What makes a good host

Customer support

When you arrive at your annual ugly Christmas sweater party, would you be happy if the host wasn’t around to ask questions, told you where the bathroom was 2 hours after you asked or invited more people to the party than they had room + food for? Of course not! Your hosting company shouldn’t be any different.
First and foremost, they should have a customer support team in place. It’s up to you if having that support team based in your country is important or not. To me, it is, because language barriers can be hard enough to work through without mixing in super nerdy words + details that come along with hosting websites.
Customer support requests + questions should be responded to in a timely manner. Live chat wait times + call holds of an hour or more are unacceptable to me. I’ve got much better things to do than wait for the hold music to stop + my bet is you do too.
Look for companies that have a support team (in the country if that is important to you) that has multiple methods of contact — telephone, email, live chat, ticketing system, etc. from there, ask what the average turnaround time is, or ask your friends + facebook groups if they have to wait forever for help.

They want your business to grow

Just like a good host should give a damn how you are doing in your career/business/life, a top-notch host will care too. Instead of punishing your business for getting a ton of traffic (by taking your site down completely), a good host will keep your site up + reach out to you to discuss ways to serve your new audience.
A great host will also provide tools + resources for you to grow your business instead of simply being there for you when it happens. Just like a great accountant + accountability partner, you can look at your hosting company as a cheerleader + hub of information for getting your business to match your business vision.

You + your business are kept safe

It’s perfectly normal to expect that your holiday party host will do their best to keep you + your belongings safe. They aren’t going to ask you to put your shoes, keys + handbags out on the sidewalk to make more room in the house. They aren’t going to post the party address on craigslist to let anyone + everyone know exactly where + when to find you.
The same is true for good hosting companies. Not only are they going to do their best to keep your information safe, but they are also going to keep your site visitor’s safe. For example, our hosting company runs daily scans for hacker activity to proactively stop any hacking attempts in their tracks. They also promise that they will fix any site that is hacked on their watch for free. Because they are a great hosting company, they value security + safety, but they also stand behind their security + safety measures.

A good hosting company

There are a number of hosting companies that fit some or all of these criteria. The only hosting company that tiny blue orange currently recommends for WordPress websites is Flywheel {affiliate link}. They are the company that we use + the company that our managed WordPress hosting service is based with. After trying dozens (not kidding) of hosting companies, Flywheel is who we trust + love.

Bonus: you can always change your mind

The best news of all when it comes to hosting companies is that you can always change your mind. {Unless you are using a site like SquareSpace or Wix to build your site.} If you are with a host for any period of time + realize their customer support is not acceptable, they punish your business for growing or they do not keep you safe from crappy circumstances, you can say ‘sayonara’ + pick a different company to host your business website.
Most companies will even prorate your annual fees in a refund, so don’t be afraid to ask. I once jumped ship 24 hours into a hosting plan because they didn’t disclose a major fee that they charged for something that, in my opinion, is essential to provide for all clients. I got a full refund from that company because I was within their 7 day trial period.

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