I've had the unfortunate happenings of helping several new clients that are coming from disaster based situations as it surrounds hosting and the availability of their applications/websites. The first major issue is truly the hosting firms themselves. Pretty much every web firm out there offers hosting of some kind. They do this in part for two main reasons;
The primary issues with both of these reasons is that more often than not web firms misrepresent their hosting services to retain this business. If you run down the board of the many people offering hosting services you'll typically find the following specifications in regards to your service.
The list goes on and on with different important features that are vital to your businesses stability and success. Unfortunately the ugly truth is that most of the web firms that sell you these services are just a pass through for something you could have done yourself. Once you commit to "X" dollars per month they're just stuffing it into a GoDaddy.com or 1and1.com account. Why is this an issue? They're managing it right? BIG PROBLEM.
Do you really think for the cost of one lunch at your favorite fast food place per month your getting any care and attention? That's why you decided to use your web firm instead of going down that road. Except your web firm, the one you trust, is doing the same thing and marking up the rates. What there not telling you is who the site is being hosted with and that at best case your getting a 24 - 48 hour turn-around time for outages and really no gaurantee on the back-ups of your website or applications.
Don't think it could happen to you? Think again. I'm dealing with people regularly that have lost everything. Imagine that for a second if you will, how much did it cost you to develop your application? How much was it to build your enterprise website? Did you have valuable client data stored there as well? The best case turnaround times for someone to start from scratch may have you looking at a one month to two month window and the financial impacts can be unexpected and severe depending on what was lost.
There is an easy way to avoid this and I've outlined some basic questions and also some good to hear answers.
Hosting is always measured successful when nothing goes wrong. If your public facing websites and web bound applications are always available then you are satisfied with your service. I agree as does my entire staff. However, remember it's not "if" but "when" and how they respond in your moment of need. In short your web hosting team should be proactive, preventative, responsive, and capable of handling anything that may come there way. There are many other reasons to host with your web firm such as software level support, application security, and environment control for continually developing software. Beware! And make sure they're qualified to keep you safe while you sleep.
If you've been unhappy with your hosting let us know and we'd be happy to help you find a better solution. We're not the right fit for everyone but we can certainly point you in the direction. Don't hesitate to reach out to us.