Qualities of a good hosting provider.
These are things that one should consider before buying a hosting package.
Do you really trust the host?
In the recent past there has been a lot of scam and fraud in the hosting business. A friend once got a good hosting deal online. A company that purported to be based in Atlanta, Georgia, US were offering good hosting services at real good prices.
He bought a 2 year reseller hosting package with the hope of reaping profits.
One year down the line his hosting accounts disappeared, the domain of the company was no longer active –all his website and money had just vaporized. Host with the credible companies and preferably Local companies.
Back up & Restore
Hosting companies should provide at least 10 days of backup and restore.
One of the largest hosting providers locally has no Back up & Restore services.
Just recently, hundreds of sites on their servers were hacked; the provider turned their back on the customers telling them that they did have secure websites. Customers had to redevelop their websites; there were no backups which they could restore their sites from.
Good hosting providers provide up to 30 days of Back up & Restore.
Kindly ask your host if the service is available, if you are on Cpanel, look through your Cpanel, if you cannot spot the Restore function –talk to you host about it.
100 % Uptime
100% uptime mean 0% downtime, downtime refers to when your site is not available online due to loss of connection to the hosting server.
Some hosting providers have invested in cheap servers that experience a lot of downtime.
There are free online services that can help monitor the uptime or downtime of your site, register your site to these services; you will get an email alert whenever there is a downtime. If your uptime is less than 99.6% it is time to look for an alternative host.
Email is the primary business communication technology, if you send emails and they bounce, you don’t receive some emails and at worst old emails disappear – talk to your host, if the problem is not resolved, transfer to another host.
This is one of the most important qualities. How fast does your host respond to your queries? How well does the host attend to the queries? Make sure the host provides excellent support services, sometimes stuff do happen –e.g. Blocking own ip address, deleting cgi file, placing files in the wrong directory. E.t.c. without good support services, you will lose business.
Some host lack technical capacity, they might have excellent customer support services but unable to attend to technical issues.
Kindly consider this before selecting a host, it is advisable to go for specialist host providers, avoid at all cost commercial business investing in hosting business to complement their mainstream revenue sources. Some telecommunication companies have started doing hosting as a side business. Beware these companies are after financial gains and therefore they will not invest in technical skills because it is costly. It is advisable to buy the hosting services from a small provider in the hosting business than these big commercial companies.
Other things to consider
Cpanel hosting – it is far the simplest to work with, ask for it.
Hosting disk space – Don’t accept less than 200MB of hosting space, remember your site and emails reside in this space.
Bandwidth- Don’t accept less than 1000MB or 1GB of bandwidth (Bandwidth (in lay terms) is a monthly data bundle that your website should use, the more visits and file transfer your site has the bigger the bandwidth required, it is renewed every month). If your site exhausts bandwidth, the site will go offline and display error message ‘bandwidth has been exceeded or the site has reached its bandwidth limit’ – a good host will always monitor and increase the bandwidth timely.
To be continued…
Writer has 5year+ experience in Hosting & Cloud Computing, works at Truehost Kenya