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Make Your Web Hosting Solution Portable

By Glenn Walker

I'm not sure why some good web hosting providers go bad, but it happens and it's a hassle when you have to switch to a new hosting provider.

Many businesses put off selecting a new hosting provider just because the thought of moving all their web site content, possible database files and company email to a new host is just too overwhelming. Unfortunately most resign to putting up with the poor service for awhile longer, hoping things may improve, but seldom do.

In my years of designing and developing web sites I've found that if you separate a few of the common services offered by most hosting providers it makes the transition of switching somewhat less painful.

By moving your email and domain name services to qualified third party providers you remove some of your dependence of your existing hosting provider, and in the process gain portability and flexibility.

Most third party email providers offer superior email solutions that far exceed what you'd get from most hosting providers. Their business is email, so you can be confident that you're getting the latest in email security, virus protection, and spam filtering technology. And if for some reason your web host is temporarily unavailable your email isn't.

Qualified domain name service (DNS) providers allow you to have access to your own DNS and Mail Exchange (MX) records. You can make changes that once required the submittal of a support ticket to accomplish. You can change which host your domain points to and where your emails are directed to, you can renew your domain name and update whois information, among other options, all quickly and easily via a secure web interface.

Now it is true that this approach is slightly more expensive, but the cost is minimal when you figure all the time and effort you'll save when the day comes that you need to move your web site to a new hosting provider. On average, qualified email providers starts at around $18/month and domain name service provides start at around $60/year.

Currently, I'm using Interland for web hosting, Webmail for emailing and EasyDNS for domain name services.

About the Author:
Glenn Walker is President, CEO of Boston-based Firefly Technologies. Firefly offers web site design, web application development, e-commerce, and web site maintenance services that help small and medium businesses use the web to attract customers and close sales.

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