|Ultimately, the true test of a web host comes from your own experiences with them. With this article, I wanted to compile some of the experiences of a few people to bring to you cautions when choosing a host: clients, friends, and myself. I’ll also then give you a few points you have to consider when choosing a web host.
I wanted to start with my own experiences. I chose a web host based upon price, and the ability for this host to charge me monthly, instead of a year or two upfront. I was just starting my company, and had to watch those pennies. Even though I knew that spending the money up front would have been more cost effective, I simply didn’t have it. I thought I did some good research on this host, and asked all the pertinent questions at the time.
I wanted to start out with one of my latest experiences with my old web host. I had been with this host since March, and since that time, I’ve had a plethora of problems. When I started with them, they were great! We set up an e-commerce store, and had a big sale over Memorial Day weekend. The web server went down. The host could not be contacted, as they only handled support via trouble ticket and email or phone. Email went unanswered all weekend, and phone support was nothing more than a dispatch person, who was to contact support, who’d then get back to me. They did on Tuesday.
Further, there were other similar incidents, with the 24/7 support not available on the weekends. It would also take them many hours to get back to a trouble ticket, even during the week. It was very frustrating. The final straw for me was in the month of November; I had 14 trouble tickets in to them for one reason or another, like a hard drive crashing, or not enough RAM. Because there was one excuse after another in each of the trouble tickets, the length of time it took them to respond to one, and the fact that I had to plead for a month’s refund, due to their server issues; I knew it was time to move.
A client of mine for whom I did SEO work had a nightmare web host. The big problem here is that her web host was also her design company, who was only available for support Monday through Friday, from 9 am till 5 pm. When I was contracted by her to perform SEO work, her web host was very reluctant to allow me to do so. At first, I considered this client somewhat of a pain, as I received a phone call at least five times per day. Nine out of ten of her issues were related to her web design or web host. But because I was the only one available, I was the one she called.