When viewing sites that feature web hosting ratings, you need to ask many questions with the most important question being; which provider is the best value for your business needs. I’m not speaking of this theoretically, I’m saying pick up the phone and ask some hard questions of your prospective web host: how long they have been in business, how many sites are they currently hosting, how do they provide support to their customers. Ask if they have a dedicated customer service department that is available 24-hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week, 365-days-a-year. If they don’t have a toll-free number for you to call to find out this information, forget about them. Any good hosting company worth their salt will allow their customers to call them without charge if they are having technical difficulties.
Web hosting ratings should tell you how long the hosting company has been in business for, but this is not always the case. Industry insiders say to avoid host companies that have been in the hosting business for less than two years. Anyone who has been a host for less time than this does not have a fully-established record of response times to their customer’s technical issues for you to examine.
When you are checking out web hosting ratings, a key feature you need to examine is how the hosting company keeps your own and your customer’s data safe. Many businesses have e-mail lists that collect customer data such as names and e-mail addresses, or your company might have online credit card processing. When you are speaking to the hosting company about their technical support expertise, addressing data security concerns at that time as well would be highly appropriate.
Another question that web hosting ratings should address is whether or not the company requires a set up fee to get you up and running. What seems to be a great deal on hosting can suddenly lose its luster when you work a hefty set up fee into the month hosting costs. Speaking of monthly, your hosting contract should be month-to-month only. Don’t get locked into a long term contract to save money, because if the hosting service lets you down, it can be next to impossible to get out of your contract with them. It’s much better to keep a level playing field by only signing up for hosting services one month at-a-time. This keeps the hosting company honest, and much more likely to try to keep you happy and as their customer for as long as possible.