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6 Critical Questions to Ask Your Web Hosting Provider

5 Oct 2016 by Shay Moser

This article originally appeared on June 1, 2015, and has been revised to bring our readers the most up-to-date technology information.

It’s not uncommon to meet a Small to Medium Business (SMB) that’s been burned by its web hosting provider. There are a few important things that you will want to take into consideration before you decide to obtain web hosting services. Knowing what to ask before you make that call can help you best determine which provider is the right fit for your business.

Asking your web hosting provider the right questions can help you reduce your data security risks. Make sure these six questions are on your checklist.

1. How secure is your network?

This is one of the most important things you can do when conducting a web hosting services comparison. Site security is incremental in today’s age, and lack of security can result in irreparable damage to your business. Website services providers should offer Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption that meets the biding security standards of the present day.

2. Can I scale up or down when needed?

At times, you may need more or less bandwidth and storage, depending on the market. Find out if you’re locked into what’s outlined in the contract or if it’s flexible. The best web hosting sites are flexible, and tend to offer a variety of service packages that can be adjusted to accommodate your needs. But make sure you have this option before you sign on the dotted line.

3. How responsive and experienced is your tech support?

Make sure you’ll have access to people who will be able to solve your issues rapidly. A simple way to find out is by looking online for reviews on the hosting provider. Most reviews offer feedback on the customer support and technical support capabilities of any given provider. Use the information you learn from your due diligence to choose a provider that offers adequate support.

4. Do you provide security monitoring?

Select a provider that can alert you the moment your website is compromised — preferably one that offers firewalls and malware scanners. Fortunately, many of the leading providers already offer this. Be prepared to pay an added fee for ongoing security monitoring, though.

5. Do you provide SSL?

You need an SSL certificate if you’re selling goods or services online. Find out if the host provides this important security measure to its users. As noted above, SSL protection is the current industry standard. Still, the level of this protection can and does vary between providers.

6. What if I’m dissatisfied?

Learn before signing up if you have to pay a fee for leaving the provider.

You’ll have a more comprehensive understanding of any web hosting provider’s services and business practices if you ask these six questions.