The hosting world, as with anything else, is comprised of both large and small providers. It can be difficult to determine which to go with – the huge company everyone knows or the small one that can provide customized support.
At this point, we’ve all heard of RackSpace and Amazon. But what about the other smaller hosting providers? Because they are small, does that automatically mean they are inferior? On some level, it makes sense that larger companies have deeper pockets to pay for the latest and greatest in terms of technology and security.
But I’d like to offer a different perspective and argue that a small provider might be your best fit.
Huge hosting operations do certainly have deep pockets, I won’t deny that, and they have lots of pretty cool equipment. But their focus is very different from a boutique provider. The goal of big companies is to get as many users onto their platforms as possible. They have little time for customizations, or any customer service really.
It can be difficult for a smaller company to migrate its applications and data to a hosted server, as most do not have the staff to manage the migration. To move to a hosting company, you are going to need support and assistance. Relying on a mega-hosting provider to give you this is a mistake. With a large-scale provider, you will be asked to do the migration on your own.
This is where a boutique hosting provider shines. Just as you would experience in a boutique clothing store, everything with boutique hosting revolves around customer service. If you have specific configuration needs or want assistance with maintaining a software package, the boutique provider is there for you. (I will bet that you won’t get the cell phone numbers of RackSpace’s senior engineers!)
I have heard businesses express concerns about the security of their data if they were to use a small hosting provider. On this question I would encourage you to do some homework. Speak to references, and ask for more than just a few. A quality provider will be able to show you a page full of references. Look at who’s on the list. Are there both large and small companies? Do you recognize any of them? The odds are, after talking to references, you will learn that the hosting provider has protected their data and is fully deserving of your trust.
Then take some time to ask the provider specific questions about its hosting platform:
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