What would you want from a hosting company?

Hello all,

I currently run a web hosting company , well not established just yet.

I want the communities opinion toward this question , “What do you highly expect from a web hosting company”

All of your notes/opinions will be jot down.

I want the host to keep the server up and running fast. If that’s provided, chances are I will not need to contact support, and that is exactly how I like things to go.

In case something does goes wrong (which, given enough time, it will), I want it to be taken care of fast. Then I want honesty. I’d much rather have that, than poorly made up excuses.

Great ! That’s one of my very very first commitments as a CEO. Providing a stable host for clients with speedy tickets and providing all updated downtimes or issues on our blog and announcements section.

The ability to run a reliable hosting platform. It’s actually more about how you put together your servers; simply because servers that are poorly constructed will cost a lot more to support over time. In particular, as your server use grows and you get more and more accounts, your performance will suffer if you don’t detect and ban malicious activity. So, getting your servers hardened is actually important - and often not considered or thought about much by newcomers, for understandable reasons.

Here are a couple of examples. There’s a spammer trick where they just try every possible email address they can think of under a domain until they get a match. This puts a huge load on the server as you’d imagine, and banning it brings things back to normal quickly. As another example, scripts (Joomla, Wordpress etc) get hacked regularly. If you are able to prevent the rate of that with something like mod_security and CSF, you can reduce your support levels and increase your reliability substantially. Another thing you may not have thought about is limiting outgoing emails per hour by default, which will catch many spammers, and preventing outgoing email direct on port 25, which will catch the remaining wannabe spammers.

Providing good help documents is also useful - it can allow many people to solve their issues without needing to come to you. Every time you get two or three people asking the same thing, write up a short knowledge-base article on it. You’ll find this will make it faster to serve people, and you’ll learn to write and document in the process.

Just something to think about in getting going; hope this helps.

Yes it helped ! Thanks !

Knowledge base is being added with articles… Spamming isn’t allowed so that’s already taken cared of. I have a limit of accounts on every and each server. The servers hard drives will not get filled, at least 10-20 GB space free .There’s no way I’m having over 200 accounts on 1 server… Would’nt be fair for the other customers space allocation.

cheap price, good quality of the service

A hoster that doesn’t oversell … too many people oversell and max out their server resources, and as a result - slow servers and high cpu load

All hosts are overselling, I believe. Just different that they can control it or not. Overselling is not too bad, if you know how it works and control it. Otherwise, I agree that it will lead to unstable system with much troubles.

The word “oversell” is used sort of wrongly here - everybody oversells, it’s just when some companies over-oversell (“over-subscribe”) their servers they get problems. In practice it’s actually quite hard to get the mix right - too little accounts on a server and you lose money on having too many servers, too many and user performance is compromised. Getting this mix right only comes with experience - and it’s worth saying that the more users on a server, the more sensitive it’s performance is to suddenly diving.

The second thing people are going to be looking for this year is hack-free servers - servers that are kept secure where it is harder for accounts to get hacked. This is happening all the time, and can be expensive and nasty to recover from, and with trends as they are globally, is only going to get much worse this year.

That question is easy to answer. Look at the big web hosting companies. They have everything you need. Hostgator, bluehost, etc. You want adequate bandwidth and the ability to add features with relative easy, point an click essentially.

My dealings with any company (hosting or otherwise) has always been dependant on how good or bad their support is. Support should always be your #1 priority. Sure there are things like uptime and pricing. But if a client calls you up and asks why his/her site is down, you must be able to provide a very thorough answer quickly.

Many times I’ve called up a hosting company, asked a direct question about their services, gotten a weak answer, and then found the right answer on their website. If a company employee can’t even answer a question that is already answered on their site, what does that say about the intelligence of the support employee?

Uptime is another big point, but I believe this goes hand-in-hand with support. If you can explain to a customer why his/her site was down and what you are doing to prevent a future outage(s), they will be much more likely to stick with your company through future outages. Given of course that you provide quality hosting; which should be a given for any modern hosting company.

My advice… do not enter the hosting market if you do not have a firm grasp of server administration, networking, and website design. All of these topics will come up more than once during your work as a hosting company and you must be prepared to answer the bare minimum for each area.

I expect the following:

  1. Quality hosting service with no overselling!
  2. Quality hosting service with no overselling!
  3. Quality hosting service with no overselling!
  4. Competent support
  5. Reasonable but not necessarily lowest prices

As someone who has hosted sites on crappy hosts, I will say that quality is worth the few extra dollars a month. I will never understand why some people out there will go with crappy hosts to save $1 or $2 a month. If you lived in poverty, that may be a lot of money. But not to most.

My webhost is not an overseller and the service has been consistently good for almost 5 years now. I love my webhost. Seriously.

It isn’t hard to get the mix right. All the oversellers know they are oversellers. No webhost with a brain thinks they can offer “unlimited” resources. It’s not possible. Anytime you see a host offering “unlimited” disk space or data transfer you should avoid them like the plague. Those hosts appeal to severe penny pinchers and no serious webmaster should want to share a server with them.

Quality web hosts know they can charge an extra $2 or $3 a month for a shared hosting package and people who know anything about running a website will be more than happy to pay that small amount for quality. Any decrease in revenue due to having less accounts on a server may be offset with a slightly higher price. What’s the cost of the damage to a host’s reputation when word spreads they are an overseller with poor quality service?

I’ve hosted on oversellers. It’s a bad experience. That’s why knowledgeable people will always advise staying away from oversellers.

I expect the following from a hosting company:

  1. 99.9% up-time
  2. Fast, responsive servers
  3. 24 hour support (meaning that you are guaranteed to get an answer within 24 hours)
  4. At least 10 SQL databases
  5. A decent control panel
  6. Email support
  7. Last version of PHPMyAdmin
  8. Some sort of in-host email or newsletter application

Saying “spam isn’t allowed” doesn’t take care of anything, unfortunately. Spammers won’t be emailing you and asking you - they will sign up with fraudulent - or even valid - credit cards, and spam away, unless you learn how to prevent them from doing that. The other source of spammers is break-ins to valid accounts, and you need to learn how to stop that.

It’s not so much abut “200 accounts” - it’s more about the average resource mix, which depends on the types of sites you host. For instance, Magento uses a lot of resources, Wordpress and Joomla use more than a static HTML site. And it depends on the site load too - sites that are rarely visited use no resources, whether they’re running high load software or not.

How you run and rotate backups is also important. Every Gb of space used has to be backed up - so if you do backups - and surprisingly, many hosts don’t! - you need to figure that you will be keeping 8-10 copies of every Gb of user data on your server, depending on how you rotate them. There are some clever techniques that use less data, but they’re harder for an unsophisticated host to restore from and that’s something you need to take into account until you have more experience.

the most important thing for me is their readiness for real-time chat support incase i have a problem

Hi, personally i want them to provide real-time support and the next is that the server which my site is hosted in shouldn’t get down for a second.

Thank you

Web hosting is a business and as any other business, communication and customer service is PARAMOUNT. I cannot stress how important this is to people looking for a web host. I’ve left hosting companies before purely because of poor service as I’m sure many other people have.

Keep the service good and people will always come back for more.


Transparency in what’s promised and what’s actually provided. I wouldn’t want hidden costs, hidden restrictions, etc.

Excellent support. I wouldn’t mind paying for the support (I don’t like or believe in FREE support).