Getting the most out of your hosting takes more than just picking a good plan. Most plans are marketed to look good, and frankly, most plans are good. Hosting is a known-quantity service that’s hard to mess up. You do need to do your homework and pick a good plan to start with, but this isn’t enough on its own. The following are some things you should turn into habits to make sure you’re really getting your money’s worth.
First, you should monitor your networks uptime and perfomance. You shouldn’t wait to notice a problem. Actively check to see how things are going and make sure your expectations are being lived up to. If you maintain an online business, keeping things under control on this front is directly linked to your daily profits, so you can’t let it slip. Always use external tools for this, as well. While most hosts will provide honest numbers, not all are very forthcoming about it.
Next, maintain a healthy relationship with your host. If they have a blog, read what they post. If they have a social media division, get engaged there. Make sure someone knows your name, or will recognize you from your community participation. This can help you get better service when you need it, and will give you more leverage if you have to make the tough call to really lean on your host to make something right. Hope for the best and assume good faith, but prepare for the worst.