As a businessman, you will do anything to make your enterprise popular online, right?. You know that the first step is to sign up for a reliable, secure, speedy, and budget-friendly hosting provider. And you know too well how to judge the claims made by web hosting providers.
In this digital era where even established hosting companies could not keep their promise of 99% up time guarantee, you have reasons to doubt all offers. For instance, Obamacare’s website recently experienced downtime because of unexplainable glitches. Now, the US government decided to change its host provider from Verizon to HP. Imagine the inconvenience and challenge Obamacare users and website managers have to face.
Hosting providers now fear their customers’ incredulity. You may not be the United States of America, but you can surely petrify them by asking these seven simple questions:
1. Do you have technical support staff available 24/7 to answer my call or email? It is equally important to ask as a follow-up, if I ask them to call me back, would you charge a call-back fee? Clarify if these call, chat or email support services are included in the hosting package before you make any purchase.
2. What level of customer support does your technical call center department provide? Nothing could be more frustrating than speaking to technical support agent who has no clue how to help you. Patience and friendliness are admirable qualities, but support agents, above all, are expected to address customers’ concerns – whether routine or emergency.
3. Is your control panel easy enough for a newbie to understand and use immediately? Tools should simplify your web management task – not complicate it. Do not forget to ask this and do your research about the control panel they will mention.
4. What is the speed of your server? You understand that time is money so the more efficient your website runs, the better will be its impression on your clients. You should look out for a provider whose server’s location is closest to your place for faster connectivity and greater speed. Prefer a dedicated over a shared server.
5. Can you explain your security policy in detail? In e-commerce, one of the worst things to happen is business and customer data breach. Your provider must support secure connection through SSL. The information stored on your server should only be accessible through Hypertext Transfer Protocol over Secure Socket Layers or HTTPS.
6. What platforms and applications do you support? Ask whether your hosting provider offers Linux or Windows or better yet, both. Then ask about the versions. As a heads up, you should also inquire about the common applications that they do not support.
7. What type of backup do you provide? Brace your website for the worst: data loss – if your hosting provider does not have back-up and rapid restoration game plan. Your hosting provider may say they provide regular backups but do not be satisfied with this answer. You must ask them to explain how they do it. Check if do it consistently and reliably and how fast they can recover your files and keep your site running. Also, remember to ask whether backup is included in the hosting package or not.
With these seven questions, you are probably the most inquisitive client no hosting provider wants to mess up with. But in the end, you will turn out to be their most satisfied customer.
About the Author
William Gutierrez is a network specialist. He also works for 7 Networks Inc. If you’re looking for Toronto collocation provider, head over to their website.