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This is my first time choosing a hosting company. It is for a web site made in asp.net mvc3.

So I was thinking choosing a provider would be easy since I found this page http://www.microsoft.com/web/Hosting/Home which contains hosting offers.

Now hours later, I am still searching.

The reason is that as soon as I start investigating about particular company, something stands out that I do not like.

Here are some examples what I noticed when checking various companies in more detail:

  • Company "about us" page is lacking in information about their company.

    Few of them had just general description what they do and nothing else, while some others had information like company name but had no address.

  • Checking company name in Business Registry Searches gave no results.

    Two of the companies I checked had both company name and address but I was unable to find them in the registry.

  • Putting company domain into Google gave mostly results from that domain or web hosting review sites but not much else.

    I am assuming that good companies should have search results from other sites too.

  • Low Alexa Traffic Rank.

    There was one company which had a site that looked very professional but their alexa traffic ranking was like 2 million.

Are there any other factors I should pay attention to when choosing a hosting company?

Do I have legitimate concerns or am I just too paranoid?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

None of the concerns you identified seem particularly relevant for choosing a hosting company, especially traffic rank. Hosting companies host websites that gain traffic; they don't provide content themselves. Consequently, I wouldn't expect them to rank particularly high in a Google or Alexa search.

I would be more concerned with things like:

  1. What hosting features do you provide? Can I run SSMS and access my SQL Server instance directly? What versions of ASP.NET MVC do you support, and do you keep them current? Can I expect my application DLL to run properly in your hosting environment?

  2. How well does your service scale, and what are the service options? Many people choose the cheapest service they can find, and then are surprised when their website suddenly falls down because it's being accessed by more than a dozen people (a good problem to have, by the way). Some providers allow you to have your own machine; you can even configure it yourself, if you have the need.

  3. What does your security model look like? Do you run regular security sweeps of your equipment and software? How do you protect your customers from hackers? What if I am hosting data that is subject to privacy concerns under HIPAA, or the Sarbanes Oxley act?

  4. What is your customer service like? Can I readily contact you if I have a genuine problem?

If you're just starting out with a basic site, I would try and find genuine recommendations from people who are hosting their own ASP.NET MVC website. Small companies are just fine, and may actually be better for a little website. Avoid hosting with a phone company.

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Also: How stable is the company? Are they likely to be around in the next 6 months? 2 years? 5-10 years? Who do they already host (any big-name clients?), and are they happy with the service they receive? –  FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Aug 24 '12 at 20:29
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even though most companies say Medium trust - they wont give truely Medium - so some logging and etc will not work... please do plan before what all u want to use and get into choosing - or choose a comapny like Amazon - its relatively cheaper and have lot to offer !

Most of the small / medium sized hosting companies gives u monthly billing etc - use those to test -

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Amazon has web hosting? I did not know that. Thanks. I will check it out –  user850010 Aug 29 '12 at 7:12
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Having chosen hosts a number of times, my recommendations: (1) Avoid both the high end and low end prices. Low enders don't have the staff to support their customers, and high enders can be absurdly higher priced than the crowd. (2) Don't overbuy capacity you don't need. You can always shift hosts or packages when you find you actually do need more. If you operate your site a few years, you'll end up changing anyway for one reason or another. There is no "final solution".

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