Inappropriate web hosting hurts company

I worked at a company that had an outside Public relations firm. They handled all of the press releases and also managed their online presence. They helped create a website and so on. This was good at first, but as the company grew, it had nothing but problems.

Inappropriate web hosting hurts companyThe problems were caused by a marketing company that didn’t partner with a knowledgeable and focused web host, but with developers who were not associated with a real hosting company. They tried to cut corners and save money by not using a real web hosting company and there were no end to problems. The focus of this article is to point out the signs of a hosting company that isn’t capable of handling the challenges of normal company requests.

Signs of Inappropriate Web Hosting Company

  1. Excuses with no answers. There were always problems and no answers. For example, a hacker broke into a little viewed website and defaced it. The advertising company said there was nothing they could do. That was just incompetence and laziness. Since the company still had DNS and domain control I simply gave it a private IP address and the website would never resolve. Fixed in a few minutes.
  2. Slow time to respond. The developers (amateur web hosting) said that they would need 4 hours to respond to a request to investigate it. They didn’t have a SLA or promise to fix any problem in any time frame. For any company their web presence is their identity. For such a slow response that is unacceptable. Some problems are complex and not easily solved like a fiber cut, but little things should not take a 4 hour minimum.
  3. Ignorant about web hosting. If I talk to their support and know more than their support guys I change web hosting companies. There should never be a time where you need to explain something about how the web works to technical support. For example, this company didn’t offer FTP access to their site which was very silly and customer hostile.
  4. Not offering standard web features of hosting, or is incompatible with standard features. This is the reason I moved from GoDaddy because everything I tried to do with WordPress wasn’t compatible with them. This company didn’t offer FTP access so you couldn’t troubleshoot or fix things that needed to be done.
  5. Blame a knowledgeable technical person. This company blamed me for creating problems when the problems existed before I tried to fix them. They ran out of space, and so the customer wasn’t able to upload anything. I discovered it was out of space and the company was surprised. If you aren’t monitoring the hosting account, what are we paying you for? This would have been monitored and a warning sent out or some kind of WordPress feedback you were getting close to your limit like normal web hosting.

Well I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. The idea is to help the customer, and this company was doing the opposite of that. They were hurting the customer with their ignorance and lack of knowledge. I won’t name the company because it will give them more advertising, but I will make sure that no one ever does business with them again that I am involved with. Business should make life easier, and if they aren’t experts, they need to be humble enough to admit it and tell people where to get the best service.

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How to find answers when you don’t have information

Everyday in IT you are asked to find answers when you don’t have information. For example, one time I was asked to find where a website was hosted with just the name of the website. I know from my website that you can sometimes trace the DNS or name server and that normally is the hosting company. When I tried to do that using the DNStools to the left, it resolved to a data-center that wasn’t for customers but was for re-sellers only. No contact information for help. So I paused and considered my options.

I simply typed in Google “how to find host of website” and it came up with several webpages. I tried the first one and it didn’t work and showed me the data-center I had found earlier. Then I tried the second one and it worked great. I was able to provide the information to the coworker who asked me, and everyone was happy.

This isn’t just saying use a search engine to find things. It is also to state that when you don’t have answers to a question, if you think about the mechanics of how something exists you often find a way to find the answer. Another example is when I used to have a car that had constant issues. I once owned a Volvo that was just a nightmare of maintenance. I was poor so I couldn’t afford a mechanic, so I tried to find answers and fix issues myself. I learned many things, and I discovered that if you look hard enough you can find any information even proprietary information. For example car companies have private information they share with their dealers and isn’t made for public consumption. However techs will post the information and then you can fix your car yourself. It was amazing.

So what I have seen is that every answer I have looked for on the Internet I have found. If it has a concrete answer, someone, somewhere knows it. The longest search for an answer has taken years, but I eventually found it. The secret of how to find answers when you don’t have information, is to associate with what you know. Try to brainstorm the different routes you think the information may exist and then you will find a way to find the information.

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