Blog July 10, 2013

Top Questions to Ask When Looking for a Hosting Provider (Part 1 of 2)

Choosing a Hosting Provider can be a daunting task. You’ve made the decision that you don’t want to be in the “server” business and have embarked on the research process. Here are some questions that can help you many headaches and potentially some cash. Like we say at Connectria Hosting, at the end of the day, you want to find someone that can be your business partner, not a vendor. (Part 1 of 2 in the series)

1. How long have they been in business?

Many managed hosting providers have popped up over the last several years as interest in cloud computing has exploded. Look for a provider that has been around for a while and has a proven track record of no major outages, has extensive experience managing environments similar to yours and has plenty of references.

2. Do they have 24/7/365 support?

One of the reasons for choosing a managed hosting provider is for you to be able to focus on your business, not your IT. 24/7 support will eliminate the need for overnight IT staff and greatly reduce the risk of a server being down unattended. 24/7 support also means that you will have a team dedicated to your system, whether it is OS upgrades, security checks, and etc. to ensure you environment is secure and always up-to-date.

3. Do they offer flexible contract terms?
A good hosting provider should be flexible, the same way you treat your own customers and partners. Look for companies that offer month-to-month, as well as 12/24/36 month plans. These different options will help estimate financial expenses and enable you to make sure it’s the right fit prior to committing to a long term agreement. Look for a provider that can provide a consistent, fixed monthly price with no surprises and no extra, unanticipated costs.

4. What is their standard SLA?

We have all heard of the recent outages that brought sites such as Netflix or Reddit down. You don’t want your site to be the next newsmaker. Choose a hosting provider with a competitive SLA (service level agreement) of at least 99.9% uptime, 100% Network uptime, and a timely hardware replacement guarantee, typically 4 hours or less. This is especially true if you have mission critical applications,meaning that your business activity fully depends on them.

5. Are they financially stable?

You may be just getting your business off the ground or have recently gone through a round of funding but the last thing you want is for your hosting provider to go out of business, effectively shutting down your operations. Choose a company that not only has been around for some time but has a proven track record of being financially sound. Look for things such as long-term growth and profitability.

Stay tuned for part 2 to be published in the next couple of days.

If you have any questions please post a comment below or give us a shout at blog@connectria.com.

– Mike Solomonov

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