Tips For Choosing A Managed Hosting Provider – Part Five: Apps, Control And Cost

You’ve found a provider that offers enough uptime and support to meet your needs. But your work’s not done yet!

Tip: Ask how many other customers are hosting your favorite application with the hosting provider

I’m surprised how many people forget to ask whether their preferred scripting language is supported by a provider, and if so, which version is supported.

Ask your prospective provider these questions:

  • How many other customers are using the application that you want to use — say WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla?
  • Do they provide Windows Server® or Linux?
  • Which versions of PHP, .NET, Python and Ruby does the hosting provider support?

Verifying that the provider offers the languages and apps you want will prevent a lot of heartache when you go to create your site.

Tip: Consider the level of server control you need

Do you need full server control? Or do you never want to deal with the server at all?

Some advanced developers need SSH access to customize their environments. But if you don’t want to get into the real nitty gritty on a server, then you don’t need this. (Hint: If you don’t know what SSH access is, then you don’t need full server control.)

Tip: Consider cost

Of course, you want a provider you can afford. But while price per month is definitely a factor, it should not be the deciding factor. Know your budget, get answers to the questions above and then choose the provider.

Also, don’t forget to ask what is included in the package:

  • How many domains can you host without paying extra?
  • How much bandwidth and storage is included?

Knowing this will help justify the cost of a provider who may offer better service over the long term, but costs more.

I hope you found these tips helpful in choosing the right managed hosting solution for your websites.

Be sure to check out previous tips for choosing a managed hosting provider.

Learn more about how Rackspace can help you with hosting your WordPress site.

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