The time of expensive hosting and limited functionalities on web servers are long gone. Today, everyone and their mother is doing web hosting, with a huge hosting disk capacity at very acceptable prices. But even though most hosting providers differ only in the price on paper, things are much different in the real world.
You can get stuck with a poor hosting, a lot of non-functional elements of the site and even huge downtime on your site.
Here is a practical approach to selecting a good but Affordable Web Hosting provider. In order to properly evaluate them, you'll need to engage both your technical and business teams.
Make a table like the one on the following slide and start grading according to the following bullets
- Business Support Quality - Through this category, you will evaluate how prepared the hosting provider is to meet your business expectations of hosting. When evaluating business support quality, you need to answer the following questions. Add two points for each Yes answer to your business support category grade:
- Does the hosting providers' sales rep answer to calls and e-mails in a timely manner?
- Does the hosting providers' sales rep try to understand what you are trying to achieve?
- Is the sales rep discussing meeting your requirements?
- Does the sales rep provide direct contact with a dedicated technical person for clarifications?
- Does the hosting providers' technical support person answer to calls and e-mails in a timely manner?
- Does the hosting provider actually support the technical requirements of your site?
- Does the hosting providers' technical support person answer your team's technical questions in a clear manner?
- Does the hosting providers' technical support person ask for clarification on your requirements?
- Does the hosting providers' technical support person warn you of any specific policies and limitations in their hosting solution that might hamper you?\
- Does the hosting provider offer remote tools for web site technical side management (service stop/start, add-ons and libraries management etc..)
- Is the hosting provider prepared to take over DNS hosting?
- Is DNS records management available to your technical staff via remote interface?
- Is there a e-mail service available?
- Can the e-mail service capture all e-mails for you if necessity arises?
- Are they offering any other services as bundle or with additional payment?
- Is your site on a dedicated server?
- Is your site on a server with no more then 50 large customer sites?
- Is your site on a server with dedicated and isolated resources from other sites (virtual machine or chroot type of isolation)?
- Is backup of the site performed daily?
- Is backup of the site performed together with backup of the site's backend database
- Is hacker attack detection/prevention present?
- Will you get alerting/notice from the provider if suspect hacker activity is detected?
- If site defacement occurs, can the hosting provider recover to a working site within 15 minutes of detection or notice bu you?
- If site defacement occurs, is proper forensic investigation performed with results submitted to you?
After you've finished answering your questions, you'll have a table like the one below
Select the top 20% providers from the Total grades and add the pricing of their solution. The cheapest one will be your Affordable Web Hosting provider. You can afford to pay him, but you don't need to accept low quality.
Talkback and comments are most welcome
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