Far too often, website owners use cost alone when choosing a hosting provider. While you may need a dedicated server due to your bandwidth usage, the ability to handle traffic is only one reason dedicated servers are so treasured among those who choose them. A good dedicated server should come with technical support that is second to none. If you’re weighing your options and trying to decide where to take your business, here’s why an excellent support team should be among your top priorities.
Even the biggest websites can fail when problems arise. If your website is the victim of a DDoS attack, the target of an unexpected wave of traffic, or the subject of hardware failure, you need to know there is someone you can talk to. A successful website cannot sustain a lot of downtime. If you’re paying a premium for a dedicated server, you deserve to know that your website will be there when users want it. If you choose a hosting company with a skeleton support crew, it could take your website a long time to get back online in the event of an emergency. This is time you can’t afford to lose.
The Cost of Downtime
If you’re like most webmasters, you’re interested in a dedicated server because you want to avoid downtime. And while having your own dedicated server can eliminate many of the problems associated with a shared plan, limited or non-existent support could mean your users must face more of this downtime than you would expect. The cost of downtime can be enormous, particularly for a website intended for e-commerce. Online shoppers don’t wait around. When your website is down for maintenance, the vast majority of your customers will be happy to check out the competition.
Why 24/7 Matters
Server problems, unfortunately, aren’t limited to normal business hours. If you choose a hosting company with customer support that’s only available from 9-5, 5 days a week, you’re leaving a lot of room for trouble. The best hosting companies have a support team in place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Your website doesn’t close, after all, so why should your hosting company?
Read The SLA
An SLA (Service Level Agreement) is a contract between the hosting company and its customers, defining in precise terms the services the company will provide. These agreements are often long, boring, and filled with legalese, meaning many webmasters will skim over them before signing on. This can be a mistake. Take your time, read the SLA, and make sure you understand what you’re getting in return for your dollar. Pay particular attention to the section on hardware replacement, as you don’t want to wait around for an eternity should your dedicated server be the victim of a lightning strike or an unexpected power surge. Another aspect to look at is if a hosting company is support oriented would be to see if they offer management services. Most reputable companies will offer pro-active services and monitoring as an extra layer of servers for their clients. A managed dedicated server will allow the customer to know that his dedicated server is well taken care of and with the latest security.
Streamlined Customer Service
Naturally, it can be difficult to gauge how good a hosting company’s customer support is before you actually need it. After all, a company can make all the promises in the world to get you on board. It isn’t until you have a problem that you realize that many of these promises were made in vain. So, how can you prevent this from happening? Look at their customer service system. Do they have a support ticket policy in place? Often, you can tell how serious a company is about customer support just by noting how easily you can find the phone number. These clues, when combined with user reviews, can give you a clearer picture of what you’re getting into.