Web Domain Hosting – When Not to Buy

June 6, 2009 by  Filed under: Web Hosting 
 

Make no mistake, choosing the right website domain host is one of the most important decisions that online businesses will have to make. With a popular or well known and reliable Internet Service Provider (ISP) you won’t face many problems, however if you choose the wrong online partner, it can prove to be expensive to both your pocket and your businesses reputation as a whole.

When it comes to choosing a new host, I use a couple of simple techniques that often sort the wheat from the chaff. Once I find a good host, I usually stick with them. I would also advise you do the same. As a good host can be hard to find…

What I shall aim to do here is to demonstrate to you firstly, how to spot signs of good practise and secondly, how to avoid hosts that may not meet with your desired requirements.

The first technique I apply is one of the most tried and tested, the old contact test. This splits up into two tests.

  1. Test One. I will try and contact the host via the telephone. Simple you say, not really, for I will not be calling the sales line, I shall be calling (or selecting the option on larger company telephone exchanges) that will put me through to support…then lets see how long it takes to get where I want to.
  2. Test Two. I will submit an email to at least 3 hosts. Timing the responses to all of them.

These tests will demonstrate quite simply, which company offers the best first line of contact. This can be a crucial element when you have an issue or are in need of urgent support.

And my other technique is much simpler…search the internet for the company name. You would be surprised how many people make comments when things go wrong. But be objective, when you stumble across a forum where one chap has had a bad experience, try and temper this with objectivity. Did this issue get resolved, how long did it take, is is a common fault or a one off. By doing this you will get a balanced view.

Now, about those elements that should tell you when not to buy. I observe some strict criteria when choosing a web host and if any (or all) of them hit any of my below points, I will cross them off my list and start again.

The list I use is as follows and of course you can add or remove elements that do not meet your needs

  1. Responses to my email contact too longer than 24 working hours
  2. The telephone call DID NOT clear up all my concerns clearly
  3. I cannot find any references online of companies who use them
  4. I did find many negative comments on forums that had a common fault theme
  5. The pricing structure is now clear nor flexible
  6. I do not have FTP access
  7. I do not have access to a control panel
  8. I cannot add my own email addresses
  9. I have to contact the host providers to make all changes to my site
  10. There is no Out of hours support infrastructure

Whilst most of my opinions are based on fact WITHOUT an affiliated interest, I do have my own personal favourite, but I am not going to spoil the fun you can have by researching…

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