So your business has a website and no doubt the company that built it for you host it is as well, for a fee of course. They also probably run all of your business emails as well – But, are you getting the kind of service you thought you were?
To help you answer this question, here are five crucial questions you need to ask your hosting company?
1. Is the server your website is being hosted on owned/controlled by your hosting company?
Why you need to ask – Sadly a large proportion of web companies farm out all of their hosting business to a third party, often without informing their clients. Sometimes this shady arrangement can work out OK, but if anything goes wrong and you need help quickly, you need to factor in the fact that your web company will have to contact a third party with any queries – this often leads to delays and misunderstandings, which could end up with your business losing revenue with a website and email black-hole situation. You also need to ask yourself how secure your website and emails are on a third party server, when it is a server that neither you or your hosting company have access to, or more worryingly, no idea who else has!
2. Are my emails and website backed up on a separate server?
Why you need to ask – Most modern servers have a built in capability to back themselves up. This is all well and good, but if those servers fail, then your website and emails could all be lost. It is imperative that all of your digital assets are backed up on a different server to your normal hosting server. Having a separate server just running for back-ups costs, and a lot of companies try to save costs by hoping that nothing goes wrong. Do you want your business run on the same basis? Ask the question!
3. What kind of support will I receive?
Why you need to ask – Servers sometimes go wrong and you want to make sure you are paying a hosting company who will get ant problems identified and fixed quickly. But websites also sometimes need updating and email set-ups can easily go awry – these kind of annoying problems normally end up in the laps of the web hosting company. Some are server related, some are website code related and some are local set-up mistakes – all though are highly annoying and you need to know that whatever the reason, somebody will answer your email/call in minutes and the problem will be identified and fixed promptly. Can you say the same for your current hosting company?
4. Has my server been optimised for content management systems?
Why you need to ask – Todays feature rich CMS websites need a lot of power to run properly. You need to ensure that your hosting company have servers that have been configured with both memory and database caching enhancements, specifically optimised for content management systems. This will allow for faster loading times (great for SEO) and improved usability (great for your customers).
5. Is there a contract?
Why you need to ask – if your hosting company provide you with the right server, for the right price, with solid support baked-in, they shouldn’t also need to tie you into a long contract. In todays competitive online world you should always be free to take your business elsewhere if you don’t like the service you are receiving. Long contracts are the refuge of the scoundrel. Anything beyond a monthly rolling contract should be avoided if possible.
If you want to find out more about WebTree Agency hosting, please get in touch here or call us on 01473 858 568 for some free advice.