Hosting for Non-Techies

Evaluating a Managed Web Host

If you’ve come to find your web host is no longer meeting your expectations, it might be time to move on. Before you do, you need to make sure you have a quality host to move to, otherwise you may wind up having an even worse experience a few months later. Finding the proper web host requires asking yourself a few questions:

1) What sort of services do I need?

Perhaps the most important question is to figure out exactly what services you require from your provider. A host who claims to do everything may be sacrificing specific expertise for generalist knowledge. If you worked with a web designer to build your site, they should be able to help answer these questions as well. Are you running a WordPress site? Is your site built on ecommerce software? Is your setup a complex custom solution? You’ll need to make sure your provider can meet your specific needs.

2) How much support do I need?

This may seem obvious, but one of the most common reasons we see people leave their old hosts is because of the quality of support after turn-up. Do you have an IT department or do you manage your website yourself? How time-critical are your support needs? Do you want your host to manage all your support needs? The more support your host can provide, the less you need to dedicate yourself or other company resources to it. The more support you require, the more experienced and capable you’ll need your host to be.

3) What security requirements do I have?

With the rise of malware, bots, and DDoS attacks (just to name a few) security has never been more important for Internet businesses. Figuring out what level of security you need and matching it with a company who can support those needs is thus very important. See what they offer in the way of firewalls. Do they offer SSL certificates, help you install them, and make sure they’re working properly? What sort of malware protection do they utilize, and how good are they at rooting it out in the event you do get compromised? Even if you have an in-house security solution, a managed host who understands security is vital.

4) How fast is my site growing?

Many shared hosting packages or “site-in-a-box” services claim to offer “unlimited” resources, but this is misleading. They have functional maximums they can provide, and those maximums are shared between multiple users. If a site is using up too big a piece of the pie, they quickly clamp down. When moving to a new host, you’ll want to find someone who can put you in a package that allows you room to grow. Plus, when you do outgrow your package, you’ll want someone who can help you migrate to a larger package with minimal downtime.

5) How will I move to a new host?

A lot of people are intimidated by the perceived difficulty of migrating to a new host. A host who can manage your migration can ease your transition. They can handle the task of moving your files and setting everything up to minimize downtime.

Once you’ve asked yourselves these questions, you can truly begin to narrow down your options. ServInt specializes in doing the heavy lifting required for managed VPS hosting. Contact our sales team today to see what we can do for you.

Photo by Bob Mical

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