From haircuts to houses to hotels, you get what you pay for. While it may not be hard to decipher the difference between those items, it's much harder to see the differences between web hosting services. (One might think the same is true with plastic surgery, but you'd be surprised to see how many searches there are on Google for "free plastic surgery"! See how many searches there are every month here.)
As a Columbus Oh website design firm, we know from experience, not all hosting companies are created equally. The problem is, you usually can't tell the difference BEFORE you select a hosting company. But if there's a problem AFTER you've picked a website hosting company, it's probably too late. You've got an issue and they might not be on top of fixing it. Imagine if your website is down and you can't get an answer why for 4 hours. And even after they get in touch, it takes another 4 hours to fix. That's the point you know you've picked the wrong hosting service.
We've had experiences with both good and bad hosting services.
Of course, once we found a really good one, we've stuck with them. Because we have a really good working relationship with a hosting firm now, we recommend our clients use them. The hosting company is CiviHosting. Like many other hosting services, CiviHosting's fees are about $20 a month.
Why do we think they're better than other hosting services?
- we know their capabilities, their servers and interface, and that makes the website creation go much more smoothly,
- they have much faster servers with less downtime (we know: every hosting service says they have a 99.9% up time),
- awesome customer service (they get back to us within minutes instead of hours),
- gives us greater access to the server so it is easier for us to do security updates,
- keep up on the security software on their servers, and
- runs nightly backups of your site and archives them for 7 days.
Why is archiving a website for 7 days so critical?
A previous hosting service we used to work with backed up websites once a week. Here's the sequence of events that took place in that scenario:
- One week, our client added a lot of stuff to their website.
- On Saturday, that client’s site was hacked.
- On Sunday night, the back up took place.
- On Monday, when we found it was hacked (and essentially ruined), the only back up that existed was the hacked version.
So the hosting service didn't have a week-old copy of the site from before the hack took place, to replace the hacked version of the site with. It ended up taking a lot of time to fix their site, which was very inconvenient, and expensive, for them.
This is why we want you to use a hosting service we have experience with.
The way it works is, your company sets up an account with CiviHosting, so it's under your company name. This way, you have the working relationship with them, and they have to answer to you should you contact them say at midnight Sunday because your website is down for any reason.