The Inconvenient Truth about 24/7 Hosting Support

Technical support team on duty
Technical support team on duty

This is what customers expect their 24/7 technical support team to look like. The truth may be entirely different.

Most of web hosting services providers on the market claim to have technical support team available around the clock. This has somewhat become an industry standard for any reputable hosting company to have. What does 24/7 support mean exactly? Does it always mean you will get support anytime of the day instantly? Nope.. And here are a few examples to be aware of:

1. Only level-1 support available around the clock

This is probably the most common issue with 24/7 support. Some hosting companies claim that they have technical support available outside of office hours and even on holidays. What they don’t tell you is that this covers only level-1 support.  In many cases level-1 staff have very limited knowledge about handling issues. Their capability may be sufficient for assisting you with setting up an email account or pointing your domain to new name servers. However with more complex issues, such as website being down or hacked, the issue would be instantly escalated to a queue for higher levels of support.

Therefore in most cases level-1 is more like a virtual secretary who answers your ticket to let you know that the message has been forwarded to a technician, who will be responding to the matter “as soon as possible”. Worst case scenario you would have to wait for an answer for days, especially if it is holiday season or on weekends. This can be nerve-breaking when you need the issue to be addressed immediately.

2. Outsourced 24/7 technical support

Outsourcing technical support can be an attractive option for a hosting company to save money and resources. Instead of recruiting and training their own in-house staff whom would be on full payroll, many hosting providers take a shortcut and hire outside help. Sometimes if they get lucky they can get a capable team to help their clients but often outsourced help desks lack the quality of service.

The reason why an outsourced support team is never the same as an in-house one is mostly because of communication problems between the owners and support teams. Many times the outsourced support team is located in a different country. This may cause a language barrier and misunderstandings. The owners would never know for sure if the team is always there to perform their duty. The outsourced support team is not only working for one company. They are simultaneously working on multiple different help desks. It is also impossible for the owners to know the credentials of an outsourced technician. Many times they don’t even know their real names. Trusting your data in hands of someone nobody knows seems a bit risky.

3. Understaffed help desk

This is a common problem with bigger service providers. While they have 24/7 support team on duty, they don’t have enough staff to handle the ticket load fast enough. You might have to sometimes wait for hours between responses from the technician. This may lead to days in resolution time. A client of ours told his experience with a previous host of his when his website suddenly went offline:

“First I had to wait in a queue of live chat for 1 hour and 45 minutes to even talk to a technician. Once he confirmed the issue, the support ticket was created and escalated to Level-2 admin who responded next day by email without resolving the issue. All this time my website was down and I was forced to move my site elsewhere!”

It is a valid point to argue whether it is reasonable to call a support “24/7 support” if a customer has to wait for hours or days to even get a response.

4. No 24/7 support in reality

In the online world, it is difficult to know whether the hosting provider is honest about telling the level of support they provide. We have heard quite a few cases about companies claiming to have 24/7/365 support, but when all hell breaks loose, nobody is there answering your support tickets. This can be really disappointing from the client’s perspective.

So what can you do to avoid unpleasant surprises?

This all may sound really frustrating when you are looking for a hosting provider that you could really trust. You can never know for sure before trying but there are a few things you can certainly do to improve your chances of finding the best web host for you.

1. Contact the sales support before signing up to confirm if they also have Level-2 and Level-3 coverage 24/7. In case they do, is it free of charge outside of the office hours? You may also try to ask whether they have an in-house or outsourced support team.

2. See how long it takes to get a reply from a sales representative. It is understandable that with more complex system quotes it may take some time to compose the reply. However if the sales agent takes hours or days to answer to your simple questions regarding the service, you can expect the same from the technical support.

3. Pay attention to communication skills of the support agent. If they fail to answer your questions, don’t understand you at all or in case the reply contains numerous errors, you might be dealing with an incompetent, outsourced customer support agent.

4. Try contacting the technical support on inconvenient hours, in example during holidays or in the middle of the night. If you get swift replies at all times, you can be sure the company in fact has 24/7 support. In case you have to wait for answers for hours or even days, move forward to your next potential hosting service option.

5. Read customer reviews on reputable web hosting review web sites. It is a really good indicator to read testimonials of existing customers of the hosting provider. Google is your best friend when looking for unbiased customer reviews of your potential web host candidate.

If you are tired of looking further, you are welcome to sign-up with our web hosting services. I can assure you that you will be satisfied with the level of support we can provide to you. Our in-house support team has been awarded as one of the best support team’s on market. We provide real 24/7/365 support with unlimited level-3 coverage and guaranteed response time within minutes.

You can view our hosting plans here and in case you have any questions, please feel free to contact our support!

Quick Start Guide for Choosing a Web Hosting Provider

An image of a business man pointing to transparent board with text: Web Hosting.
An image of a business man pointing to transparent board with text: Web Hosting.

Choosing the right web hosting provider for your website is a crucial factor to make your business successful.

There are so many web hosting companies out there offering so many different options, picking the right one can be a daunting task. Not only do you have to consider the amount of actual bandwidth you’ll need, but you also have to think about the type of hosting that will work for your website. Keeping the following considerations in mind should give you a little more confidence when choosing a web host.

“Free” Web Hosting Providers

When comparing your options for web hosting providers, pay close attention to the types of services available. Free web hosting comes always with a catch. Most free hosting providers come with limitations. In some cases, you could not use your own scripts or the hosting provider would insert advertising banners on your website. If you are planning on starting a serious online project, no matter if it is just a small personal blog, you should stop to seriously ponder paying your web host for getting full access. You can get a quality web hosting service only for €3.40 EUR (≈$4.30 USD) a month. This should be fit for everyone’s budget.

It may be also difficult to transfer your website elsewhere if you built it by using “free” website builder provided by the service. It is always good to have an exit strategy in case your web hosting services goes under or is not working as expected, so you won’t waste the time you already spend on building your website.

Choose a Reputable Hosting Provider

Numerous web hosting business are born and dying every day. Unfortunately many times when a hosting provider decides to quit, it happens unannounced. This means that your website may die with the provider.

You want to make sure that your site is hosted with people who actually know what they are doing. A good idea is to use Google to find unbiased customer reviews of your service provider candidate. If you’ll find praising reviews for over years of time, your website will be probably in good hands.

Safe Guards for Your Domain

If you are anyway about to choose an unreputable hosting provider for some reason, it may be a good idea to register your domain with a bigger registry service. This saves you a lot of stress, in case your hosting provider stops answering your emails when you wish to renew or move your domain elsewhere. Make sure you will have full control over your domain so you can unlock it and transfer it out whenever you want.

Also, beware of the “free domain” gimmick. A free domain certainly sounds nice, but this typically means that the hosting company retains ownership of it. In this case, you’re either stuck with the company forever or you have to buy the domain later for a high price. Ask questions during the research process about ownership and renewal fees so you’re not taken by surprise down the line.

The Level of Support

Most of webmasters need help of the customer support every once in a while. This is where you see the difference between sour apples and sweet oranges. Before signing up with your service provider, try to contact their support. See how quickly they respond and whether the answer is with the level of professionalism you expect. Consider only choosing a hosting service that has 24/7 support available (including Level-2 and Level-3 support).

Backup

You’ve probably asked yourself whether you can trust web hosting companies to back up your files. Weekly or daily backups are available with most of the hosting providers. But keep in mind that even though the host needs to perform regular backups, it’s unwise not to do off-site backups as well.

Any web hosting company will allow you to create a website, but a good one will help you avoid headaches in maintaining it. Considering these few aspects of a company before you jump in should provide some solid footing in making your choice.

If you’re still not sure which direction to go for your web hosting provider, contact us. We will be happy to answer your questions and help you any way we can with this process.

6 Tips to Choose an Effective Domain name

An image of 3D man thinking about domain name.
An image of 3D man thinking about domain name.

Choosing an effective domain name for your website is becoming more important in the age of internet marketing and branding development.

For some, the process of domain registration and choosing a domain name is a real mystery. But coming up with a good domain name for your business website doesn’t have to be difficult. These six handy tips will help you create a catchy, memorable and effective one.

1) Choosing .com or Country Top Level Domain?

There are many extensions to choose from, including .net, .org, .biz, .cc and etc. If you are building your website for international users, .com domain is the best option for you. Most Internet browsers automatically default to this extension as well. It’s definitely wise to take advantage of this default when choosing your domain name.

In case your website is only for users located in a certain country or area, you may consider using country level domains, such as .us, .uk or .is. These domains have more availability to choose from. It is however important to realize that rules and regulations for registering these domains may significantly differ from the common domain extensions.

2) Who are You, Where are You Located and What do You do?

Try to incorporate your business name and words that best describe what you do in your domain and in your entire site’s content. For example, Henri’s Car Wash in Reykjavik, Iceland might use a name like ‘henriscarwash.com’ or ‘reykjavikcarwash.com’. When searching for this type of service, people will most often look for ‘car wash´ near where they live, so make sure your location is mentioned in a lot of places on your website, or even in your URL. After all, who would want to travel to next town to get their car washed if they lived in Reykjavik?

3) Choose an Easy Name

Keep in mind that you’ll be giving your email and website address to people quite often. Many times, you’ll do so over the phone, which can lead to misunderstandings and inaccurate spellings. So, for example, if your car wash business is in the town of Kirkjubaejarklaustur (which is actual name of town in Iceland), you probably don’t want to include that in the name of your website.

A good option, in this case, might be to choose something basic like ‘carwash.is’, and just include your location in a lot of places on your website. That way, people searching for your services near your location will find it, but you don’t have to worry about misunderstandings when you’re telling people the name of your site. The golden rule is, the easier your domain name is to spell for the majority of people, the better.

4) Search for Expired Domain Names

Domain names expire constantly and expired names are a great way to get free traffic to your website. If you can find a good fit for your business by using an expired name, it will go a long way toward increasing your online exposure. Be aware that used domains are scooped up by resellers as soon as they become available. Check every day for expired domain names as soon as you know you want to set up a website.

5) Keep Your Domain Name Short

Making your domain name as short as possible is the best way to help people remember it. Longer, more complex names are more difficult to recall and fewer people will think of you when looking for your services. If you are creative and unique while keeping it short, your site name will stick in visitors’ minds. Shorter names are also easier to type and less likely to be spelled incorrectly.

6) Public or Private Registration

Companies will often search for the owners of domains when looking to solicit their own services. Choosing to use your company name rather than your personal name and address is a good way to protect your privacy. This will direct them to send their information to your business address, not your personal address. Furthermore, some of domain name registrars will keep your information private, keeping marketers and others at bay. This is already included within the price on our services.

Choosing a domain name for your website isn’t the most difficult thing you’ll do as a business owner, but it is extremely important. Following this guide should make it a little easier for you to decide. If you get creative and keep these tips in mind, you’re sure to find the perfect name for your domain.

If you’re still not sure which direction to go with your domain name, contact us. We will be happy to answer your questions and help you any way we can with this process.