Quality Hardware Is Not The Only Thing That Makes You a Good Web Host


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Quality Hardware Is Not The Only Thing That Makes You a Good Web Host

Listen – You can’t miss here, man. Every web hosting company is basically the same these days. They all have the same gear, the same network, and the same deals. Just pick a random one! They’re all good. It’s just web hosting, not rocket science.

I cannot even count how many times I came across such a comment and how many people – thanks to this particular way of thinking – got their online business in unnecessary trouble.

As the saying goes – assumption is the mother of all screw ups.

It really is.

That’s a fact.

And I’m not just preaching about web hosting here. No. I’m talking about everything. Every possible deal, every purchase you could make, both online and offline.

In this day and age, making uneducated guesses about things that are really important to you or your work is just plain ol’ naive.

It’s a bulletproof recipe for disaster and disappointment.

For example, let’s go back and focus on the first paragraph of this article.

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Even if that particular statement were true (and it’s not), you have to know that there’s more to web hosting than just hardware. Sure, it’s a tech business, which means that the quality of your gear is EXTREMELY important for your service – but, come on! There’s more to it!

And you know this.

You don’t need me to underline this for you. Otherwise, everyone would host their own site. Every lazy schmuck in the world with a couple of thousand dollars on his bank account would own a web hosting company and cash in like crazy on his tiny investment.

How come? – Well, because, in that kind of alternate-reality, all you’d have to do is buy the gear, hook it all together, and voilà – you got yourself a web hosting business! You’re now an owner of a fully functioning web hosting company!

Pretty sweet, right?

From now on, your job is just to kick back, relax, and let the machines do all the rest. They’ll make you rich and fat before lunchtime. Don’t sweat it, man. Go outside and enjoy yourself! Have a beer, catch a flick, go on a hike – do whatever pleases you! Your gear has you covered…  

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If only that were true. If only things were that simple.

But, sadly – they’re not.

You can buy all the best gear in the world, but if you don’t know how to use it right – it can’t help you efficiently run a successful web hosting business.

How come? – Well, because you’d still lack the necessary expertise and knowledge on how to actually talk to clients and meet their demands on daily, weekly, and monthly level. 

That’s why getting your hands on a proper hosting solution is still not really an easy purchase to make.

The devil is definitely in the details here.

Yes, there are a lot of web hosting companies out there that basically on paper look the same, but once you really get close to them, dig deep enough and read more about their service – you’ll see the differences.

You’ll see that some of them are just plain awful. You’ll figure out that even though they look quite professional on the outside, on the inside – their business is actually a mess!

But that’s also nothing new and it doesn’t only concern web hosting as an industry.

So, if quality hardware doesn’t really cut it here, what make a certain web host good enough for your business?

Great question! I’m going to answer that for you in the following part of this article:

1. Customer Service and Overall Responsiveness 

Anyone who knows anything about the complexity that comes with finding a perfect web hosting provider for his or her business – knows that this is not an easy purchase to make. It’s not something that you can just search in Google and blindly choose one of the brands from the top of your recommended results list.

Nope. A whole lot of variables come into play here.

First and foremost, customer care and the overall responsiveness of that particular chosen business.

You don’t want to hand over your site to a company that doesn’t really respond to emails or just ignores your requests, do you?!

Of course not.

For most today’s businessmen, their website means everything to them! It’s where they make their bread and butter. It’s where they generate leads and get people to eventually become their paying customers. Their website is like their digital visit card and office combined.

Having said all that, it’s understandable why they cannot expose their site to any unnecessary risk or downtime.

No connections means no new visits, which automatically means no new leads and clients.

Simple as that.

If people can’t see what you’re selling and why should they do business with you and not your direct competitors, then you cannot expect from them to spend their money on whatever it is that you’re selling.

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That’s why people need to be really careful when choosing a company to host their business online.

Even though web hosting is a tech business – there are still a lot of variables that could go wrong here. It doesn’t really matter if you spend a lot of money on your hardware, you still need to invest a lot of your time and energy into making sure that everything is constantly working on desired levels. 

You need to constantly cruise over your gear like a hungry hawk and make sure that there are no hiccups.

Even though this all sounds like a pretty straight-forward and standard thing, there are still a lot of careless and inexperienced hosts out there that can’t really ensure that your site remains online at all times. They either don’t have the skills, nor time, nor the will to be omnipresent online.

That’s what really separates good web hosts from bad ones. Before you go on and pay a certain provider to host your website, make sure that he really has the skillset to answer all your questions and ensure that your site is constantly up and running. 

2. Reputation

It doesn’t really matter if you’re shopping for a shirt, pair of shoes, a bike, household appliances, or web hosting – you need to properly analyze your options and figure out what you’re exactly paying for here.

As I said above – it’s all about cutting down risks.

Consumers who tend to think that they’re making the right decision by siding with a random hosting provider whose credentials and reputation they’ve failed to properly check online, often end up with a website that’s constantly offline.

Of course, once they finally see in which kind of jam they’ve gotten themselves into – they start to freak out!

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Web hosting is like a car, in many different ways. First and foremost of all, almost every piece of junk can get you from point A to point B, but at what cost?

You need to see who stands behind a certain product, service, and company. It’s in your best interest to catch up on the full story, and not just run through the headlines if you know what I mean.

Otherwise, you could end up paying for a piece of garbage that will only put you in an even more complicated situation.

Like I said above, web hosting is not something that you can really just type in Google and blindly pick from the search results. Nope. It’s more complicated than that. Like everything else, web hosting is a service that is controlled by humans. And having that in mind, you know that every single provider out there is different. Some of them are more serious and professional, while others are not. How they think of their job is what really sets them apart.

Your job here is to find those with great work and ethical skills. But, in order to do that, you need to do your research. You need to go beyond the regular Google search and really look for reviews and testimonials from real people online. Real clients.

3. Area of Expertise

The days of picking up random articles from the shelves are long gone, my friend. The world doesn’t really work like that anymore. If you want to make smart choices and get the most out of your money’s worth – you need to properly acquaint yourself with whatever it is that you’re shopping for. You need to know all the essentials, all the pros and cons of  your every possible deal or option.

Especially if you’re shopping for something delicate like web hosting.

Even though at first glance it looks like all web hosts offer the same type of deals, once you really acquaint yourself with this service, you’ll see that most of them target different types of customers.

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Some of them offer great shared hosting plans, but that’s it. They’re all about offering basic services for basic clients. You cannot really grow your business with them, while some of their competitors have great enterprise solutions but aren’t the right fit for someone with a small recipe blog, or something similar.

So, in order to find a good host for your business, you first need to know what kind of service are you looking for. Even though they have great hardware, that still doesn’t really mean that they have the capacity or expertise to host a bigger client.

Look into a company’s specialty or area of expertise before you buy, and go with one that understands your particular needs as a customer. You can find reviews and recommendations on the Web, and many of these will talk about a particular company’s strengths and weaknesses.

4. The Overall Quality of Support

This is a big one. This should be your main area of focus when choosing a web hosting company.

Why? – Well, because, the Internet never sleeps. It doesn’t really matter how good or new your host’s hardware may be, you could still run into a lot of problems. It happens. The important thing here is that you figure out if your provider has the skills efficiently solve any of your problems.

I don’t know about you, but when my site goes down for some reason, I want to know that my provider has my back! I want to know that my provider can find out what’s wrong and fix it, or at least tell me what I need to do to get my site back online.

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Before going with a host look into their reputation for customer support. See what kinds of different ways you can contact them when you need support – email, toll-free phone, chat, and so on. Are they staffed 24/7? Do they outsource support?

You’ll find that, like in price and technical specifications, all hosts are not equal. Some hang their hat on their support crew, and some view customer support as an afterthought. Steer clear of the latter.

Cheap Web Hosting: A Good or Terrible Option for Your Website?

That’s a question that almost all young entrepreneurs on a budget tend to ask themselves right before they starts to work on adapting their business for the Web. 

Why? – Well, like I already said, they’re on a budget. If you’re just taking your first steps in this digital world as an entrepreneur, your first instinct is to think about all your costs and how to reduce them to a bare minimum.

As a newbie who still isn’t making any money from what you do or sell online, you are not really in a position where you can afford to be careless with your cash. You don’t have the luxury to waste your money on trivial things that won’t help you improve your business or bring in new customers.

Even though this sort of thinking is quite logical for inexperienced entrepreneurs, it’s also usually the main reason why they all end up in trouble. This is where most of these young businessmen create some of the bigger mistakes that really come back to haunt them and eventually even put their entire business in jeopardy.

While trying to save money, most people often get carried away and actually try to become economical where they really shouldn’t be. Nine times out of ten, this sort of thing happens with web hosting.

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Why? – Well, because people don’t really understand the importance of quality hosting until it’s too late. They tend to think that every host is a good host, and that every package works fine for them, until they figure out they’re wrong.

One Brick On Top of Another, And So On, And So On

If you’re determined to create a powerful online presence for yourself or your company, you need to secure a steady and reliable foundation for your website. You need to start from the beginning and truly invest more than just money into its development.

Even though these days most marketing experts are preaching about the power of social media and adding the right type of content marketing to your already existent marketing mix, before you even start to think about all that – you first need to focus on creating a good and respectable website for your business.

You need to build your empire from the ground up, brick by brick.

There’s no way around it.

You cannot skip this part, nor rush it in any way.

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Owning a great website is still essential for every business that operates online. And thanks to that, so is investing in good web hosting.

There are literally hundreds and thousands of reasons why you should really do your best to create a representable digital home for your company. Everybody has a professional website today. It’s like a digital office that’s open 24/7 to every single person that could be interested in your products and services at any given time, day or night.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t really trust a business that doesn’t have a website. It immediately seems shady to me.

If you don’t have a website or even worse – own a crappy one that’s constantly offline – I will immediately abandon ship. Even though your products or services might seem great to me, I won’t end up paying for them because of your awful website (or no website). It will convince me that you don’t run a serious business.

A lot of online shoppers share my opinion here. I personally know dozens and dozens of people who would never, I repeat, NEVER, purchase something from a brand that doesn’t really care about its digital image.

Owning a good looking and well-optimized website will get you far in this digital sea of possibilities. It will help you create a credible online presence that will allow your current and potential users to easily come into contact with your brand and learn more about what you sell, all the latest news about your brand and company, and what makes you stand out from the crowd.

It will help you represent yourself in the best way imaginable to an insanely large audience of possible shoppers and consumers.

The Importance of Building a Stable Foundation for Your Website

If you’re running an online business or trying to create an impressive website for your brand, you’re hosting service plays an important role in this equation. It’s the cornerstone of your online business. It’s your hosting provider’s job to make sure that your site is always accessible to your visitors and customers, and that your data is constantly well protected.

If he fails to do so, then you’ll have some serious problems on your hands.

Since your website represents a critical component of your online business, you cannot afford to expose it to any risk.

Choosing a bad company to host your site can instantly become your worst nightmare. Being offline can hurt your business in many different ways. Apart from making you look bad in front of a global audience, frequent downtime can also cost you a lot of sales.

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A couple of years back when Amazon went down for 40 minutes, the guys behind this brand said that this particular hiccup cost them exactly $4mil.

$4mil?

Terrible, right?

You don’t want this to happen to your brand, do you?

Bad hosting can negatively affect your business in a lot of different ways. It can massacre your rankings, butcher and lose your data, and so on, and so on. You get the picture.

So, Is Cheap Web Hosting Good or Bad for You?

As in everything other in business, the same goes in web hosting – “cheap” doesn’t often mean “good”. In fact, in more cases than not, it usually means quite the opposite.

Even though everyone is looking for the best possible deal out there for themselves, you as a shopper, have to understand that some things just cannot be bought for scraps.

The same goes for web hosting.

Despite the fact that this is an incredibly price competitive market, the cheapest solution isn’t often the best one for your business.

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Why? – Well, because most web hosting providers don’t really deliver on their promises. A lot of them offer unlimited storage, bandwidth, and even free web design solution for $2, which is, simply put – bait for cheap customers. Once you migrate your site to their servers, you’ll see that what was promised to you won’t be delivered, which is, when you really sit down and think about it, quite logical for a service that goes price-wise below the industry standard.

Your website will frequently go down, and you’ll experience slow load page times, not because these providers want to trick you, but because they’re hosting too many sites on the same server.  

Next to that, cheap web hosting providers don’t really invest in their support. Sure, this seems like something that doesn’t concern you now, but what happens when you start to experience (and you will) problems and no one is responding to your requests in hours and even days? And once you finally get ahold of someone, what happens when you figure out that you’re talking to an untrained and uneducated company representative who isn’t really able to provide you with any usable answers?

These are just of the things that could create a ton expensive problems for you just by going for the cheapest hosting solution.

When professional web hosting services are available for just $5.00/Month, what’s the point in siding with a cheap or free hosting provider?

You aren’t really saving any serious cash that you could better invest somewhere else.

The overall access and stability of your website is in question here. You shouldn’t gamble with that.

If you’re interested in running a professional business, you need to find a professional web hosting company that’s really able to keep your website constantly up and running, and on a highest possible level.

You need a company that’s able to respond to your requests within 30 minutes with great and intelligent answers. You need a host that provides a variety of hosting plans including dedicated servers and data centers in top locations.

So, when choosing a web hosting provider, don’t just look for the cheapest possible option out there. Compare prices based on what these companies offer, and how long have they’ve been on the scene.

Like I said above, web hosting is a highly competitive market, which means that brands are basically killing each other over the same customers. So, having this in mind, when choosing a provider to host your business online, keep your eyes open and really look at what they offer and what makes them different. Some perks are guaranteed for a limited time or they offer free features if you sign up now.

Read online reviews, but don’t take anything for granted. Don’t value random customer rants. No. Instead, look for real reviews and see for how long your possible next provider has been active online. Companies that have been around for a long time are more stable than companies that are just starting.

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest blog entry. I hope this post helped you understand why cheap doesn’t usually mean great in web hosting.

If you have anything to add or ask – write down your thoughts in the comments sections, and I’ll get back to you right away.

If not – well, that’s it for now,
See you soon again,
Goran @ AltusHost B.V.

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