A web host has very little obligation to give you a good service. The amount of competition online has made some hosts give a better deal, but comparison sites have meant hosts have started resorting to sleazy tricks just to be seen as the one at the top of the list. Here are seven features that every hosting service should offer.
1 – The ability to upgrade
This is something that all should offer and some do not. The ones that do not are sometimes free web hosts, and other times it is because you have bought a loss leader service they had online in order to make their more profitable service seem better. There are other web hosts that restrict how you upgrade and downgrade. Some make it very easy to upgrade and almost impossible to downgrade or cancel.
2 – Flexible bandwidth options
This is such a basic idea and yet is taken up by so few. People should be able to accumulate bandwidth allowance so that if they go over their allowance one month then they can use some of the allowance they had when they didn’t go over the month before (when they were under). The fact that people have websites go offline because they lost their bandwidth is really unfair. There are few other services that would cut people off so readily. You are not refused oxygen in the hospital if you happen to breathe faster than other people and use up oxygen tanks quicker.
3 – High and very tight security
This goes without saying and yet more people should be saying it when it comes to hosting. The server is the ultimate backdoor to every website on it. It is harder to hack a server but the web host should be working hard to make it almost impossible to hack a server. A basic function of all web hosting services should be very high and very tight security.
The servers should be updated and maintained on a regular basis and security should be a top concern for the host. Without a clear and concise security effort there is likely to be a breach at some point, which is going to cause problems for all those who use the web hosting service.
4 – The latest security updates and tips for users
The security of websites may also affect the security of website web hosts. It is not unheard of for hackers to use server access from a website to gain access to the server. You may think the easiest way to do this is to buy the services yourself, but if you are a hacker you do not want your payment details anywhere near the service you are hacking. Web hosts should freely give tips and even security tools and updates to its users. This will make it harder for hackers to attack the website.
5 – Technical and customer support online and offline
It is unfair that some web hosts still charge massive amounts for phone calls to technical support. It encourages the host to create problems so that the phone lines may make them a little money. Free customer support should be available and technical support should be available online with articles and IM messengers and offline with phone support.
As it said in the introduction, some web hosts will resort to sleazy tricks in order to win. They offer very cheap services so that they win on the comparison sites but then they charge large amounts for customer service. If web hosts didn’t have to compete on price then they may be able to afford to give away free customer service and technical support.
6 – A maintenance schedule
This is a common curtsy that too few web hosts provide you with. Every host on the planet should give you a maintenance schedule so that you can see when they are going to take the host service offline. There are still too few hosts that will tell you what their maintenance schedules are and they will take your website offline and leave you stuck at times when you may need your website online.
7 – Optimization tips and tools
This is a bit of a backwards bit of logic because it is possible to write a web page so that it takes up less bandwidth, and it is possible to create a website so that it uses less server space. It may not seem in the interest of the host to give you tips on this sort of thing because less bandwidth and space use is going to be bad for their business.
But, if they offer tips such as these then not only will they please their customers but they will also have bandwidth and server space to spare so that they may take on more customers in the future. It will also put less of a demand on their services during peak periods.