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  1. #1
    Member
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    Questions to ask to your hosting company
    What are some questions that you should always ask of your hosting company before going with them?

    Iím not talking about how much space, bandwidth, what version php....but other aspects of doing business with these companies. Questions, which are never on their site, such as referals, or response time to emails...

    I have been looking at hosts and have narrowed down to a few, but want to send an email out to them with a few questions I have. I wanted to make sure I havent left anything out.


    Thanks all

  2. #2
    lurk
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    If you aren't worried about bandwidth, space, etc. The only other thing I would be concerned with Tech Support (is it free, what hours are they available, etc.). You also might want to ask what specs they have for the server you will be hosted off of. Particullary their SQL server (if you need to access a database). A slow SQL server... sucks.

    One more thing... make sure they are on a good power grid so they always have power, redudant power sources, redundant internet connections, etc. You want to minimize downtime!

  3. #3
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Although I've heard some people here gripe about IPowerWeb - I have used them for years and I have never had any problems with them.

    Any time I want to add or change something on my web servers I call their toll free number and they take care of my request while I'm on the phone with them.

  4. #4
    The Beer Hunter LearnAbout's Avatar
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    If you run a mailing list you need to check their policy on that. Many companies like IPowerWeb allow for something like 100s mail per hour, and not more than 10 per batch. This is obviously to prevent spammers, but it hits legitimate users, too.

    I have a medium sized list (fully opt-in of course!), and it takes me over 24 hours to get my newsletter delivered to it. Although its automated its still not optimal.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador netnow22's Avatar
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    I like http://www.westhost.com/vps.html They use VPS technology VPS Hosting a web server is divided into multiple isolated environments. Each environment has its own server software providing independence for that website. Any compromise with another site would only affect that VPS and could not affect your site on the same server.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador netnow22's Avatar
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    However i just found something out. If you plan on using westhost dont use any datafeeds. They just threatened to terminate my paid account because my amazon scriptfeed was using too many resources (or charge me alot more money). Other than that i truly recommend them.

  7. #7
    lurk
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    Too many resources for a datafeed... that's lame.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador webmarm's Avatar
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    Another thing to ask is whether the hosting company actually owns its own data center. Colocation and virtual hosting abound, and for many it's fine. Personally, I prefer to know that my hosting company has control of the emergency situations.

    You'll want to know what happens if you receive a spam complaint. It happens.

    While resource limits are sometimes a drag from one perspective, they are important. What if you neighbor in the shared hosting environment is hogging all the resources, causing YOUR site to slow down? What does the hosting company do in such cases?

    Uptime guarantee -- make sure it hits THEIR pocketbook if you have over a certain amount of downtime.

  9. #9
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrod805
    Too many resources for a datafeed... that's lame.
    I would think that'd only affect dynamic sites. But if you use something like WebMerge (locally) and upload the site as static pages, it doesn't take many resources on the server-side.

    A big dynamic site can indeed eat a lot of resources. Although it shouldn't be such a problem if the host forks up for more RAM. Just like with a PC, more RAM heals many ills.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  10. #10
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    Amazon's datafeed is dymamic and will burn through the bandwidth pretty quickly. You may wish to get a dedicated server or managed server. Dedicated servers are a lot cheaper these days than they used to be.

  11. #11
    Newbie Host's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I think you should be asking following questions to your prospective host:

    1 Do they oversell? (almost everyone does), if yes then to what extent. If no, be cautious and have detailed conversation.
    2 How do they provide support? Like emails, forums, AIM, phone etc. Prefer host that provide ticket based support. Though phone support looks good, but is not very effective. Its better to ticket based, that keeps log of your tickets and would help in quick resolution.
    3 What are their script usage policies, that is what are the script they do not prefer on their servers?
    4 Does their network has any blackholed IPs or that is blacklisted? You may also ask on what are the IP that they would be providing you.
    5 How long the host has been in buisness?
    6 Was their any change in ownership in past?
    7 Are they profitable and generating decent revenue? you would like to with a profitable host who might sustain in long run.
    8 What are their Spam reporting policies? That is in case of any spam report, how do they communicate, do they suspend the site or cummunicate the warning to you?
    9 What is the server load, on which they would be hosting your site(s)?
    10 How many accounts (sites or resellers) they have on one server?
    11 Ask them provide references from their existing clients about their experience using that hosting company?
    12 Ask for their uptime stats and prefer if they get it monitored by third party, also what intervals its been checked. Be sure to ask for the server on which they would be hosting you (not their main site). Also ask, if they monitor http, mail, and other uptime.
    13 Ask for the control panel they will offer you and what is the version.
    14 How frequently they patch their servers and ask for what was the latest patch they applied to their servers.
    15 What other sites they host on their network, you may like to look at you neighborhood as well.
    16 Make sure the host has a secure billing system before enetring your card details!
    17 Do check on their whois info.

    Dont ask all questions in one go, ask them randomly and see what there response time in different situation and time.

    Phew this is never ending list I think and their might be more questions specific to your requirements as well.

    All the best in your host hunt

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