If you’ve spent any time online investigating different web hosting companies, I’m sure that you’ve seen many great offers available for your web hosting needs. As a matter of fact, you may have your credit card out and be ready to click the purchase button, but before you do, let’s test the waters of the web hosting company you have your eyes set on.
The best way to test your potential web hosting company is to ask them questions concerning their service and support. You’ll always want to send a test email to their technical support department or their customer service department and see how long it takes for them to respond to you. If it takes a long time to receive a response, you might want to look elsewhere for web hosting.
Be sure to read over the company’s “Frequently Asked Questions” page before you email them. This lets the company know that you have tried to answer the question yourself and that you’re not just asking blindly. Any questions that you ask should be stated in a way that reflects that you’ve looked over the site and you just want to know if the information is up-to-date and currently accurate.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the questions that you could ask a web hosting company before you purchase their service:
1. Do you offer discounts if I pay six months in advance or one year in advance? If so, how much of a discount will I receive?
2. Does your company charge a setup fee for my service? If so, how much is the setup fee?
3. Does your company provide any type of money back guarantee or a trial period to see if I even like the service?
4. Can you give me a list of websites that are hosted with your company? I’d like to get feedback from other customers that use your web hosting service.
5. Once I pay for the service, how long will it take for me to be up and running?
6. Will your company let me use my own domain name? If I can use my own domain name, how long does it take to transfer or register my domain name with your company?
7. What are the different types of technical support that you offer to your customers? Do you offer e-mail support? Do you offer toll-free telephone support? What are your hours of operation? What is your average response time to technical support questions?
8. Will my web hosting account be on a shared server? If so, how many other sites will be on the same server with mine?
9. Does my web hosting account come with any type of mailing list program for announcements? If so, what are the limitations for that mailing list service?
10. Whenever I set up my web hosting account with your company, will I have the ability to set up, change, or delete e-mail accounts myself?
11. Does my web hosting account come with any type of statistics package? If it does, can you tell me more about it?
12. What makes your company different or better from all of the other web hosting companies that I have seen online?
What is the number one reason why I should choose your service?
As you can see, these are just some of the questions that you can ask of any web hosting company before you give them your credit card number. As you start asking questions, you’ll also come up with more questions that you’ll want to ask. Remember, as you’re asking these questions, make a note of their response times and see just how long it takes them to respond to you. Make sure they answer all of your questions and don’t skip any of your questions as well. At first, you may think you’re being picky, but in the long term you’ll be glad that you did.