Another thing that you want to have under control is your hosting provider. Now again just defining terms, a hosting provider is the company that is hosting your website. So every website needs to be somewhere on the internet so that people can Google it, visit it directly and interact with it. And the same goes for your email. Although you might have it hosted on an exchange server inside of your office’s network, you still have to have hosting somewhere out there to announce DNS so that all that good stuff works. So the question is: Who is in control of your hosting? So it’s likely that if your hosting and your website is stable, that is to say it’s not going down all the time, that you’re with a good hosting company. But if that hosting was set up by your website designer, then it could be either on his server or his reseller account or he set it up with another company. It could be that when your web designers set you up originally, he didn’t want to be involved in any of that and so he set you up with an account with a hosting provider and someone within your company is paying that bill and you have a direct relationship with your hosts and that’s ideal. If you’re shopping for a host right now, I’m thinking about building a website, there’s a few little guidelines that I think are extremely useful. Don’t go looking for price as the main consideration. There are some hosting companies out there that are spectacularly cheap and they’ll charge you between 50 and 75 dollars a year for a hosting account and that’s fine and there maybe nothing wrong with that but that shouldn’t be the only consideration. You should make sure that the hosting company that you’re dealing with has an 800 number and that they are able to answer the phone with a real live English-speaking human being 24 hours a day, seven days week. If you don’t think this is important, wait till your website goes down and see how eager you are to talk to somebody. The other thing that I would strongly suggest is making sure that you get a hosting account with a company that is located somewhere in North America or the continent where you live. So if you live in Canada or the United States, try to get a hosting company in Canada or the United States with at least offices here. This is opposed to say having someone in Southeast Asia or India or any of these other places. This will bring a peace of mind knowing that your hosting infrastructure is in a place that is enjoying relative stability either politically or otherwise. The other thing you might want to do is have a look at the hosting companies infrastructure or building, they’ll sometimes put pictures of these online and you can verify these with Google Maps to see whether they actually match the picture that is on the company’s website. You don’t want a place that is not secure where there’s a possibility of break-ins or maybe they’re located in hurricane alley, that’s not necessarily a deal breaker as long as the building is sufficiently fortified. This is something that people don’t think about until something happens. So just a couple of guidelines that have helped me in the past to get a good night’s sleep and not worry about the hosting and the websites that I have to maintain as a designer.