When considering a hosting provider, we have already gone over a few physical items that you should look for. Now before you look at options they have, or specific product offerings(unless you need a specific thing, of course), lets not get ahead of ourselves. Lets take a look at some of the more intangible items that you should be looking for in your hosting company. There are many tangible things that we will likely go over in this series, such as location, building, connectivity, hardware, software, etc….but there are some items that, in my experience, end up being MUCH more important to clients than all of the different metrics that you can put to paper. Lets look at some of these concerns and things that you should look for from your hosting company.
Firstly, take a good look at their general attitude as a company. Do you trust the people you are doing business with? Are they the type of people that will end up gutting you for as much money as they can, via all the fine print in the contract paperwork? What are other clients saying about this company? I would recommend talking to a few people that are hosted there, or at least look at VALID reviews(remember, many reviews are paid reviewers) of the company and specific hosting platform you are interested in. Take your time working with this company, and if they impatiently rush you into signing up, without addressing all of your concerns, this should worry you.
Secondly, if you are an intermediate-paying client, meaning you have resources that are specifically allocated to you, do you have a dedicated account representative available to you? This is a situation where you get what you pay for. If you are not paying hardly any money, and you simply have a small virtual server for 6 bucks a month(or FREE! with us), this may not(and likely is not) an issue for you. But if you are a small business with a site that MUST be online all the time, and you are shelling out a few hundred dollars or more for hosting, do you have someone dedicated to you that you can call in the middle of the night if the site goes down for any reason, say….a DDOS attack? Do you have someone that can advise you on domain names? This is something that is important.
Lastly, one thing you want to keep in mind is what their policy is for payment issues. Do they have a direct autopay method? If for some reason, you miss your payment deadline, do they give you a call and remind you that your payment is due? Or, do they just walk over to the Data Center and turn off your server and call it good, until you pay? Do they give you price breaks for paying everything up front? These are things that while they may not make the difference, are things to think about. And trust me, while they may seem like minutia right now, I promise, they can be quite the hassle down the road.
Photo Credit- Flickr: lbhosting