What should you expect from a hosting company?
article compiled by steve

Anyone who owns or would like to own a website will need the services of a hosting company, unless you are fortunate enough to own and manage your very own webservers.

Having dealt with numerous companies, I am astounded by the difference in what seems to be offered as their ‘standard’ package.

Many companies seem to focus either on price or on service – whilst I’m sure all would argue that they offer both a good price and excellent service.


In this mini series we are going to look over and under the ‘bonnet’ of the hosting package and show you how to look a bit further than the neon sign on the home page that advertises “quality hosting at £2.99 per month”.

We will look at the packages, consider the support offered by the hosting companies support department, also if the core services they offer are good enough or will possibly leave you wishing you had not used their web hosting services – if disaster happens.

Lastly we will publish a list of some of those companies we feel offer a reasonable (or better) level of service.


This first part briefly covers support with regard to site backups and assistance.


As a website owner you may even wish periodically to backup your website and databases as a precaution.

To do this you would require access to an FTP client and also something like phpMyAdmin or a SQL / MySQL admin tool. If you are not very technically minded – you may wish to ask for help or assistance from the tech support department. This is where you may have wished that you checked when they are actually working.

If you need to do this over a weekend and they only work Monday through to Friday
9am – 6pm this may be of little use to you. Even if the company answers support tickets by email – sometimes there is no substitute for a live chat or telephone call.

Have you considered what will happen if your website crashes ?

Have you considered what will happen if your website crashes ?


If part or all of a web server crashes over a weekend, the hosting company will usually have someone around to restore the service. However if for some reason if it is only your website that crashes,  you may find that you are left waiting for 36 – 48 hours without assistance.


We recommend that you take your time to  some research and consider if your potential new hosting company offers live chat or telephone support. You may end up paying slightly more for your hosting plan from companies that offer a better level of support, but that may be £15 or £20 well spent.


In our next part we’ll be looking at what you need from your hosting plan and how to select the best one for you to prevent your website being blocked as you have used all your “air time” for that month.

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