Often when people are shopping for a cheap web hosting package to build their website on, or move an existing site to, one of the things that is regularly overlooked is that of customer support. Contrary to what some believe, you should expect a high level of support from your cheap web hosting provider.
In today’s review-driven digital world, it is no longer possible, nor acceptable, for companies from any industry to deliver a poor level of customer support and expect to get away with it. This is never more true than in the world of cheap web hosting, when customer support can be key. It should also be one of the top features for you to keep in mind when selecting a cheap web hosting package.
It’s Cheap Web Hosting Though, Can I Expect Support?
The answer to that question is a resounding ‘yes’. While the web hosting package you have purchase may be cheaper than those offered elsewhere, you are still paying for a service to be provided. There are now many websites dedicated to analyzing web hosting providers, and so it’s especially important for you to do your homework before buying and consider which companies provide the best support.
So then, what customer support should you be looking at?
- 24/7 Customer Support
While a small number of web hosting companies still offer customer support during the working day, this approach is dead in the water. Only consider cheap web hosting providers that clearly state the provision of 24/7 customer support. Afterall, you could have problems with your website at 3am in the morning or 2pm in the afternoon – what is important is that the support is on-hand when you need it.
- Telephone support
Despite the fast-paced digital world in which we live, often there are few times that a good old fashioned telephone call can be beaten when it comes to getting a job done. Check out whether the cheap web hosting provider you’re considering offer a telephone support line, and also establish how much calls to that number will cost. Some online reviews will also tell you where the call centre is based, if that is a criteria on which you wish to judge.
- Online support portal
Most cheap web hosting companies now offer an online portal through your account to log support tickets. This is especially useful if you don’t have use of a telephone when you need to log a problem, if the problem isn’t urgent, or if you wish to supply supplementary evidence of the problem you have (e.g. screenshots). By raising a support ticket, you will often be able to track the progress of the ticket in the portal and set a level of urgency for it. Unless you chose to delete them, the old tickets will remain in your account for you to refer back to in the future, should you need to.
- Live chat
In the last 12-18 months, live chat features have become very popular as a means of online support for cheap web hosting companies. By offering a real-time chat facility, users are able to exchange messages with a support agent working at the web hosting company and talk through problems you may have. It’s a really effective, and efficient, support service to have available to you.
- Knowledge base
Last, but by no means least, is a knowledge base. This may also be termed as an FAQ or a Wiki, but essentially it is a micro-site or set of pages on the hosting company website that list solutions to common questions or problems. There will often be guidance videos and articles, showing you how to complete certain tasks. These are available to you 24/7, and again can be invaluable.