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4 Things You Can't Afford to Tolerate from a Web Host

Published on 8/9/2010 by

When it works the way it should, web hosting works like a dream.  With a good web host, you're able to forget about the technical end of hosting and concentrate on making money with your website.  It doesn't always work that way though.  Here are four things you cannot afford to tolerate from a web host.

1.  Excessive downtime

Most web hosts have a 99.9% uptime guarantee.  Even at that level of success, 99.9% equates to 43.2 minutes of downtime per month.  That's a whole lot of downtime, especially if you run a business.  Your website should only be offline for these reasons:

  • Maintenance
  • Hardware upgrades
  • Rebooting
  • Software upgrades
  • Occasional network trouble

Planned downtime for maintenance should always be announced by email or on a company forum, and the same goes for network outages.  You should know why your domain is down without having to go in search of the answer. If you're finding that your website is inaccessible often, it may be time to look for a new host.

2.  Poor support

If the database that powers your website suddenly disappears, taking your domain with it, could you reach your hosting company in just a few moments and sort out the problem?  Signs of poor support from a web host include:

  • Lack of knowledge.  If your web host needs to go in search of answers for you or doesn’t seem to know how to deal with basic web hosting questions, that’s a good sign that your web host either doesn’t have reliable support or they’re new to hosting themselves. 
  • Rude, terse answers to questions.  Web hosting support representatives should always be polite, knowledgeable and eager to help you.  You paid for web hosting and support.  Make sure you’re getting it.
  • Lack of response.  You should never have to wait more than 24 hours for support.  Never!

Good communication between you and your web host is vital!  If you're dissatisfied with the way your web hosting company is handling support calls, speak with them about it. If your web hosting company offers 24/7 support and they're not delivering, it could be time to move on.

3.  Billing mistakes

Mistakes happen, but if you're repeatedly overbilled or charged for services and features you didn't order, you're wasting time and money figuring it all out.  Your web host should have an accurate, easily understandable billing system in place.

4.  Slow performance

Web hosts who offer unlimited space and bandwidth sometimes overload servers with too many domains.  Signs that you may be on an overworked server are:

  • Databases that spit out errors regularly.
  • Websites that don't load completely.
  • Sites which are slow to load or fail to load at all.

You should never encounter any of the above problems unless your web host is experiencing network difficulty.

Your web hosting company is being paid to keep your domain online and your website loading as quickly and smoothly as possible.   Never settle for less.  If your web hosting company isn’t living up to your expectations, it’s time to find a new host who will work with you to make your website a success.