by Liquid Web

We hear the horror stories almost daily now. A trusted retailer, online publication, or service outlet experiences an outage and its online presence is out of commission, at a critical time, to those that depend on its availability. Unfortunately, far too often, web hosting and cloud services are still a level of infrastructure that people only think about when something has gone wrong. As more and more business comes to rely on these services, it’s important that we take a more discerning look at how they’re being managed and supported, in addition to the performance and security considerations being taken by providers.

Given my experience in the industry, I find myself asking those entering the web hosting and cloud services market to consider (at least) the following three fundamental questions prior to choosing a provider.

  1. What level of support or management do you need?
    This is where you may find that offerings differ the most, provider-to-provider. If you can dedicate substantial resources to a highly skilled, full-time tech staff, you may not require as much support or management. In most cases, however, it is much more economically sound to rely on a company with in-house experts of their own; experts that can provide comprehensive solutions at a moment’s notice. Also, make sure to investigate, specifically, what services your provider supports. Nothing is more frustrating than encountering an issue and finding out that your “managed” provider’s scope of management does not support it, after the fact.
  2. Where, on what hardware, and how effectively is my data being stored & transmitted?
    The intangible nature of web hosting and cloud services can, at times, make the concept of storing your data seem more nebulous than it is in reality. Not only do you need to consider the security, certifications, and redundancy of the data centers (and Network!) your provider utilizes, but also how up-to-date and performant their hardware is. Often, when you see a service being offered at a price point that seems too-good-to-be-true, these are the elements the provider is skimping on. Cutting corners, in this respect, can be disastrous to your reputation should it lead to failures, security breaches, or unrecoverable losses of data.
  3. What do a provider’s clients have to say about them?
    This can function as your most important shortcut to ensuring you’re partnering with a worthy web host or cloud services provider. Think about it; we’ve become reliant upon customer ratings and reviews while making personal purchases, large and small, yet when selecting services to handle elements of our own business, we’re not always taking that same “discriminating shopper” approach. In the past, this has been difficult due to the lack of intel or customer feedback in certain industries. These days, however, reliable third-party metrics (such as Net Promoter Score), social media, and focused sites, testing and reviewing various services, have made it easier than ever to gauge whether the provider you’re considering is making its clients happy.

The things we read, see, and hear about outages, hackings, and security breaches on the Internet may make it sound like an unavoidable consequence. Fortunately, that’s not entirely true. We can go a long way toward preventing our own catastrophic outcomes by doing the requisite research before entrusting a provider to shepherd our content to the masses.

At Liquid Web, we treat the above considerations as a bedrock for what we’d expect while shopping for web hosting and cloud solutions. Beyond that, when hitting a snag while navigating as complicated of an endeavor as this, you often find yourself looking for not just reliable hardware and an answer; you need a comprehensive solution…a “Hero.” That’s why we set our standard at offering “Heroic Support®,” and nothing less. This is what being a “Hero,” means to us…

  • Holding the Highest Customer Rating in the Web Hosting Industry: Liquid Web has earned an industry-leading 12-month rolling average NPS score of 67. Net Promoter Score is the most trusted 3rd party metric measuring customer satisfaction.
  • Providing an Unmatched SLA (Service Level Agreement) for Scalable Cloud-Powered Public, Private (HIPAA & PCI) and Hybrid Cloud Solutions: We are the web hosting company of choice for clients who can’t afford downtime. In fact, we provide our users with a 100% Uptime SLA (Service Level Agreement). That guarantees their services remain online and secure at all times. Unlike any other provider, we’re so sure we won’t fall short of this promise that we credit you 1000% of your loss, in return, if we do.
  • Unbeatable Support & Instant Solutions: You and your customers can contact us anytime 24x7x365, and be talking to a live, highly trained technician here in the US — working in the same building as their data — in 59 seconds or less, as guaranteed by our SLA.
  • Industry Leading Hardware in Wholly-Owned Tier-1 Data Centers: Third-party benchmarking results from Cloud Harmony and Cloud Spectator have recently hailed Liquid Web’s hardware for providing Virtual Private Server (VPS) instances that were 979% faster than Digital Ocean and 388% faster than Amazon Web Services (AWS) while performing critical server functions.