Having been a webmaster for 10 years, and the owner of a webhosting company for 8 years, I’ve come to realize that the problem can usually be traced to one thing – communication. There seems to be a real gap between web cheap shared hosting customers and their providers, which inhibits free communication. One of the reasons we encounter this is that most webhosting companies are owned and operated by computer geeks.
As a genaeral rule, geeks relate much better to computers than they do to people. As a result, we have an industry full of providers who are fairly adept at technology, but woefully lacking in people skills. Let’s face it – if someone spends 16 hours a day interacting with computer and networking components, they will probably have no understanding of the little niceties which grease the skids of human interaction. Another problem is false expectations raised by the web hosts own marketing material.
Most webhosting providers have a site which portrays them as being a large corporate entity, when, in reality, most hosting companies are run by sole proprietors. The website might have a picture of high tech glass and beam office building, but the reality is often an overworked fella sitting at home in his pajamas.
When the customer starts to encounter the limitations of this arrangement, frustration and resentment set in, souring the relationship. Ironically, this same same client might be absolutely thrilled with this same web host, despite the limitations, if they had only known about the limitations going into the arrangement.
Finally, communications can be strained to the breaking point by a web host that views customers as an annoying part of the job, rather than seeing them as real people with real needs who are interested in an ongoing business relationship. Happily, this problem may be avoided entirely, if the hosting client uses some wisdom and discrimination while shopping for a provider.
The good news is that there are some wonderful webhosting companies out there. It’s just a matter of finding one which fits your needs. When shopping for a web host, try to speak directly to the owner of the company. Failing that, speak with the customer support people on several occasions before purchasing.
Are they friendly? Do they use common courtesy and politeness while speaking to you? Are they honest and open in their marketing approach? Do they address you by name while speaking to you? Do they return your phone calls and emails? With a little leg work, you should be able to seperate the wheat from the chaffe, and find an excellent hosting company.