Previous sections in this web hosting guide covered the issues you encounter when you use a web hosting provider for your business presence on the Internet. Some technical computer jargon was inevitable - but it was explained clearly and kept to a minimum.

If you have problems with your web hosting supplier, you minimize your risk if you:

  • Manage your domain name 'whois' entries yourself.
  • Have backups of your current web site content and any business application data.
  • Know who to talk to for good impartial advice about your situation.

These topics were all covered in preceding sections of this web site.

Obviously you want to resolve any problems amicably with your web hosting supplier, rather than escalate to legal proceedings. Web hosting is big business - there are lots of companies offering this service. You can reasonably ask your provider questions such as 'Is this standard practice ?' or 'Is this reasonable in your line of business ?'. Get responses in writing (in email is OK) if you can.

Disputes around a simple web hosting service really should be rare. This is a very competitive 'commodity' business. Bad suppliers tend to get exposed very quickly.

Disputes in my view are more likely around complex issues - in particular development of application systems. This is not uniquely a 'web hosting' problem. If in doubt, get good advice up front - particularly if this is the first time you are tackling something quite large.

When you first start out with web hosting, it can appear a bit intimidating. But have faith. Once it is all up and running, you can generally focus on your own business secure in the knowledge that web hosting problems are rare. There are two good pieces of general advice if you are doing web hosting for the first time:

  • Do not buy on price alone. This stuff is generally not expensive. The cost of web hosting is nothing compared to the potential benefits.
  • Make it personal. Go and visit your prospective web hosting provider if you can. Phone them up rather than rely on email only. You will quickly get an idea of how helpful they are.

October 2014.