Having an online presence for your company has been virtually essential for several years now. And with the growing use of cloud and hosted services, finding the right web hosting has never been more important.
It's not always an easy decision. Hosting packages tend to be feature rich, and it's hard to tell them apart.
What's more, when you read the small print of many web hosting contracts, you'll find that although the provider will do their best to provide a good service, you don't have much comeback if things go wrong.
If you're only buying hosting for a small, non-critical website, that might be ok. But if it's for an ecommerce site you rely on for income, or the cloud hosting service that runs your customer relationship management system, you need something with a little more certainty.
That's where you need to look for three letters in your web hosting company's contract: SLA. They stand for service level agreement. And they guarantee your business will receive a certain level of service from your hosting provider.
Although SLAs are contractually binding, not all are created equal. Here are three key things to look for in a web hosting SLA:
Having an SLA in place should boost your confidence in your hosting company. Hopefully, you won't ever need to call on it. However, it's not the be-all-and-end-all of finding good web hosting.
If your hosting is a key part of your business infrastructure, take time over the choice. Learn a bit about the different types of web hosting available, get recommendations and ask the right questions before committing to a provider.
Companies offering web hosting with SLAs:
Most hosts only offer SLAs with selected packages - always check before buying.
Stopwatch image: William Warby on Flickr.