You would think that, with the countless web hosting providers available, choosing the best would be a snap. Not so. It’s hard to know who to trust with your business. After all, you’ve spent time and money developing a quality website that is sure to please your visitors. A miss-step, like choosing the wrong hosting company, could cost you money and your reputation. But do not fear. There are many good hosting providers. After you calculate the specifics, such as needed bandwidth, disk space allowance and price comparison, you’re almost ready to sign with a hosting provider. The last and, maybe the first, key element is who will provide reliable customer service and the much needed technical support to meet your needs?
What is reliable hosting? Well, in a nutshell, a reliable host is a company that offers easily accessible customer service and always accessible technical support. It isn’t good enough for a hosting provider to have “customer service” stated on their list of benefits. There are specific criteria that, when met, make for excellent and reliable customer service.
How responsive is their customer service staff?
Reliable customer service is easy to contact and available 24 hours a day. After all, your site is in a market where time stands still. If you’re having problems with your site, you’ve having problems period. The Internet doesn’t care if it’s 2 am or 2 pm. Even if 24 hour phone support isn’t available, there must be other means of contact. Through phone, email and support tickets, a reliable web host provider will offer 24 hours of customer service.
How large is their knowledge base?.
The ability to search through an index of common questions and answers may solve your problem without the need of contacting customer support. This will save you time and get your site working properly in record speed. The addition of an article base is an added bonus. You don’t have to find a hosting company that offers a searchable article base, but if they do, it increases confidence that the company continues to provide quality and helpful information to their clients.
Great customer service is a must in your search for a reliable web host. But just as important is reliable technical service. Every hosting company you come across will promise great technical support. But what does this mean?
How easy is it to reach technical support?
Reliable technical support will start with easy access. If the means to reach technical support is somewhat muffled, run away! You will need technical support sooner or later, probably sooner and when you do you’re going to want to reach someone A.S.A.P. There should be a toll-free number to contact technical support directly and a means to contact technical support 24 hours a day. The ability to contact “someone” 24 hours a day is not enough. In order to be considered reliable technical support they must be available 24 hours a day.
How do they protect you, the customer?
Does the web host provider continually take care of their own server? If they have technical support to watch out for themselves, they are in turn looking out for you. Because if your web host goes down, everyone goes down. Also look at how often they perform backups. The peace of mind you will have by knowing that your web site is protected and backed-up regularly by your hosting provider is invaluable.
These key elements will help your search for a reliable web hosting company and help alleviate your anxiety about “picking the right one.” Along with the above pointers you may want to consider if you need any other support functions. Are you interested in web site management? Are you looking to have a professional design your site for a reasonable fee? If so, wouldn’t it be nice to have all your needs met by one company? When one provider offers web site design solutions, reliable customer service and readily available technical support your problems are solved much sooner than if different companies handled each need separately. Remember your needs and you are certain to find a web hosting company that will fit you perfectly.