27-questions-to-ask-before-choosting-your-website-host
Published: 29 January 2018

Hosting... Let’s be honest, for some it’s not the most exciting subject in the world. Maybe that’s the reason it’s often left to the end of a project for someone in IT to think about: “ah yes, we actually need to put this new website somewhere don’t we?”

As marketers, Heads of Digital and IT Managers, you can educate your internal team and appear more knowledgeable to the agency or hosting partner you choose. Knowing this information upfront will prevent egg on your face further down the line when the website goes down and questions are thrown around like everybody should have had an answer.

(Yes you’ve guessed it you’ll have those answers!)

It’s a fact – people buy on price…oh and service of course. But price first, especially when it comes to hosting.

A commoditised offering, a somewhat boring subject and for us mere mortals technically quite complex to understand. So what ends up happening? Well, in general people scan-read the details and select the best price in comparison to other hosting quotes they’ve received.

Let’s try to avoid that by ensuring you ask yourself these 27 questions and ensure you select the right provider, with the right level of service at the right price.

Traffic and Bandwidth
1. What is the level of daily unique visitors to your site(s)?
2. What is the highest peak in a single hour of unique visitors?
3. Number of page views per visitor?
4. What country are visitors predominantly from?
5. Do you anticipate the site traffic growing over the next 12 months, if so, by how much?
6. Do you operate high-traffic campaigns/newsletters (that have significant uptake) on a regular basis?
7. Does your site offer digital downloads?
8. Current bandwidth usage?
9. Do you require a DDOS filtering service?

Hardware Requirements

10. What is the current disk space usage?
11. Do you require long-term log storage (PCI-DSS compliance)?
12. Do you require off-site backup storage?
13. Do you need to run any specialist/alternative software on the server?
14. Do your PCI compliance regulations dictate the use of a hardware firewall?
15. Do you need a fault-tolerant, highly available or load-balanced solution?

Staging / Development Practice
16. Do you need/have a separate dedicated environment for staging/development?
17. Do you require a “Test Live” environment to match the “Live” environment (for final pre-live testing)?

Budget

18. Is there a monthly budget?
19. How has that monthly budget been determined?

E-commerce Sites
20. Which Platform and which version?
21. Number of simple products in catalogue?
22. Number of categories in catalogue?
23. Number of attributes in catalogue?
24. Number of attribute sets in catalogue?
25. Number of Magento store views (Admin > System > Manage Stores)?
26. Transactions per day?
27. Peak transactions in a single hour?

Knowing the answers to these questions before you engage with a hosting partner will help ensure you select the right offering that suits your business needs and future proof business changes.

For all things Sitecore, including advice on infrastructure, setup hosting and development, speak to the experts here at Sagittarius. Advice can be free, choosing the wrong platform or hosting provider won’t be.

Brad Smith

Commercial Director

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