Choosing the right website hosting provider in Zimbabwe - Here is what to do !
Naturally, companies and individuals never think of choosing the right web hosting provider as important until they fall into problems with their current hosting provider. Whether the intention is to host a personal website or a cooperate website, It is very important to do a research and wisely decide on the company to provider you with web hosting and domain registration services. Do not just fall for the price or the size of the company, look for more!
I recently found myself in deep trouble when some of the websites that I host with my provider got suspended for no reason. All payments were up to date but the websites were blocked anyway. I got screwed and my clients got screwed too. When I hosted with this provider, I could not wait. I never thought of a need to make the decision carefully. Trust me you have to. Websites are meant to allow for acess of services and product details 24/7 without interruption and this is impossible if the webhosting company is not reliable. Here is what to check for in a Web Hosting Company before falling in the trap.
Validate Company Identity
Before deciding to host with any web hosting service provider make sure to validate the company. Is it a real company or just a specialist who is trying to resale the service to you? Today it is very possible to do everything from your table without having to go around looking for a web hosting company. While this is very good, you need to verify first before subscribing services for any purported web hosting company as anyone can get a logo designed and setup a website as a webhosting company to reap profits by buying services lower from somewhere and selling higher to you. So make sure you verify the identity of any web hosting company. Check: Is the company registered? Is their physical address valid? Who else did they provide services to? For how long have they been in the industry?
Support Availability & Quality
You also need to check for support availability and the quality of the provided support. Never get domain and web hosting services from company which provides no support if you are serious about making an impact online. I am not talking about Facebook and Whatsapp support. Real support demands more. Check if the company has valid numbers at least two that you can use for support. Check if the company has emails that you can also use for support. You also need to verify the quality of support. Quality support is support that brings solutions and answers to customer problems, queries and questions timely. It is very important these days that a company has toll free support numbers. Companies serious about customer support have these numbers. It therefore entails that one can get help even when out of airtime. Check for responsiveness; How quick are they to repond to emails? How many times do I have to dial before they answer? Many times you can see the responsiveness during enquiries. There are some companies I wished to subscribe with before, I was turned down by their responsiveness during enquiries, it shows it could be worse when one finally become their customer.
Feedback from previous customers
The other thing that you can use to decide whether to or not to subscribe for a company's services is to use feedback from previous customers. Due to the availability of blogging and social media platforms today, a happy customer gives feedback, and a disgruntled customers also does. Of cause some are just dislike mobs, but if the number of bad ratings and comments is overwhelming, you need to be suspecious. So check for feedback from previous customers on Facebook, Twitter and Blogs. Here is feedback from some customers of a local web hosting company on techzim below:
There are nearly 30 comments, bad comments, managed a snapshot of a few. For a company with such feedback you may not need to subscribe for their services. Because soon it will be you complaining in those comments.
Many web hosting companies amass a good reputation with age, that is if they consistently provide good services to customers. In Zimbabwe we have companies such as WebDev which managed to amass a good reputation because they provide great domain registrations, web hosting and other online services. So, you need to check for this. A lower price is great but there is a regret that goes with it. So never use price as your main determinant. I once worked for Cyberplex Africa. As far as I can remember the team was great. I still wonder how WebDev managed to surpass them.
Service Package & Cost
This is my last point because this must be your last consideration or determinat. Details to look for about the service package are:
- Disk space - Is the disk space sufficient for what you need to do?
- Bandwidth - Go for unlimited bandwidth!
- Number of Database - How many databases do you want, do they provide that?
- Number of Email addresses- What is the number of emails provided?
- Security- They offer security support? SSL?
- Other Extra Services- Are there any extra service provided by the comapny to their customers? Backups?
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