Choosing a Reliable Web Host for your Small Business

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I’m just going to say it. Choosing a web host provider is a nightmare! Especially if you are not well-versed in website development and are taking the small business DIY approach to save on expenses.  Even if you do have web design experience and/or a prosperous business, searching for a reliable and professional web host can feel like a wild goose chase from hell. The internet is inundated with spam-reviews and conflicting reports of customer service and up-time promises. It’s really quite difficult to tell the honest reviews from the sponsored fiction. Let me be clear, I have no problem with blunt reviews that are based on experience, even if they do offer affiliate links and promotion. Why? Because that reviewer is promoting something that they personally use and want to share with the rest of us. I do not write for a living, nor do I typically write reviews. However, my experience with InMotion Hosting has inspired me to put this review out there for you. I hope it helps you make a more informed decision when choosing a reliable web host provider for your business.

Let me start by saying that I am an entrepreneur who owns and operates three small (and fairly new) businesses. They are all in early stages of development and therefore do not operate with high budgets for web design/management. Therefore, I have done 100% of the design, maintenance, and crisis management on my own. While I am fairly good with computers, I am a complete novice when it comes to web design, particularly when it comes to coding and file management. I am learning as I go. Sometimes problems arise, and I don’t know how to fix them. When this happens, my first instinct is to scour troubleshooting forums and teach myself how to resolve the issue. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work. Sometimes I need help. Every time I have found myself in this situation, I get a daunting feeling that this is about to cost me a lot of money in web consultation. And let me tell you…I have never had to find out. Why? InMotion Hosting.

Customer Service

I am not recommending InMotion Hosting because I have “never had a single problem” or “my website is never down“. The scary truth is that the internet is a lot more vulnerable a place then it used to be. Outdated plugins, compromised blogging interfaces, and security weaknesses in computer-virus-rev-1your site can leave you vulnerable to all types of operational problems and hacks. No matter who your provider is, unless you write and manage websites professionally, it’s unlikely that you will be able to foresee all possible threats and breaches on your site. The question is, when it does happen, how do you fix it? And will your web host provider help you?

I spent two solid days researching web host providers before choosing InMotion Hosting. I wanted an affordable, reliable, provider that offered excellent (or at least decent!) customer service. After hours and hours of reading conflicting reviews and doing endless comparisons, I still felt like I was making a blind decision. But I made it. And it’s been the best web management decision I’ve ever made.

Two out of three of my websites were hacked this week, TWICE.  Meaning I “fixed” it, it was fine for a week, and then it came back. (Obviously my “fix” was not very long-term.)  I was at a loss. I had sunken SO MUCH time into this crisis, and when it happened a second time in one week, I really started to feel defeated. Both times, not only was I able to get an InMotion technical support rep on the phone within a minute, but they had a website back-up restored within an hour, for free. When it happened the second time, it became clear that the hacker had backdoor access, even in the restored version. At this point, I was forced to do a lot of re-installations and clean-up manually. My frustration and inexperience was obvious to every technician I spoke to over the past week. Honestly, they should have told me to go hire someone who knows what they’re doing. That’s what I expected when I called them, as that’s what my colleagues are typically told by their web host providers. Instead, each and every representative I spoke to spent (an enormous amount of) time investigating and explaining to me exactly what happened to my site–in layman terms, talked me through how to clean it up both times, and explained how to protect myself from future attacks on my chosen blogging platform (in my case, all WordPress). Let me be clear, the entire hack was related to my WordPress theme, which had nothing to do whatsoever with my web host provider. Yet this never came up. They simply did everything they could think of to get my site healthy again. This included accessing my WordPress account to make necessary changes and do some manual clean-up, most of which I had no idea how to do. Not only did they help me complete these tasks, they walked me through what they were doing, essentially educating me on the maintenance of my site, all with the friendliest attitude I have ever experienced from a technical support department.

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Not all of my interactions with InMotion have been crisis-related. A few times during the construction of my websites, I made a file management mistake. Super minor. Super simple. For any professional, it would have been no big deal. Unfortunately, my inexperience typically made the issue worse when I tried to fix it. One quick call to InMotion, and I had a technical representative fixing it for me immediately, despite the fact that the issue arose from user-error and had no direct relation to my web host service. In my opinion, InMotion Hosting goes above and beyond in their customer service department. Each and every interaction I have with them, not only meets, but exceeds my expectations. It is available 24/7/365 and I have never waited more than 1 minute to be connected to a live person.

Price

Let’s talk price. When researching host providers for my young businesses, I was bargain hunting. I was willing to pay more for good customer support, but after spending two days reading untrustworthy reviews, I figured it was pretty much a crapshoot, and re-prioritized price. In the end, I chose InMotion Hosting for two reasons: most consistent reviews (although there were relatively few of them) and price. I was looking at paying about the same for InMotion as I would have for Bluehost or GoDaddy. I had never heard of InMotion before though, and the others had brand recognition. However, I noticed that InMotion primarily marketed to business accounts, which I saw as a promising suggestion of professional and quality customer service (at least I hoped). I took the leap. InMotion delivered.

I’m just going to say it. Choosing a reliable web host provider is a nightmare!

 When it comes down to it, if you are well versed in web design and security, customer service may not be all that important to you. You may care more about downtime percentages and page speeds than technical support. (Although, I have had no issues in those departments.) But if you are a fan of professional courteous service at any hour, U.S. based in-house technical support, virtually no wait time for assistance, and educated representatives that assist efficiently and collaboratively, I highly suggest considering InMotion Hosting for your small business or personal needs.

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I’m not trying to write a glowing review here…I just want to write an honest review based on personal experience…but looking over this so far, it sure does glow when put into written words. And it should. So far, this company is worth it. And if that ever changes, I’ll be the first one to return here and update you. Until then, consider these words when diving into the black hole of web host provider research.

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