1. Make sure their servers and equipment are in a world-class datacentre environment
You’ll want to make sure that your hosting provider, or their upstream partner, is located in a world-class datacentre. This ensures you have the protection that comes with this – which includes resilient power sources, industrial air conditioning, fire protection, access control, etc.
There are still a few companies hosting servers in back rooms and small centres where you could find your website going down due to poor management of the facility or poor resources. We’ve heard of some where servers have failed completely due to overheating, with no backup! If you’re on online business, you could see failure literally overnight.
2. You must have full access to your data
When hosting your website anywhere, you must have full admin access to that website. Insist on full cPanel (or equivalent) access. This ensure you can always access your website files and your database, in order to take your own backups. It is essential that you check your backups are happening at least weekly, and regularly test these backups. Remember that the responsibility of your data lies with you.
Some providers will try and host clients websites under the same single cPanel account, which is very bad as you won’t be given the full access to your files and database that you will need. We’ve seen providers go bust overnight, leaving all their clients with no access to their data. This can spell the end for a business, or a lengthily battle to regain access. Always hold offsite backups of your data!
3. Make sure the provider is easily contactable 24/7
Most of the time things will go perfectly smoothly with your hosting. However, every now and then there’s going to be a problem. You could be in the middle of a huge launch, and be putting in some late hours. Or you could find your website or facilities under attack from hackers and need urgent assistance from your hosting provider.
Make sure that your hosting provider is easily contactable 24/7, to address that urgent issue that arises at 2am! Not having that support when you need it most, can destroy a business.