If you’re shopping around for a web host provider, you’ll know that there’s no shortage of them to choose from.  The difficulty is there’s not much to choose between them.  They all offer roughly similar combinations of storage space, web hosting tools and bandwidth, within a roughly similar price range.  Often our choice of web host comes down to tiny details, such as the number of email accounts you’re allowed.  However, there is one very important aspect that should inform your choice, and it’s an aspect which is often ignored – customer support.

Basic level of customer support in web hosting

In web hosting, as in every other walk of life, you tend to get what you pay for.  You may find that a basic web host will only provide you with basic levels of support.  If you’re looking for something a little more advanced, you’ll need to pay a little bit more for it.

So what does good customer support actually involve?  It involves helping you with things beyond the basics of putting a web page together – things like payment systems and shopping carts, SSL certificates, autoresponders, RSS feeds and so on.

Check out what your prospective web host has to offer by way of customer support.  Give them a call.  Find out about their areas of expertise, and ask about their experience with other customers renting web space from them.  What sort of problems can they help you with?  Do they offer 24/7 support?  Is their support staff actually located on site, or do they outsource?  How long do they typically take to deal with support requests?

It’s also worth checking out if your host is a reseller for another company.  If so, your support request will have to be kicked back up the line to the parent company, which could cause further delays.

Your website and your online business has individual needs, and it’s vitally important that your web host should be able to cater for them.  Customer support should therefore be at the forefront of your mind when you’re choosing a web host.

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