You’re busy. Always. So once you’ve got your agency’s website hosting sorted, all you want to do is forget about it and get your projects done. We get it. But every now and then, it pays to take another look. Is your hosting working as hard as it should be? Or is it making you work harder than you need to? Grab a cuppa – here’s our no-nonsense guide…
1 How fast can you fix a problem?
Sometimes things go wrong. That’s life. But if it’s happening too often, or your hosting company’s not resolving problems fast enough, maybe you’re not in the best hands. Ask yourself, how often do you have hosting hiccups? How much downtime are they causing? How easy is it to get hold of help? And how fast do your hosting team get you up and running again?
If you’re spending too much time troubleshooting, or getting pulled away from your interesting, income-generating creative projects, that’s not good enough. Great hosting is better than that.
2 How handy is your control panel?
Whoever you host with, they’ll give you access to a control panel so you can manage your servers, access your websites and get things done. But how easy is it to use? How intuitive are the controls? And how long does it take you to get basic tasks done?
Ask your developers whether they’re finding it useful, or getting frustrated with how long everything takes. A smart, well-designed control panel should put everything at their fingertips, with shortcuts to key tasks and nothing too hard to find.
3 How long does it take to learn new things?
Like we said, your control panel should be intuitive. You shouldn’t need a manual, or a training session, or constant Google searches to tell you how to get things done. It should walk you through everything, step by step, nice and easy.
So, if you’re spending ages looking things up, coaching your team through basic tasks or reminding yourself how things work, maybe your hosting package isn’t quite right.
4 How quickly can you whip up a staging site?
Whether you’re launching a new website or making updates, staging sites are an important part of the process, and you need to be able to see them quickly.
It takes about 15 minutes to create one manually, but with the right hosting, your team can do it much faster. On our hosting platform, we reckon it takes about 10 seconds (and yes, we did have our stopwatches out!). Multiply those saved minutes by every staging site you need, for every client you’ve got, and the right website hosting could save you a whole lot of money-earning time.
5 How much of what you pay for do you really need?
A one-size-fits-all approach rarely fits anyone, and it’s easy to end up paying for hosting services you don’t really need. That’s often things like extra hardware, firewalls or security features that just don’t suit your business or the way you work.
Take a few minutes to look back at what you’re paying for, and how much of that you’re actually using, then have a chat with your hosting company. A good hosting team will get to know your business and shape a package around you, revisiting your bill based on what you’re really using.
On the other hand, look out for hosting providers who overcomplicate contracts and make it daunting to query what you’re getting for your money. It’s always best to work with a team that’s honest, open to your questions and ready to strip back the jargon so you’re super confident about what you need – and how much you’re paying.
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In a nutshell…
At the end of the day, your website hosting might not be the star of your studio, but it should be working hard in the background to help you do your thing, and keep your clients happy. If it’s having an impact on your efficiency, something’s not right, so don’t be afraid to ask for more support, push for faster service, or take your business somewhere better.