It does not matter whether you want to host a five page website for a local charity or whether you intend to run an e-commerce operation complete with huge database and bandwidth requirements, the important thing is that everyone wants a web host that they can rely on and trust to deliver on promises, pay attention to their problems and support their needs. With web hosts springing up by the minute these days, it's getting harder for a lot of people to find the few that can offer the reliability needed.
A lot of web hosting services tend to spend much more on their marketing budgets than they do on supporting their customers needs and requirements. With the creativity of such marketing, it is often very hard for a customer to assess a web host as critically as they ordinarily should. Other than the well-packaged sales pitches offered, web hosting companies have also come up with other creative ways to ensure that you ask less questions about the important issues and focus more on whipping out your credit card and clicking that all-important order button before their "30% off" "limited offer only" deals pass you by.
Discounts and incentives are great but to find truly reliable web hosting you have to look way beyond exciting freebies and focus on the fundamentals of a good web hosting provider. Take a look at their website and look for concrete explanations as to what they really offer you as a customer. A web host that tells you "We've Been Rated #1 in the Web Hosting Business" isn't telling you anything useful, how exactly does that statement solve your problem? how does it help with your needs? You need details. What features come with the various packages that they offer ? What hosting platforms are they running and what services do they provide that satisfy your hosting requirements? You need to see detailed information concerning what they provide for each dollar you spend. Look less at their cool website design and focus more about what they have to offer.
You should also find out how long has your potential web host been in business as well as the experience and qualifications their employees have in terms of management of different kinds of hosting infrastructure. It's not as if new web hosts out there are no good but when it comes to hosting, there's no substitute for real hands-on experience. Technologies change and evolve and you want to ensure that your web host has personnel that are well-informed about current technologies and understand how to leverage such technologies to your advantage.These personnel also need a great deal of experience in order to be able to provide technical assistance when critical situations occur.
On much simpler levels, firing off an e-mail from the address listed on their contact page or calling their support line is also a good way to see how they respond to the needs of their clients. Reliable web hosts will always ensure that communication channels with their customers are always kept open, quick to respond and fully serviced in order to deal with problems and inquiries as they occur.
A reliable web host should also be able to deal with both the complex and simple requirements of customers. From the customer that knows little about computers and just needs a simple website hosted, to the geek that wants to know what .NET frameworks are available on their Windows web hosting platforms. Other than being technologically able, a reliable web host must also have customer friendly support staff that will take the required time to offer explanations and solutions to clients when they need them.
Finding a reliable web host isn't rocket science, you just have to understand how to look out for the fundamentals of good service and focus less on sales pitches. However great a web host's marketing strategy is, assessing that service based on these points always makes it easy to separate the good from the bad and to properly determine how reliable that web host is.
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