Choosing a Web Host - Make Reliability Top Priority!

When it comes to choosing a web host, there is literally an endless variety to choose from. Oftentimes businesses will make the mistake of searching for the right provider based on the pricing and features they offer. Reliability, however, should be your top concern when deciding which hosting provider is the best choice for your business’s needs. Everything else should come second to reliability. Downtime percentages can vary significantly from one hosting provider to the next, and the guarantees that are offered by these companies don’t offer you much protection in the long run. This is why the reliability of a web host should be your top concern when choosing which provider will host your website. If you’ve been underestimating the importance of reliability in terms of a web host, you’ll want to take the following into consideration.

Downtime Is One of the Biggest Threats to Your Site’s Success

Downtime isn’t just an inconvenience. It’s a very real threat to the success of your online business. When your site goes down, a domino effect occurs. First you begin to lose sales, then you begin to lose customers, then, in cases of extended and frequent downtime, your search engine rankings can start to take a hit. It quickly becomes apparent that downtime is much more than just a mild inconvenience. It’s a very serious threat to your business’s bottom line as well as its future.

Your Web Host’s Uptime Guarantee Doesn’t Offer Any Real Protection

As you are shopping for a web host, you’ll notice that most of them offer an uptime guarantee, with many touting uptime rates of 99.9 percent or even higher. But what happens if the web host doesn’t actually follow through on that promise? You have a guarantee protecting your website’s profits, right? Actually, that guarantee doesn’t protect much of anything.

If your web host fails to follow through on providing you with the uptime that it promises you in its guarantee, the most you will be compensated for is a credit for the difference between the uptime you were promised and the uptime you actually received. To make matters worse, this guarantee only applies to unplanned downtime, so if downtime occurs due to maintenance or upgrades, you’re out of luck.

If the downtime you experience is indeed protected by the guarantee it still won’t do you much good. For example, even if you pay $199 a month for your hosting plan and you incur 3 more hours of downtime than what is allotted for in the web host’s uptime guarantee, you’re only going to be entitled to a credit of about 83 cents for the inconvenience – the amount you paid for the three hours the website was down. And if your website is down for 3 hours more than the uptime you were promised, chances are that your losses equate to quite a bit more than 83 cents.

As you can see, hosting providers don’t have much of a financial incentive to follow through on their uptime promises. This is why it is so important to choose a host that has a reputation for reliability and consistent uptime rather than find out later that the host doesn’t live up to the promises it makes.

Researching Reliability

So now that you know how important the reliability of a hosting provider is, how do you go about finding out whether or not a provider that you may be interested in is actually reliable? This is where a bit of research will go a long way. By searching the web for reviews posted about the provider, you can see what other customers are saying about the web host’s level of reliability and whether or not customers have faced issues with downtime in the past. If you see a number of negative reviews, you know to keep searching for a web host that has favorable reviews and a reputation for reliability and good customer support.

How to Ensure Ongoing Reliability

Even the best companies can go bad at times. Just because a web host is reliable now doesn’t mean it will stay that way in the years to come. This is where website monitoring comes into play. With website monitoring service in place, if your web host begins to slip in terms of reliability, you will be the first to know. You can then either determine if the problem is with the plan you are on or the provider in general. If the problem is with the provider in general and reliability is becoming a serious concern, it may be time to renew your search for a reliable web host and switch to a different provider.