Choosing the Best Managed Hosting Provider for Your Business
So you’ve had enough of poor service and support from your current web hosting provider and have decided to move on. Congrats! You’ve decide to move to managed hosting. Managed hosting offers many benefits including automatic software upgrades, better security, help with web design tasks on your website and much more!
Now comes the difficult part: choosing the best managed hosting provider. Let’s see the art and the science of the process.
The science of choosing the right managed hosting provider
A quick Google search of the term “managed hosting service provider” generates about 27,30,00,000 results. Even after you filter the results by location and other basic requirements, you will be left with more results than you need.
So you pick the top-three or five results from the first SERP (search engine results page) and choose to finalize a vendor from this selection. For each of these vendors, you check the performance and experience; go through the list of current clients; request free quotes and compare prices; and gather other intel about the company through web search. You read all customer testimonials as well, to get a sense of the experience people have had with the provider. So far so good.
By now you may have a rough idea about the vendor(s) whose managed hosting services are closest to what you are looking for. And you are ready to make a choice. But not so fast! Not before you have considered the art of choosing the right managed hosting provider as well.
Why you ask? For the simple reason that making the transition to managed hosting is a huge decision with long-term, lasting impacts. The biggest trouble is that by the time you realize you are in partnership with the wrong managed hosting service provider, it will be already too late. The hardware or software systems upon which your business relies would have already started creating noticeable problems. The ripples of these problems would have already reached end users, the effects of which would have already been felt by your business. These negative business effects are in fact, how you find out in the first place that your managed hosting provider is holding your business back. This brings us to the second part:
The art of choosing the right managed hosting provider
The art of choosing the right managed hosting provider is nothing but the art of asking the right questions. Asking the right questions is the key to making the right decisions. As the American medical researcher Jonas Salk famously said – the moment of discovery is essentially the moment of discovery of the right question. Or as the political activist Vanessa Redgrave eloquently put it – Ask the right questions if you want to find the right answers.
So, to find the right managed hosting service provider for your organization, be prepared to ask the right questions to the final three or five vendors you have shortlisted. Here are a couple of questions to help you get started:
1. Do you support all managed hosting requirements in-house or outsource?
2. What hardware do you use?
3. What additional support do you provide apart from the traditional managed hosting support offerings?
4. What security, backup, and disaster recovery technology/systems do you have in place?
5. When can I reach your customer support team (hint: 24x7x365) and what kind of response times do you offer?
6. What is your standard service level agreement? (hint: 99.9 percent uptime and 100 percent network uptime)
Prepare yourself a list of other questions as well, depending upon what is important for your business and you will be ready to choose the best managed hosting service provider for your organization.