Over the past decade I’ve had my fair share of web hosting companies and I’ve bounced around from shared hosting to dedicated hosting and even to buying 20 of my own servers and having them in a storage center. The main reason for jumping around with so many hosts, was that my web sites and business was always changing and new sites were exploding while others stayed the same. Either way, no matter how my web sites were doing, it was always important that I could get in contact with my web host quickly and just as important, having them get back to me just as fast.
I was previously with MediaTemple and when I signed up with them, I paid for two server for a year in advance to save some extra money. Their hosting was fine, but the customer support (from my experience) was terrible. If you are a web hosting company and don’t have LIVE CHAT support, or email support that is answered within a few minutes (30 mins max), then you just don’t cut it… and this is how MediaTemple works. It would take anywhere from 10-24 hours from support to get back to your emails. The only way to get instant support was through calling them on the phone. I don’t know about you, but I’m more of an email/chat type of person… so only have phone support as my option is really garbage.
After MediaTemple I went over to WiredTree and they are just a god send. Their support is amazing and they always get back to you within a few minutes of sending an email through their support ticket. The WT staff also doesn’t send back one word answers, and they actually make an attempt to help you and not refer you to a “how to” guide. I have WiredTree running my larger web sites like this one.
I also have a few hosting accounts with HostGator. Personally I’ve never really liked the idea of paying a few dollars a month for hosting, just because I would assume the slogan “you get what you pay for”, but their hosting has been great with up time so far, and when you are running huge sites, this is a major concern. I currently have HostGator running a bunch of smaller and test web sites… nothing too crucial. However, I still had a question and wanted to talk with someone from their support team. I went to their site and saw that they had LIVE CHAT support. I was instantly connected with someone extremely helpful and am glad to be hosting through their company.
I just wanted to share my experience on customer support in the web hosting area. It doesn’t matter if you have shared hosting, VPS, dedicated or even have your own servers in a data center… customer support is one of the most crucial aspects of a successful business and keeping customers happen.
Feel free to share your web hosting customer support stories and help others when trying to find a new web host.