What to Do When Good Hosts Go Bad

Like any business, a once-popular Web hosting provider can go downhill over time. If you watch for the signs of deterioration, you can take steps to prevent this situation from harming your business. Most providers don’t turn bad overnight, so there’s time to find a solution before your website or email accounts disappear.

At first, your company website might not load as quickly as it did in the past. It may be difficult to access your email. Most Web hosts experience occasional server problems, so these aren’t necessarily the signs of impending collapse. Contact someone in your provider’s customer service department; it’s their job to help you and explain what’s affecting your service.

If your host doesn’t correct these problems, the situation will probably become worse. Automated scripts could stop working, downtime might occur and incoming email messages may start to bounce. If there’s little or no response to complaints, you can bet the hosting provider’s staff isn’t working very hard to restore normal service.

Changing to a different Web host is a time-consuming task, but sometimes it’s necessary. If you wait too long, the provider could suddenly shut down. A lengthy interruption of email or website hosting will cause a significant loss of revenue for your company. However, it’s important to take the time to find a dependable, trustworthy host.

The first step is to identify your firm’s current needs. How much bandwidth and storage space does it demand? You will have to find a Web host with a service plan that meets these needs. It is also vital to know how many subdomains, email accounts and databases your company requires. Keep in mind that such needs may grow in the future.

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Ask yourself if you want your Web host to provide your email services, too. If you have more than a dozen employees, getting a hosted Exchange server will let you provide email and calendar support for your whole company. You’ll get mobile access, too. Small companies that don’t use email much can get by with the email service included with many Web hosts, but if your company relies on email heavily, split up your hosting services.

There are almost 10,000 hosting providers. You could spend months visiting their websites and reading reviews. To identify some of the best options, ask for recommendations from trusted business acquaintances. This technique proves more reliable than using anonymous online reviews. You’ll get specific feedback from people you know and you’ll have the ability to ask questions.

Make a list of the hosting providers that people have suggested. To narrow down the choices, begin researching each of the companies. Cross out providers that seem unreliable or can’t meet your needs. Use an established firm. Fifty percent of North American hosts shut down within the first two years.

After you’ve compiled a list of dependable hosting providers with adequate features, contact the company with the services you need that offers the best support and pricing structure to establish a new account. If some of the providers have the same services, compare any discounts or free bonuses they offer. Look at the fees they charge when customers exceed their bandwidth limits.

Finally, close your account at the old hosting provider and cancel any automatic payments. Tell the company why you’ve decided to leave; it may help them recognize the need to change their ways. If the customer service and technical problems were particularly bad, use hosting review websites to warn other people about the provider.

Comments: 1

  • Jim Walker says:

    Interesting, “Fifty percent of North American hosts shut down within the first two years.”

    Agreed it’s a really tough business. We’ve been running strong for over 15 years and “not a single” negative testimonial. :)

    One day we’ll even get around to refreshing our web site design.
    Hopefully folks are no so gullible as to think a perfectly designed web hosts website means anything at all…


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