Most prospective buyers start by going to the seller’s website before purchasing. An online presence has become a vital importance for not just business owners or service providing companies, but teacher-consultants who offer online classes, mentoring, and lesson plans to fellow educators. Thanks to a plethora of reliable and affordable web hosting companies, you no longer need ‘weebly’ or ‘wordpress’ appended to your online profile.
The problem is: There are too many web-hosting companies. How do you qualify them? Which one delivers great service at a reasonable price with reliable features that aren’t confusing to figure out? What you need is a web hosting review site (like the link above) that evaluates the critical services without relying on customer comments and their placement in a Google search.
Below are tips to help you evaluate services before you make your selection:
- Network uptime – the web hosting company should invest in their technical infrastructure and network so that they can provide robustness, redundancy, and speed to fulfill your needs. I have two different web hosting companies. One–my site is rarely if ever down. The other, occasionally and briefly. Why don’t I dump the latter? Read on to the other reasons.
- Premium bandwidth – Bandwidth is the robustness of the company’s ability to send and receive data. You want it to big enough that you get reliable, continuous, and fast service to your website visitors.
- Routing – a good hosting company uses Border Gateway Protocol or another optimized routing technology for providing the best experience to clients.
- Technical support and quality of support – A good hosting company will have great technical support, no matter your size or the seriousness of your problem. If a problem grabs your attention, it should also have your web host’s attention. Make sure whoever you select offers 24/7/365 service. I can tell you from experience, those geeky techie problems don’t just happen 8-5 and when something isn’t working, I hate being the point person on a problem with words like SFTP, ‘user portal’, sandbox, ‘transferable install’, and IPN (I copied those from urgent warnings I received that I hadn’t a clue how to handle). I bet you’ve experienced that yourself.
If your school doesn’t have IT staff (or if you wear that hat) to look after these issues, a web hosting company which provides a pro-active server management is preferable. Here’s why:
- Physical location – Find out the physical location of your hosting company. If the location of your host is unsuitable or if there is anything that prohibits the performance for kind of website you are hosting then consider your options.
- Experience – You need a geek who can speak words you understand. Your web host should be able to explain all problems, all issues, without losing you in the virtual weeds.
- Dedicated sever – if you sell books or classes or your server is a hub for lots of parent/student needs (like a forum or discussion board), you might need a dedicated server. No one wants to wait on a slow website. This frequently happens in a shared server. A good web host can provide a dedicated server.
Compare all the points above while selecting the best web hosting company. I’d love to hear who you select.
–My thanks to these folks for contributing to my recent fund raising campaign. It is much appreciated!
Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.