the time and that works well, you'll make money. The problem here is that it can be difficult to spot the good from the bad and the ugly!
The skill you need to develop before you choose any professional web hosting service is a healthy suspicion. You can look at 20 professional hosting sites at random and the chances are they'll all offer the same great services, uptime guarantees, and support promises. So, most of the time, we choose our professional web hosting provider based on cost. This can be a bad move. So what if a professional web hosting company claims that it has 99% uptime? How do you know it's true?
The best way to choose a professional web hosting service is to read our web host reviews, which are unbiased and which include actual user feedback. Know what you want and to read about how they will deliver. A professional web hosting company will be more than happy to answer your questions and reassure you about its services. By contrast, an unprofessional hosting company won't put its money where its mouth is.
Many professional hosting companies will offer you compensation if they don't meet their support standards or uptime guarantees. They don't mind doing this one little bit because they know it's unlikely to happen as their service claims are based on fact. They will also list all their costs or discuss them with you openly so do ask about charges if you upgrade, exceed your limits, or want to do something different. If these charges are not, on average, in line with your initial package price, then you probably don't want to do business with them.
Another thing you can do before settling on a professional hosting service is to test it. If it claims 24-hour technical support by phone, then call it at midnight on Saturday and see if anyone answers. If it claims to respond to all emails in 12 hours, send it one and see how long it takes to get a reply. Find out some of the sites the professional web hosting provider currently hosts and try to access them at various times. If the sites don't work or loading times are slow, then you have to question the reliability of your potential web host.
In general, you'll also get a good feel for how professional a company really is from the way in which it deals with you. Bad hosting companies won't waste time answering your questions or will give you formula answers with no depth. Professional web hosting experts will be looking to build a long-term relationship with you. You'll see the difference instantly in a couple of calls. If you really have no idea how to make a start, then talk to people you know that already use a professional hosting service and find out about their experiences. In professional web hosting, as in all cost choices, nothing beats a warm recommendation!