Choosing the Right Hosting Provider
There are many choices for a hosting provider and picking the right one can seem overwhelming. Web hosts offer everything from free websites and email to rock bottom prices for hosting. It’s important to ask and learn the answers to specific questions when choosing a host. The hosting providers for the free websites may not have the security features you need for your custom or e-commerce website you’ve spent months working with a designer and developer building.
Questions to Ask:
- What is your security policy? A DNS host should understand potential security threats and have firewalls, intrusion detection services, DDoS mitigation strategies, and access policies established and ready to go. A reputable provider will be happy to answer any questions you may have about their security protocols.
- What is your scalability? A hosting provider should offer a range of hosting options allowing you to scale up or down as your needs change.
- How responsive is your customer service and tech support? You want to speak to a rep that works for the company you contracted with, not an outsourced contractor, or third-party. Ask if the person who answers the phone will be able to solve your issue or if you will be transferred to another department before being helped.
- What is your server reliability? You want a company with a redundant infrastructure. Should there be a failure in one part of the network, the system routes requests to other servers and end-users don’t even notice there was an issue. This ensures a historically high uptime score, hitting the Service Level Agreement of 99.9% and above.
- What is your back up policy? A hosting provider should perform regular back ups to ensure that, in the event there is a failure, no data is lost permanently. FirstLink backs up your data and your environment daily and we store full backups for 30 days. If needed FirstLink can create a custom retention solution for more long term backup requirements.
- What if I am not satisfied? Be sure you understand the policy regarding satisfaction and your contracted obligation. Know the terms of your agreement and what your options are if you are not happy.
As a hosting provider, security is of utmost importance to FLT (FirstLink Technology) and we monitor our servers 24/7. We have our primary servers in our office building in south Denver, CO, which we own. We maintain two additional server locations; one in downtown Denver, the other in Freemont, CA. These provide outstanding redundancy in case of failure. FLT safeguards our servers with redundant power and generator back-up as well. We perform and store daily back-ups and maintain incremental back-ups for at least 6 months.
As a managed service provider, FLT exceeds the standard SLA uptime score of 99.9%. We are a monitored 24/7, operating webhost providing stable network connections. CloudFlare provides our DDoS protection.
We offer a range of hosting packages, able to be customized for any specific business needs. Part of our “White Glove” service at FirstLink is determining which hosting selection will work best for you; shared, dedicated or dedicated cloud hosting options are all available. Any hosting option you choose is adjustable as your business changes.
When you call FLT, a knowledgeable FirstLink tech will answer the phone. Our IT services are not outsourced. You will always reach a highly responsive FirstLink employee. If you are not satisfied with your experience, we’ll remedy the situation, or we’ll get you moved on to another situation better suited to your business needs.
No matter what hosting provider you choose, keep the 6 questions above in mind. They will not steer you wrong. Finding a solid company that provides necessary, basic function over frills is the cornerstone of a good host. These six questions will keep your website and email accessible, your data secure and all your applications humming. Call FirstLink Technology for a free phone consultation today, 303-691-8200 or toll free at 800-528-2010. We also respond quickly to e-mail inquiries at [email protected].