30 Questions to Ask Before Signing on with a Web Hosting Service
A Web site is essential for any business today. You have the product or the service to sell, but you need the right Web Hosting Service to ensure that internet customers find you. Making a mistake here might cost considerable money as well as the loss of valuable reputation.
To determine the service best for you, ask these 30 questions to every hosting company before you purchase any service package. Broken into 10 categories, each will help you filter out the bad fits.
Technical support is a must and should be readily available. You should not hold longer than two or three minutes. Long hold times mean one of two things: either problems with the product exist or technical support is understaffed.
1. What expertise does their technical support division have?
2. How is support available? By phone, email, instant chat, or ticketing?
3. When is support available?
4. Is technical support an additional cost?
The best Web Site hosting services host their sites at a remote location with multiple backups. The best also provide dual firewall protection. Web sites hosted in this capacity provide the best protection against a power failure, natural disaster, or identity theft.
5. What security does the service offer?
6. What manner and brand of protection do they offer?
7. Can they ensure that unauthorized users cannot hack your Web site?
The amount of storage your Web site host offers is directly proportional to the size of your Web site. More storage, simply, means a larger, possible Web site. Make sure that your web host provides enough space not only to build your current Web site but to expand it in the future.
8. How much storage does the Web host offer?
9. How many, if any, extra megabytes does the service provide for your business’ growth?
The right Domain name for your business is one of the most crucial decisions to make When you hit on the right one you want to keep it. Make sure the Web host helps you to do so.
10. Does the hosting company register your Domain name for you?
11. How long does registry take?
12. What is the extra cost to you, if any?
Three basic website design options are available. 1) A web developer who designs the Web site in its entirety and reworks as needed. 2) An inexpensive template solution with only limited modifications possible. 3) Or the table-based solution that hosting companies offer wherein they design the initial content for the site but following conception, a user can modify the site.
13. Do they have an easy to use Web site builder?
14. What controls do you have over content and updates?
15. Is a computer background needed to maintain your site?
There are two types of email, POP 3 and a forwarding address. POP 3 email is attached to the domain name, and users can view the email from a Web mail Internet browser window, or through a program such as Outlook or Eudora. With forwarding address (otherwise known as email alias), you have an email address that is @yourDomain, but it forwards the inbox to a different, independent email address already established by the user. POP 3 is usually the best choice because you can view your email from a variety of applications and locations.
16. How many email aliases does your package include, if any?
17. Does your domain name appear, for a more professional appearance, in your address?
18. What is the additional cost to add extra emails?
Search Engine Optimization
To help your search ranking, it is necessary to submit your Web site to search engines, such as Google or Yahoo!.
19. Does the Web hosting package include search engine submissions?
20. How exactly does the submission process work and how often is it performed?
21. What controls do you have over content and updates?
Depending on when you sign and with whom you sign, you may or may not be under contract with your Web Hosting Service.
22. Are you locked into a contract? How long?
23. How does the cancellation policy work?
24. What are the penalties for switching or closing my account?
Look for hidden costs. Companies may low-ball you initially, knowing that they can charge you for additional services later on.
25. What are all of the costs?
26. What are the setup and cancellation fees?
27 What is the monthly maintenance fee? What does it cover?
Always compare service providers before purchasing one. In this Web world, buyer beware is true as ever.
28. What makes one service better than their competitor?
29. Does it provide extra features, storage space, and superior technical support?
30. What exactly sets your next business partner apart from all of the rest?