Interview With Peter Pollock
Peter Pollock is the author of the recently published ‘Web Hosting For Dummies' book (reviewed here). He has also spent nine years running a web hosting company, is a self-professed geek, and a web hosting trainer and public speaker.
Peter graciously took a few moments out of his busy schedule to answer some questions about web hosting, so that you can have a better idea about what you're getting into when you sign up with a web hosting company.
Interview With Peter Pollock
Q: What should people watch out for when choosing a hosting company?
A: People should watch for hidden charges and for short term promo rates which then jump to a much higher standard rate. You should also beware of free domains with hosting, as it can be very expensive to redeem your name if you ever wish to change hosts.
Q: How can you tell if a company is really selling cloud services, or if that company is just using the “cloud” term to jump on the bandwagon?
A: Well, that is the million dollar question! The hosting industry is so large and so unregulated that it can be difficult to ascertain which companies’ claims are true and which are false. The best thing to do in this situation is ask the company what cloud software they use and then do a search online to see if that software is really worth its salt.
Q: Should people automatically go with the biggest hosts (like GoDaddy)? Or, will smaller hosts that cost less work for most sites?
A: Hosts that cost less will work for most users – and in fact may be better for more technologically challenged users as they often provide a more personal level of support. If your site is mission-critical though, the resources of a larger host may provide more stability and peace of mind.
Q: Is there such a thing as a niche hosting company? Can you provide some examples of these companies?
A: Yes. There are many different niches hosting companies. For instance the small hosting company I founded, newbloghosting.com caters to small bloggers and there are hosting companies that specialize in hosting podcasts or video or who provide built in software to facilitate the development of specific types of websites.
It can be sometimes be good to go with a niche provider, which is likely to be able to provide expertise specifically tailored to your needs but most websites do not really need a niche provider.
Q: Is there room for improvement in the cloud hosting industry? Can you name a few areas that need to be improved?
A: There is always room for improvement in any industry. One of the biggest needs for improvement, I feel, is the need for better education and explanation of the benefits of cloud hosting and best how to take advantage of them.
Q: Is there anything else that you would like our readers to know?
A: Yes! Web hosting can seem like a daunting concept, which is too technical for the average person. As I try to demonstrate in my book though, most of the functions and facilities provided in a hosting account are actually very easy to master, if you have the right teacher.
This is why, as well as writing the book, I am planning on starting a series of workshops around the country to teach people, in a hands on environment, what they need to know, but have been too afraid to try. For more information, go to WebHostingWorkshops.com.
Q: Who did you write your new book for? What is your target audience?
A: Web Hosting For Dummies is written specifically for people who have web hosting or have been told they need it but have little or no experience with how to use it. It will be of most benefit both to those who have never had web hosting before and those who feel they know just enough to be dangerous and want to learn how to get more out of their hosting accounts. It can be found on amazon.com and most online bookstores as well as many retail bookstores.