What kind of service can you expect from your web hosting company? Are there customer representatives available around the clock, every day of the year, or will you have to pray nothing goes wrong after a certain time of the day? How fast can you expect responses to be if there is a problem? In this fast paced world that we live in, one day lost to a website problem is too many, and if it takes a day or more to even get a response, where will you be? Are the staffers knowledgeable and competent in their positions?
Is the turnover rate extraordinarily high? It is disheartening to build a business connection with one person only to have that person leave the next week. If turnover rate is high, find out if that is normal for the industry. If it is not an industry norm, you might want to consider working with someone else. If a web hosting company cannot keep their own employees happy, how in the world will they keep their clients happy? I know it seems strange for a business owner to be concerned with the job satisfaction of another company’s techs, but, all things connect at some point.
Pricing can hide some ugly surprises if you do not cover all of your bases upfront. Find out, in writing, what is and is not covered by the quoted price. Just how many extras do you really need, and which ones can you do without?
Can some services be provided without the others, or are they permanently interlinked? Are all prices fixed or is there room for negotiation? Some business people hold that there is always room for negotiation, so it never hurts to ask. Once pricing is set, ask about the terms of that pricing. Do not be surprised six weeks down the road with a huge rate increase; make sure you know how long these prices are good for.
And finally, there is the contract to consider. Do you have to be roped into a long term contract right off the bat, or can you use the web host for a trial period? Signing a lengthy contract can be dangerous, unless you are very confident with the web host and the services they provide. What will happen if your needs change, or worse, if your business suffers a setback? Will you then have to pay a huge fee to end this contract at a time that you cannot afford to? Consider this carefully.