Friday, November 13, 2009

5 Tips on Choosing a Managed Hosting Service

by Amy Nutt

When you get managed hosting, it is important to realize that there are many options available to you. As for what managed hosting is, it is hosting that is managed by someone other than you. This is actually the most common form of hosting because everything is kept on an external server, which makes such tasks as disaster recovery a lot easier. And what's great is that there is a wide range of managed services that you can take advantage of.

So here are 5 tips to help you choose a managed hosting service:

- You must check the Internet for reviews on the company. This is necessary because you want to see what others have to say. If they are experiencing a lot of down time, don't get good customer service, do not have the necessary tools available to them, are experiencing issues with the controls being user friendly, or other issues, you may want to look for another company.

- Look at the managed services that are offered. Can you get such things as a shopping cart? Are you able to get an SSL certificate that certifies your site as secure to do monetary transactions? What about MySQL databases? Are you able to utilize these? You also want to make sure the managed hosting service is one that provides you with FTP service and various other things that you find you may need. Every person has different needs when it comes to their hosting.

- Call their customer service and ask them questions. See how well they know the answers and see how you're treated. How you are treated is representative of how you may be treated in the future. The knowledge of their employees is important because there can be some rather complex situations that come about. If they can't handle it, then you could be looking for long periods of downtime. Managed services should keep this from happening.

- Ensure that they take your payment method. Some take credit cards, while others take PayPal. Some take both. It depends on how you want to pay. You can also take a look at the payment structure. Will they allow you to pay monthly? How about every 3 months, 6 months, or year? You need to be able to pay whichever way makes you feel comfortable. And make sure you take a look at what is included with each plan. This is important to make sure it is enough.

- Take a look at their controls. Make sure that you're going to be able to get into the website controls when you need to. Although these are managed services, it is important that you are able to know what is going on. If you're paying for it and the website is yours, then you have a right to do what you need to do when it needs to be done and to know what is going on within your site.

So keep these things in mind. Managed hosting is a great service, but you want to make sure you understand what is going on. If they are speaking Greek to you, then you may want to move on. If you can't tell heads from tales or up from down, then you're just better off checking out someone else.

Just make sure that you find the managed services that are right for you and not what everyone else says. Everyone has a different level of comprehension, so it is important to go with a company that is easy to comprehend. So think about this and make your decision from there.

About the Author

Delivers managed IT services for deploying and hosting e-business, business continuity solutions, security and disaster recovery solutions. When looking for a SAS 70 compliant data center, consider Fusepoint.