Posted by Oliver Bradshaw on April, 26th 2012
It is important that you back up your website on a regular basis to your own server or another location and do not rely on your host to do this. If your host goes bankrupt or if their system just goes down, you might not be able to get your data back from them.
Make sure that the host that you are planning to use has good customer service. You are bound to have some kind of an issue even with the best host out there. The thing that makes a difference is a host who can be easily contacted and will jump at the moment that an issue is reported.
One thing to consider if you are looking to choose a web hosting service is to see whether or not a particular provider places bandwidth restrictions on your site unless you pay a premium price. Some providers have these restrictions while others do not so it is best to stay away from those that try and charge you extra for bandwidth.
When looking for a web hosting provider, a good indicator of a professional firm is a regularly updated blog on the provider’s website. Although it may be overlooked, a blog indicates that the provider is willing to maintain communication, whether it’s about server issues, upgrades, or new features that are on the way. Also look for professional responses to comments left for the provider by other users.
Start to worry if your host site or website goes down for a period beyond 24 hours. Generally outages do not last this long, so it could be a clue that there are bigger problems going on with your web host. You can check other websites to find information about your host site’s outages, as well as the reason for the outage.
Before you decide on a web host, find a reason to call or online chat with their customer support. This is the best way to figure out if you have a legitimate safety net for times when things go awry. If customer support takes too long, is rude, or seems to lack knowledge, consider looking elsewhere.
Be sure to back up your website and information to your computer as often as you can. Your host may not back up your site so if they experience extensive technical difficulties or are even shut down for good, your site will practically be gone forever and you will have to start anew.
It is important to understand the refund policy of your potential web host prior to making a commitment. A lot of web hosting packages will require you to sign up for a year at a time, or will offer significant discounts for making a long term commitment. You should make certain that you will be able to obtain a refund if the service is less than satisfactory. Certain packages may not allow refunds, or might have cancellation fees.
While you may not make “zero mistakes” and no server is going to have “zero downtime”, you can certainly get extremely close to the two. This is possibly the most important aspect of your online-presence that operates entirely behind the scenes.
You can choose to dismiss the choice or you can prepare accordingly for a busy and profitable future.