|Web Hosting: To Switch or to Stay?|
Author: Joelene Wickens Orlando
Thatís a question that can only be answered by you. Depending on your current status and relationship you have with your provider, along with your evolving business objectives and needs, can determine what course of action to pursue. What are your issues and concerns? Ask yourself some basic questions and see where you stand after youíve answered them. -Are you no longer satisfied with your current provider? -Did they deliver on the level of services that you signed up for? -Has technical support and customer service been to your satisfaction? -Or has your business grown considerably, and the hosting company cannot provide you with the level of capability and technical support you require?
Technically speaking, if youíre looking for solutions out of frustration, or even a new web hosting provider, youíre either very unsatisfied with the service, or you find that they cannot provide you the service you are looking for to handle your business. Switching isnít always a bad thing to do, especially if your business isnít doing well with that one particular provider. Itís time to move on and get your online presence back on track. Unfortunately, for every good thing, there is a negative side. The flip side of finding a new provider is that youíre back at square one. Before you decide, whether to stay or switch, do some research and find some indicators to help you make a sound decision.
The last thing you want to do is be surprised, even though you may have seen the writing on the wall with your web host provider, but didnít jump on the intuition that something was brewing. If your web host goes under, or doesnít address your technical problems, you could lose sales, and whatís worse; you may not be accessible to users on the Internet. A good theory with anything is to have Plan B, to handle those setbacks that could otherwise be devastating to your business. To stay in the loop, and on top of your business, here are some things to be on the look out for in regards to your web host provider.
-Support is nowhere to be found. This is one big indicator that the provider is having some difficulties within the business. Youíre not getting prompt attention when you call or email with concerns or issues. If they fail to respond to your emails or calls, you have a reason to be concerned. The company may have laid off staff, or is disorganized in processing customer service requests, which could indicate financial difficulties. If you have tried numerous attempts in phoning, or emailing to reach a human person to respond, itís time to find a new host provider before that hosting company goes under. Keep in mind, the better the support center and technical support; the more stable the web host provider. -Free is not always good. Web hosting companies that offer free services or services of a minimal charge where they cannot make a profit are ones that are generally in trouble. Stay clear of those, and if you started out with one of these Ďfreebiesí, it would be a good idea to find a good reputable paying service. If you havenít run into any problems, consider yourself very lucky. But do decide if you feel comfortable with the prospective performance of such a company in the long term, and ask yourself how the company can turn a profit with no rates or low rates. Always remember, Ďyou get what you pay for.í -Reputation of the Web Host. With the nature of the thousands of web hosting providers online, they are relatively very low profile and you donít really read or hear anything particular about them. But if you find coverage regarding a web host company, make sure itís good stuff; otherwise you know what action to take if itís negative. Stay on top of your web host provider newsletters and articles about changes in management, a buyout, a merger, or layoffs. Be aware of such changes, though certainly not always, result in decreased communication or support for the client. If it smells fishy, go with that gut feeling, and find a new host. You can start at http://www.webhostingrebates.com, where they gather all the reputable and most trusted hosting companies in the industry.
-Visit the Web Site of the Web Host regularly. Participate in various discussion groups or forums to see what other businesses are saying about the web host provider. See a lot of negativity? You should have a backup plan ready to go if you are viewing mainly complaints and problems with poor customer support and the quality of service. Thatís a sure sign that the provider isnít doing well. Check out their website to see if their prices are grossly inflated compared to what you purchased the service for. Granted, businesses need to have price increases every now and then, but if they seen overly inflated, thatís a sure sign that something is seriously wrong. Make sure that the web host provider is still providing services and packages. If you find that it isnít being offered or the site itself has changed with less to offer, which tells you that the company may be phasing out of operation. You want to be hosting with someone else before they shut down.
-Limited service or capabilities. You may be having a great relationship with your current provider, but your business needs have grown and your web host cannot accommodate your upgrade capabilities and technical support for your growing company. You have no other option, than to leave this host on a good note, and find one that will offer you the approximate service and surpass the previous host provider.
Every website needs a home and any web host provider will gladly (beg) house your site. If youíve made the decision to go with a new provider, itís time to go on a new search. The best advice is to select a provider with many years of experience is a smart decision... Listen to your colleagues and go where they have had the best luck and let them show you what their web host provider is doing for them. Hopefully, with the experience you have learned with your previous web host provider, you will make the right long term choice.
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