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.
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…
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.