I think that it should be made clear that all hosting companies are definitely not made equal – many of those that were once good progressively get worse, and all those that already perform poorly typically just stay that way. Why is this? Maybe some larger companies like EIG buy them out and completely gut them to save money, using their positive image and all of the good they did in the past to perpetuate sales until they slowly dwindle? Perhaps:
Maybe there’s already a precipitated low bar in the industry where a successful web hosting company only has to be marginally better than its lousy competitor to be relevant. Either way, it seems like hosting has become one of those necessary commodities with limited options, much like internet and energy companies. While they should have phone numbers available to call and be able to respond to urgent tickets within 48 hours, we’re way past that point. When should you draw the line on bad service? When is it simply too much to handle? Here are ten things that absolutely should never happen with ANY hosting company no matter what.
- Customers should never have to pay a fee or be coerced into purchasing a hosting plan just to redirect a domain. A domain redirect can simply be done on the registrant/domain side; claiming it needs to be hosted first is unethical.
- Customers should never have to upgrade a hosting plan for a website that has worked just fine under the provided conditions for months but which suddenly experiences huge spikes in latency and load time. Business websites don’t change often over time, and if the client hasn’t installed a dozen new plugins and uploaded hundreds of huge images to cause the delays, the problems therein lie with the host’s servers and therefore should not be passed to the customer.
- Customers should not have to jump through hoops or feel intimidated during the process of doing one-click installs for a CMS like WordPress. It’s 2018 people! WordPress installations have been literally idiot-proof for about five years. Hosts should not make people feel like they’re going to “screw it up” without paying the Mojo MarketPlace a bogus $100 fee for them to set it up for you.
- Customers should just get a cPanel and not a makeshift proprietary dashboard; no one is reinventing the wheel with WordPress these days. Why do some hosts believe their own version of a client dashboard is superior? Additionally, making a separate login for cPanel is incredibly frustrating – just forgo that as well.
- Customers should not be reeled in with introductory hosting rates that go up more than 100% after promotion. Sure, an annual rate of $50 for hosting is quite good, and $100 after the promotion is still somewhat reasonable, but taking that to upwards of $150 and beyond is not only somewhat predatory, it’s just bad business.
- Customers should have at least one way to get in touch with customer service in real time. It seems like phone numbers are too much to ask for nowadays, but not even having a live chat function? That provides no peace of mind for a customer who must submit a ticket about a web-related issue to that sort of host.
- Customers should always have the latest version of PHP available on their hosting account – if a much later version is selected, many CMS platforms could not function properly or at all, especially many WordPress plugins.
- Customers should be entitled to seamless SSL certificate implementations – SSL is very common, and it is the host’s responsibility to help their clients incorporate https protocol into their websites.
- Customers should not be aggressively upsold by hosting companies for products that are useless to them such as backup services which are included in all CMS systems and subjected to scare tactics for security products which are also plentiful in free or cheap plugins and website add-ons.
- Customers should feel that their hosting company cares about the maintenance of their servers, especially shared servers, so they won’t be at risk for websites participating in unethical website practices introducing malware or service interruptions to their own website.
If you’re experiencing ANY of these issues, even just one of them, I would strongly consider migrating your website to a more reliable host.
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