1 Simple Step Towards Improved Customer Satisfaction for Web HostsWritten by Toby Wolf
Most of your customers are not unreasonable sort of people. They understand that problems crop up and mistakes do happen. I don't know about you, but I know that I am a MUCH more reasonable customer when company I am purchasing services or products from promptly communicates any problems that arise.
The web is all about communication, so you would assume that any company that makes web hosting its primary business should really understand this and put measures into place that allows for most reliable and uninterrupted communication with their customers. We talked about this a bit in our last article and promised to give you some tips about methods we have implemented to increase our ability to communicate with our customers during emergencies.
Let's face it, there isn't a web host out there who hasn't experienced times where server that their company web site is on has gone down. Sometimes only for a few minutes, but sometimes those minutes can turn into hours - or even days if a major piece of hardware has gone belly up on you. And in most cases, you don't dedicate an entire server to your domain - you have customers who also share that server. Customers who now are not only unable to gain access to THEIR domain, but can not reach yours either. They are effectively cut off from electronic communication with you. So what do they do? How can they find out what is going on with their web site, and more importantly, when it will be back online?
Some hosts, like AlphaOne Technology, have emergency support available by telephone. In that case, (if they can remember phone number since they can not access your website to find number), they begin calling. And calling. And calling. Usually there are over 100-200 customers hosted on a single server. Do you or your staff really have time to be fielding that many phone calls when you are in middle of a crisis and need to devote your time to fixing problem and getting server operational? Probably not. Nor do your customers want to spend time on hold or dealing with busy signals. Every minute on hold, or every call that results in a busy signal, leaves a bad impression with that customer. They want to know WHY they are down and they want to know NOW.
Criteria of choosing an ideal web hosting companyWritten by Leo L.
Before we talk about what it takes to be a cheap and good quality web host, letís get to fundamental first.
What is a Web Host?
A web host is a service provider that places your web site on a computer which is connected to internet. The term for this Ďcomputerí is called a server.
A web hosting provider will typically have a fast connection to Internet and they may host thousands of web sites on many servers. The web host essentially rents out space to you so that you can get your website up on world wide web.
With a well-managed web host, you can free yourself from worrying up-keep of complicated server technology and proper technical maintenance. Thatís whole purpose of web hosting companies. You should leave technical work to web hosting professional while you focus on your own internet business.
The features that web hosting companies are offering are getting quite standard nowadays.
The followings are some of common features you'll see in most web hosting plans:
- Control Panel
Control Panel is an interface where you can access your site on web server, allowing you to set-up and subsequently update and customize your web site. Though cPanel is by far most popular control panel, some hosting providers customize their own so that they can up-grade and expand it at will.
A vast majority of sites that don't have tons of graphics, sound and video clips or downloadable files easily fit in 50 MB of disk space. You should always leave yourself some room for growth or check if host has a bigger plan in case you need to upgrade.
Bandwidth is amount of data transmitted or received through a unit of time. In web hosting, bandwidth is consumed when visitors make requests for files on your web site and download them to their personal computers.
- Email Account
With POP3 email accounts you can check email from Outlook, Netscape Mail, Eudora or any other Email software.
- Scripting language
As all our top 10 listings are using Unix and Linux platform, php, perl and CGI are languages we are talking about here. It is best to choose a host that supports latest version to maximize latest web technologies for fee that you pay.
If your web site is going to store a lot of data that should be dynamically accessible (like user accounts, stock prices, maps, Interactive news, message boards and forum etc.), you'll need to look for an account that offers a database. MySQL is a powerful and most popular database program that runs on Linux operation system. It is able to handle million of entries all at once. Its flexibility and speed allow you to also store logs and pictures. MySQL is designed to scale well under heavy traffic conditions and is ideal for database-intensive or e-commerce-enabled Web sites.
No matter if you are an expert or a novice in web hosting, you need a web host with good customer support system. What is criteria of an excellent customer support? Let us explain.
- How big is knowledge base?
This is particularly important for those who want to search for quick answer without seeking direct assistance from customer support staff. Due to huge database, normally itís searchable. Some web hosting providers will even make your life easier by making a video tutorial guiding you step by step in setting up your new account. Very useful for beginner.
- Responsive customer service staff.