Does My Web Hosting Subscription Include 24/7 Tech Support?
When thinking about the design of your new website it is easy to get caught up in how it is going to look, what information it is going to contain and even what cool features it is going to have. Most people find that these things are the fun part. But what some people may overlook is their web hosting and what kind of technical support they can expect to receive.
Web hosting refers to the electronic space and servers where a website resides. When someone views your website it is because your hosting service is transferring your website information to their computer or mobile device. Without a proper web host, no one sees your site. And because your website is essentially supposed to be the 24/7 version of your business, it is important that you choose a hosting company that offers 24/7 support. It is also important that you understand what that support includes.
The follow are a few questions you should ask your website provider about the hosting service they are recommending.
Do They Have “Real People”?
Having something go wrong with your website is frustrating enough. You probably aren’t going to be in the mood to deal with an automated phone or web system. Even if you have to fill out a web form to get your answer, it helps to know that eventually – hopefully quickly – you’ll be able to speak or chat with a real person.
What’s Included in Managed Support?
Generally speaking, you web host should include tech support for the following:
- Basic services including email, control panel, FTP and web serving. If you feel there is something wrong in any of these areas, your host should be willing to check for you.
- Software security. It is a good idea to ensure that you have the latest version of any given software necessary for your website to function as it is also important the any patches or updates are installed as soon as possible.
- Hardware. With all the talk about virtual stores and commerce, cloud storage etc., it is easy to forget that that your website actually has to “live” on a physical device somewhere. You hosting company needs to ensure that servers are in good working order and that back-ups are in place “just in case.”
What Are My Responsibilities?
A good hosting company will do its best to give you the most complete service possible. Still however, as a customer you’ll have your own responsibilities and it’s important to know what they are.
- Data back-up. If you have important information on your server, it is important to do your own back-ups. While you can expect you hosting service to do back-ups as well, they might not have your most recent information when you need it.
- DNS/Domain Names. As a customer, it will typically be your responsibility to ensure that any domain names that you own are transferred to your new provider.
Web hosting may not seem as glamourous as some of the other aspects of website building but it is absolutely critical to your online success that you not only have a good service but one that can provide you with the support you need.