For webmasters, companies and developers with a multitude of projects happening all at once it can be more cost effective to choose server colocation over the more widely used dedicated server hosting. When you co-locate a web hosting server you’re taking your own hardware (the server) to a data center of your choosing. There are obvious advantages to this setup, including the fact that you’ve handpicked the server hardware and are assured of its perfect working order.
When it comes to colocation, most people pick a data center close to home so that they can monitor the server, taking a hands-on approach and reducing the costs of management. The problem with this for many others though, is that local data centers, especially in small communities, can be pricey. It is possible to go with a cheaper data center you’ve never seen and still have a reliable hosting experience. Here are a few ways to make sure you do that the right way.
Don’t rely on pictures
Websites frequently put up pictures of items they wish to sell and that’s true for data center websites, too. You will find many pictures on data center websites that showcase the interior and exterior of a facility. And while some of these websites accurately show off their data centers, there are an equal number that display stock images that do not honestly depict their facility at all. For this reason, you need more than flashy website pictures to choose a reliable data center to store your web hosting server.
It may seem impossible to believe, but there are data centers out there that have been constructed of nothing more than used parts found on Craigslist. You wouldn’t send hundreds of dollars to a company you’ve never heard of before to purchase a television set and you shouldn’t do it with your expensive web hosting server either.
The easiest way to track a company’s business history is to read reviews. Comprehensive colocation reviews are written by experts and every day users and will let you know the good and bad points of each company.
Ask for references
Web hosting companies and data centers have a history and most reputable companies will be happy to share that with you. If customer testimonials are not available on the data center website, ask to see them. As a rule, most companies make these freely available to potential clients and will have no trouble handing them over. Each testimonial should be verifiable—meaning that it will link to an email address or website where you can double-check its accuracy.
Join hosting communities
Forums like WebHostingTalk.com is made up of both web hosting clients and companies. These are great resources to turn to when you need a recommendation or want to ask about a particular data center.
By following these steps it is entirely possible to colocate your web hosting server with a data center you’ve never seen before. Remember to take your time, read reviews and talk to others who are in-the-know. By making the right decisions the first time around you’ll get online faster..and stay online.