Find a good web host is extremely difficult. When buying anything on the Internet, it’s very difficult to work out who is telling the truth. Producing a ‘professional’ looking website isn’t difficult. However, you don’t know about the company behind that website. They could be a one man band.
Reliability is a very important factor for a business web host. You do not want your website to be unavailable when a potential customer is browsing. Worse still, if your business relies on your website for orders, you cannot afford it to be down for too long. When looking at web hosting companies try and gage which ones are reliable and worth their salt, and which ones are going to cause you a headache. Web hosts normally monitor their own uptime and publish the results. Remember though, 99% uptime isn’t great and actually equates to hours of downtime.
Top class support from a web host is very important. If something goes wrong at 2am, you need to know you can get help. Say for example you lose your main database, and then your backups dont work. Having a web host that can guide you through this is a god send. Web hosting support can come in many forms. With business hosting, you should really expect telephone support during business hours.
A good web host will run business quality hardware, on a reliable network. There are those hosts that use cheap desktops to host on. Make sure you give these a wide birth. Business class web hosting should be run on redundant RAID arrays with regular incremental backups. Their network should have lots of capacity for breathing space, and offer real redundancy.
Knowledge is essential. Like the bedroom web host with the fantastic website, anyone can setup a web hosting company. They might talk the talk, but do they also walk the walk? There are some nifty methods to catch the deceptive host out. Why not email them some technical questions, or catch them with a call? If they don’t know their stuff, they will find answering the questions difficult.
It’s very important as well to have good experience. When things go really wrong, experience and a wise old head really help repair the situation. Those web hosts that have experience worse case scenarios are much better equipped to look after your interests.
The final benefit in a web host’s arsenal is a strong community. Having a community isn’t absolutely vital for a web host. Indeed corporate web hosts tend to shy away from web forums. However web hosts that do keep the doors open, have to be commended for doing so.
These are just some of the points that make a good web host. One final piece of advice is to ensure you fully research your next web host before signing up with them.