In many ways, your business web site is your number one sales person and the primary face of your company. There's a lot riding on it, and availability and performance are vitally important. If your website is down, no matter how large or small your business is, it's a reflection on you, and customers will inevitably draw conclusions that could negatively impact the bottom line. To help avoid that scenario, here are the top 5 things a substandard host is not telling you.
1) They're using consumer grade hardware with no compatibility testing. This is a recipe for disaster. With the thousands of hardware options available today, server grade hardware and tough compatibility testing is a must. You've invested a lot in your business, and you do not want that under under white box servers and questionable driver support.
2) They do not have true hardware and network redundancy in the data center. There's a reason every new car comes with a spare tire. Bulletproof N + 1 redundancy in your hosts' data center means everything from power to hardware to network connectivity. It can mean the difference between a brief reduction in availability and a back breaking outage.
3) They've outsourced support. Sticking with the car analogy for a minute, how comfortable would you be if you bought your car in to the shop for a repair, and your mechanic sent it out to another shop for the actual work? It begs the question of why am I using you if you are not doing the work? If your dedicated host can not deliver on support, why are you using them?
4) They're cutting corners. Certainly in today's tough economy, tightening of budgets is just part of doing business. However, if your host is cutting costs through bandwidth throttling, selling beyond capacity, utilizing cheap hardware or bargain basement network providers, then your business will be the one paying the price.
5) They have limited scalability and security options. This is where an enterprise class provider really shines. Smaller providers simply do not have the economies of scale that a larger provider can offer, and it's challenged in their ability to offer flexible solutions that really fit your requirements, as opposed to a one size fits all approach. You can leverage multimillion dollar security that includes firewalls, load balances, intrusion protection and backup services that are already in place.
If you have not already asked yourself these questions, then you need to. After all, if the answers are not what you want to hear, your dedicated host certainly is not going to bring it up.