Choosing a web
- Step 1
Quality of support
On paper, most web hosting providers are selling the same basic thing. In practice, that couldn't be further from the truth. Level of support is one way to tell what kind of provider you are dealing with. Here's an easy test, call your prospective provider's support line in the middle of the night. Do you get a live person, or do you get lost in automated voice menus? Don't forget- in business everything is a compromise. That terrific price point may come at the cost of limited support.
- Step 2
The company they keep
"You're judged by the company you keep". It's a line most of us heard at one time or another, and it's certainly true when it comes to a dedicated web hosting service provider. Does your prospective provider have an impressive list of enterprise customers? If they do, it means they aren't just talking about top notch service, they're already delivering it.
This also holds true with the vendors your prospective web hosting provider has partnered with. White box servers may be cheap, but that savings comes from trading brand name vendor guarantees, certified compatibility, and proven reliability. Strong vendor partners don't just mean you are getting best in class technology, it means your provider has passed the muster of big companies with valuable reputations. Companies like IBM, Cisco, and Microsoft have tough partner application processes, and those seals of approval carry a lot of weight.
- Step 3
Jack of all trades, master of none?
A sure sign of a web hosting provider with problems is a 'kitchen sink' approach to the range of services offered. If it includes everything from web site
designto direct mail marketing, you may want to think twice. The best providers focus on core skill sets. Leading providers have product lines that are cohesive, and optional services that add value to base packages. That means redundancy and stability, highly available and reliable service versus haphazard performance and uncertain priorities.
- Step 4
It comes down to the basics
Choosing a dedicated hosting service provider can be tricky, but it doesn't have to be. By determining your requirements in advance you can avoid being distracted by an array of features with questionable value. Focus on the quality of support, partner and client lists, and a cohesive product offering, and you'll be able to make the right decision for your company.