For any business or individual looking to choose a web hosting plan, it is remarkably easy to get caught up in the numbers. How much RAM will your virtual private server (VPS) hosting plan have? What is your bandwidth allocation on a shared web hosting service? Most web hosting providers use these kinds of figures to grab your attention and convince you to place an order.
But numbers only tell part of the story, just as your hardware specifications are only one element of what makes a good hosting service for your website. In practice, the services that really make a difference to the success of your website and your online business are not the kind of services that are measurable in exact figures. Whether you need technical advice, have issues with your plan, or need remote hands to perform a function on your server, it is customer service that you will eventually come to depend upon.
Before you order your web hosting solution, consider the following three must-have customer service features to look for in a web hosting plan.
Enjoy complete peace of mind with a service level agreement
In an ideal world, every webmaster would have an affordable hosting plan that performs consistently and never encounters any unplanned downtime. However, even with the best of intentions, otherwise reputable web hosts can encounter hardware failures, network outages, or configuration errors that cause your hosting service to become unavailable.
You will never find a hosting provider who can truthfully promise that their network or server hardware will never encounter an issue. Instead, you should look for a web host who is honest, upfront, and makes contractual provisions for how unavailability is handled.
A Service Level Agreement, or SLA, is a legally binding document that both you and your web host enter into once your order is placed. Within this document, your shared hosting provider, VPS web hosting service provider, or dedicated server host should outline what constitutes a failure of service – usually, unplanned downtime – and how you will be financially compensated in the event that this occurs.
Some of the best hosting providers even offer SLAs that promise 100% network availability, with an impressive refund of ten times the cost of your service for the period that your website was offline.
Server management services to assist with your VPS hosting service or dedicated server plan
Because it uses a dedicated server that is divided up into smaller accounts, a shared web hosting service does not require any additional server management. As standard on a shared hosting plan, your web host is fully responsible for configuring the hardware server and keeping your web space accessible.
But when it comes to VPS hosting services or a dedicated server web hosting plan, the obligation to configure and run your server transfers into your hands. You will be responsible for installing and reinstalling operating systems, updating system software with the latest security patches, and installing the specific security software and utilities that you require.
One solution is to search for a managed VPS web hosting plan or managed dedicated server – but why pay an additional monthly or annual fee for the benefit of good customer service? The best web hosts care about your web presence and want to make sure that you have everything you need. That’s why some hosting providers are happy to offer managed services completely free-of-charge with even their most basic VPS hosting or dedicated server hosting solutions.
Get expert web hosting service help, whenever you need it
At times, every webmaster could use a little bit of extra assistance to make the most of their web hosting service. Whether you are trying to make sense of the powerful options available within your web hosting control panel, planning to change the type of hosting that you use, or wondering how to install web applications that use MySQL and PHP, you will want the information that you require, as and when you require it.
One sign of a helpful, caring web hosting provider is an extensive online knowledgebase. A knowledgebase contains articles that provide simple, easy–to-understand walkthroughs of every common web hosting task. Many of the best knowledgebase articles are fully illustrated, while others even make use of video and audio instruction. As you attempt to measure what kind of customer service you can expect from your web host, explore their knowledgebase to see how much time they have invested in helping customers.
Of course, in the event of more specific requests or technical issues, you may need to contact your web host directly. This is where some hosting providers attempt to charge their customers for the time it takes to read an email or answer a phone call. Always look for a host that can offer you expert advice from people who really know the web hosting industry, are available 24/7/365, and will never charge a fee to help you.
If something seems too good to be true, it usually is. It is only by thoroughly researching unlimited web hosting that you can be completely confident as to the quality of service you can expect.
Get outstanding customer service or get your money back
Across service level agreements, server management services, and web hosting technical support, we have covered the most essential things to consider before you place an order for a web hosting service. Providing that you check your potential web host against these three simple criteria, you can always be confident that you will receive a friendly, caring, helpful, and supportive service.
However, there are some inevitable occasions when the provider of your shared hosting, VPS hosting, or dedicated server hosting service is not all that they claim to be. That’s why, for increased peace of mind, more and more hosts offer simple and straightforward money-back guarantees.
Usually running for a fixed term of 30 or 60 days, a money-back guarantee provides an additional clause to your standard web hosting agreement that makes it possible for you to cancel your service within the stated timeframe to receive a full refund.
However sure you are that your preferred host will deliver on its customer service promises, look for the money-back guarantee to start your new hosting service with complete confidence.
Great hosting with great customer service from JaguarPC
At JaguarPC, we provide a range of web hosting services across shared hosting, VPS web hosting, and dedicated servers. Every one of our hosting plans uses a top quality network, professional server hardware and – best of all – we complement our plans with the best customer support in the business.
To help you meet your goals for your web presence, JaguarPC provides free management services to handle upgrades and administration, an extensive collection of written, audio and video tutorials, and direct support from our expert team, available 24/7/365. Each of these features is covered by our detailed network uptime SLA and, if you’re not completely satisfied, you can take advantage of our 30-day money back guarantee.