A website these days is not a luxury anymore but a necessity. Gone are the days you would like in a hole with no one even as much as looking for you. Now, everyone wants to know everything, and in most cases, in all possible details. Websites are thus an outcome.
Supporting a website in the cyber world are web-servers or server farms which obviate yesterday’s need to maintain one’s own website-related servers and infrastructure. An act of outsourcing, these web servers perform important functions of giving visibility to an entity. Given the act’s implications, it is thus important that certain precautions be taken before one enters into an agreement with a web-server service provider to ensure a smooth, trouble-free performance year after year.
- Support and back-ups
You are practically giving your life-line into someone else’s hands. That being the case. Wouldn’t you want a dedicated support-especially in times of crises? No one can predict 100% uptime 24 x 365. That is practically impossible to implement. That being the condition, you should ideally look for someone who can get back to you over the phone, WhatsApp and other mediums and keep you informed of the situation on the ground and when it is likely to be resolved.
If you do not have accesses to your website, emails etc for whatever reason, it’s as good as not having the service in the first place! Go with web servers who give you unhindered access to all your desired features and do so 24 x 365! This includes accesses from anywhere on the planet and not restricted to a few places/ features/ time. The likes of Google do the same seamlessly across the planet. Try getting the same from your webservers. If they do not have the same, either do not subscribe to the service or if you inadvertently do, try and find a way out. Web-service hosting being a specialized, tech-heavy activity, changing or adding services on one’s request is not really possible- unless the client is very large or the service-provider seriously nimble. If neither is the case, go with someone who is known and has predictable services.
- Guaranteed uptime
Your web server service providers should give you some assurance about guaranteed uptime given that your website and service make sense only till the time they are up and about. Anything else is almost like a dead duck- of no use, not even to look at! Iron-clad guarantees with penal clauses are the thing you need. And need the same in writing. Force-Majeure clauses everyone dishes out but then one must question the service provider lest they get away with shoddy service under the garb of “acts of God”.
With so much riding on website servers besides competition, it is expected of service providers to provide various add-one and services to make life easy for you ie the client. Some bundle it together with the base plan while others keep adding these as top-ups. Either way, see what best suit you and base your plan on your costs and deliverables. These days apps are a rage and come in all forms and sizes. Not all of them are useful. Some are downright useless and a pain as they occupy space and do not add anything substantial to the experience. Here, be wary as you would be handing over a lot of critical information to your service provider. If their product(s) turn faulty, by design or otherwise, you could be in for a very, very tough time.
What you are today as an entity is not an end in itself. You could either grow or reduce. Either-ways, your needs viz-a-viz a web-hosting company may change. If all goes well, you would surely grow. And grow exponentially. You thus need a service provider who can change your plans depending upon your needs and do that as and when you demand it. It thus calls for scalability of the service. Be with someone who helps and not hinders.
- Exit schemes:
Continuing from the above, select a web-server with clear exit policies which will cause a lot fewer problems in the long run where you grow and need to move out. Local web-servers these days cannot match services and add-one provided by multinationals and this everyone knows. Instead of fighting a losing battle, it is expected of smaller players to have in place an honorable exit plan for its customers such that no bad blood remains after the service ends.
These are but some of the pragmatic thoughts which any client would keep in mind while accessing web-servers. Points could be many, but these are very pertinent.