Assessing Web Hosting Companies

Assessing Web Hosting Companies For Small To Medium Scale Businesses!


As your business grows in size, the need for higher levels of competency increases! The success of a business depends on ensuring that every aspect is reviewed with utmost care, including its online presence – and web hosting plays a crucial part.

There is certainly no dearth of hosting providers – they are a dime a dozen. But are they all suitable for you? Will they fulfill your business needs and ensure that nothing goes wrong from their side?

What are the basic expectations from a business web hosting provider?

While the more common needs of customer response time, 100% uptime, high bandwidth, security etc. remain constant, there are a few things that need to be looked at in more detail. A business is a business and has to be treated with the respect it deserves, and it all starts with finding the most suitable web hosting company.

How Is Their Customer Support?

It goes without saying that this has to top the priority list for a business. While reading about the web hosting provider, going through reviews and finding out from people is a good way, and may be enough for a personal website or even a small business that is just starting out, a bigger business can certainly do with delving deeper.

  1. Customers and support Staff – One of the first things too look at is their support staff that take care of customer service. How many customers does the web hosting company have and are there enough support staff to handle them? Imagine a hosting company that has 1 customer support staff for every 10,000 customers. You don’t even have to blink an eye before deciding that their support must be terrible. Find one with a reasonable employee to customer ratio.
  1. In-house customer support or outsourced? – It helps to have in-house support staff, as outsourcing may result in issues from time to time.
  1. Methods of Communication – What are the different ways their customers can get in touch with them? A good web hosting should have a variety of communication channels open, such as email, telephonic and live chat support. One of the best things would be to have 24/7 live chat, where issues can be resolved instantly. A forum would be a great bonus, where you can get a clear picture of the web host’s strengths and weaknesses based on the discussions.

It is not enough to check the methods of communication. It is important to find out if these methods are monitored as expected. This can be done by sending/asking some questions related to their hosting and see their response time as well as the quality of their responses. Do they keep you on hold for ages on the telephone? Their live chat is closed at night? Does the support staff of your web hosting provider actually know what they are talking about?

How Stable Are They?

Find out how long the web hosting company has been in business. A longer period is an indication of the company’s stability. If a web hosting company has been around for about five years or more, and is still in business, they would have proved themselves to their customers. It is pretty obvious that they are not fly-by-night operators and are trustworthy. You can assess their stability by also looking into the number of customers they have.

However, just because a hosting company is huge and has a high number of customers, does not make them the best in the business! Look at the number of customers for the last few years! Has the size of the customer base been decreasing or increasing. An increase in customers also brings to fore the capacity of the company to remain on top and cater to the changing hosting needs. The stability and growth of a web hosting business is directly related to their increasing customer base.

Do They Have Their Own Datacenters?

Although, this is not a criterion that has to be fulfilled at any cost; if there is a choice between a small business web hosting provider with their own data center and one without, it is advisable to choose the former. The data center should use the latest technology, be well equipped with uninterrupted power supply, high connectivity and high level of security.

Despite doing all this homework and taking precautions, it is difficult to conclude that a specific web host is the best. There may be some which fulfill some of your requirements and others that take care of the rest; however, the one you choose will obviously have to be a web hosting company that comes closest to handling most of your business needs at a price that is affordable to your business.


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