My web hosting provider retired!
I'm a web designer and developer, and I've had experience with several different web hosting companies. The first web hosting provider I worked with decided to retire and left their clients high and dry, with no way to access their files. I was lucky in that I only had my own web site to worry about and didn't have to answer to unhappy clients suffering the same fate.
I was driven to start doing some research to try to find another web hosting provider, one that was building a long-term investment in thier business.
Research begins with web hosting forums
There are a lot of resources on the web for folks trying to find web hosting. I perused several different mediums including web hosting award sites and just using Google to find the most popular hosts. Finally, though, I found much more honest reviews and answers to important questions on a couple of popular web hosting forums, one of which was www.webhostingtalk.com.
While the amount of useful information on web hosting forums is great, keep in mind that often unhappy people will contribute sometimes unfair reviews based on a web hosting provider not meeting their expectations. Sometimes these reactions are valid, but sometimes they're extreme, and you have to use your own judgement to wade through the reviews you read.
Which web hosting provider did I end up with?
Good question, I'm glad I asked! After a lot of research and several encounters with poor customer service, I signed up with www.rochen.com. I have now been with them for over 2 years and they've been great!
So, what about Rochen makes them so good?
First, I've worked with a lot of web hosting providers since many of my clients have their own hosts they like to work with. Of all of them, Rochen has supplied the best customer service of them all. They have staff throughout the world, so they're able to offer 24/7 support. They offer web hosting support through their forums and a trouble ticket system.
Secondly, the staff at Rochen keeps their customers well-informed when their are issues with their servers. Any web hosting provider runs into snags every once in a while, and needs to update some software or re-boot the system. During these times, they are clear about what they are doing to solve the problem. And while I've never spoken to any of the staff personally, they seem to have good attitudes about their business, and that's a good indicator that they're in it for the long run.