Hopefully you have never been in the situation where your website or web hosting server was down and you could no longer access your files. For many, this has been a reality and websites and important data have been lost due to negligent web hosting server admins. Here’s several tips to help you weed out the good from the bad and to tip the odds in your favor as having a reliable provider.
Date First Established
This should be the first thing to look into when deciding on who is going to be your host. How long have they been in business? If a new host is out there giving away some great deals, yet they have only been doing business for six months, it could mean they are overselling their resources just so they can establish a name for themselves. Avoid this type of company at all costs if you value your data. If a business does not display their established date on their website you can always try doing a WHOIS lookup on their domain to see when it was purchased.
Service Level Agreements & Uptimes
By doing just a little research before you pull the trigger, you might be able to save yourself and find a reliable hosting provider that suits all of your needs. A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is put in place by a host to provide you with a contract so you know what level of service you can expect to be provided. A good SLA should also outline what happens if they fail to deliver the uptime promised.
Most webhosts post their uptime statistics on their website, others use third party websites to track and display that data. And then there’s other hosts who simply don’t care to tell you how long their servers have been online. Needless to say, avoid the hosts without any uptime statistics available. A quick Google search can help you in unearthing server up times if that information isn’t readily available on their website.
One of the easiest ways you can find out if you’re likely to have a good or bad experience about a company is to look for reviews. Most people are more willing to post a review if they’ve had a bad experience, so if you find a web hosting company with stellar reviews and very few negative write-ups, it could be that you’ve found yourself a great host to use.
What happens if your host was to have catastrophic failure and all of your files, databases and other sensitive data was lost? This is a very real problem you could be facing if your webhost is not taking regular backups of your data. Find out what their backup schedule is like and if you’re comfortable with it. Regardless of a webhosts backup schedule you should also always be backing up your own data away from the webhost for added security.
These are just a few tips you can use to give yourself a better chance of choosing the right webhost for you and your data.