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Purchasing web hosting for your business based on price

By Staff

Host Providers Help Desk Software

It will pay in the long run to find out from your host provider if they use “help desk” software and what type they use. Help desk software systems can range in complexity from basic ticket logging to fully integrated Customer Requirement Management systems. While he core elements are the recording and tracking of support requests, functionality varies. As a measure of its success, service Level management is often crucial. Usually, this is an automated benefit of the help desk software.

Answering the call

A host provider’s help desk is the place that you call to get help with a website problem. Help desks can be manned by a single person or a group of IT experts. This may have a dramatic effect on the quality of technical support that a web host provides. After all, the quality of support delivered has a direct impact on the effectiveness and profitability of your business. You should never have to wait on hold to speak to a technical support representative. Someone should always be available to take your call and respond to your needs as quickly as possible.

Another key factor is that internal support operations optimize service delivery and costs while getting or keeping your business running without lengthy delays. This smarter the support center software applications used, the more improvement in technical services provided.

Hosting Support

When considering web hosts you want to find one whose provides the best service selection and support services at the best cost. Remember that not all web hosts are fully equipped companies. Many are resellers who sell web host services, which can cause you big problems. They provide you nothing in the way of support. Make sure that your host provider owns the equipment (servers) and manages their data center space. Other things that need to be considered include:

Quality – Look for hosts that actually provide quality technical support 24 hours a day 7 days a week, year round, not just claim to do so. Equally important is quick turnaround and response times; this is what differentiates a top hosting company from other less reputable ones. Qualified and experienced personnel is key to having your issues resolved quickly and effectively. Also, make sure the host provider that you choose stays current with the latest trends, advancements and offers tools that allow you to easily manage and administer your website.

                     Personal Service – In addition to technical support you should consider a host provider that offers personal services as well. Freeing you from some business tasks allows you to focus on other more important aspects of your business.

                      Response Time - Customers expects fast and personalized assistance. If they don’t get it from you, they will take their business somewhere else. Seek out host providers that can offer response times ranging from under 30 minutes up to 24 hours. This is a good range to expect a response from technical personnel. Host providers that offer “live chats” with technical personnel are usually the fastest responders. Some get back to you almost instantly to at least let you know they received your complaint and will be in contact shortly. They usually are quick to follow-up.

                     Cost - Consider cost carefully. As stated before, it is not always best to choose a provider that offers a low-cost hosting solution. These providers usually don’t have a lot to offer in terms of support. When running a web business, it makes more sense to spend a little more to ensure that your provider can offer you services that are critical to doing business seamlessly and effectively.

                     Transparency - Serving customers can appear as though your own employees do it. It is transparent to your customers. That’s the way it should be. If your site is experiencing difficulty, you want to be able to reassure customers that your technical team is working on the problem and that it will be resolved shortly. This builds confidence in your business by your customers. The support your receive from your host provider should be seamless to your business and your customers.

                     Knowledge Base - It is important that you know what the “knowledge base” of your host provider is. You need to make sure that they have the ability and expertise to cover all areas that can affect you. Things such as “cold fusion”, databases and so on may be important to you. Host providers need to be able to meet your needs no matter what they are.

Dedicated Web Hosting 

If you have volume traffic, require custom server applications, deal with sensitive information or, need huge amounts of storage space, then you may want to consider dedicated hosting. Dedicated hosting means that you rent a dedicated server from a web host that manages only your data, no one else. With a dedicated server you have volumes of space available to meet the needs of your business or grow your business. Because you receive a high level of security, server management and technical support, the cost for dedicated hosting runs high, but is well worth it.

So how do you begin looking for a reputable dedicated web host provider? Simply by searching the Internet. Look for web host providers who provide a high-quality dedicated web hosting as well as all the support you need. Another benefit of choosing this method of web hosting is the flexibility that you will have in specifying hardware and software configurations. You tell them what you want, not the other way around. Better yet, because you are using the space (server) alone without having to share it, you have the opportunity to build whatever you need to effectively maintain your site, without technical staff.

Virtual Hosting

Is a dedicated server right for your needs? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on the complexity of your business, the sensitivity of the information that you will store there and whether or not you have a high traffic site. If this criterion applies to you, then dedicated servers may be just the ticket to run and maintain your business. If on the other hand you have a site that is relatively uncomplicated, has low traffic volume, doesn’t need complex software applications etc., you may need something as simple as a virtual web host. With virtual hosting, you will have to share a server with other websites. You don’t have the space all to yourself. The cost of virtual hosting is a whole lot less that using a dedicated server. If space limitations are not a problem, then this solution should work for you, and be cost efficient as well.

Hosting Directories

Beware of “host directory or “host review” sites that have lists of "Top Hosts" or "Best low-cost Hosts." Most Host Directory sites have little interest in providing real assistance to you. The almighty advertising dollar is what drives them. Their ratings are useless to you. Lists of "reviews" are just as unreliable and even more useless. Negative reviews are filtered out, especially reviews of companies that buy advertising from them. These sites are very easy to "spam" with positive reviews. Beware of too many glowing reviews, no one is that perfect. Don’t choose a web host from these listings under any circumstances; it could be fatal to your business. Before you make a final decision about a web host, check out the online BBB Reliability Report. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

In the final analysis, if you try to save a few bucks on hosting, you might end up paying a whole lot more in lost sales and lost opportunities. You need to find a reliable, long-term solution to your hosting needs. You want to make sure that your host provider is in it for the “long haul”, not just another “fly-by-night” company, who takes the money and runs. Take as much time choosing your web host as you would making any serious purchase. Remember that it may not pay to skimp on cost when your business is at stake. Price alone just is not enough.

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