When you think about web hosting support, what probably comes to mind is picking up the phone, sending an email, logging in to live chat, or opening up a support ticket. But sooner or later, there will come a time when you need to get some detailed support information from the customer support section of your web host’s site. In fact, the tech support department may refer you directly to a certain page or document within their help site.
The good news is that most web hosting companies have opened up the help or support portions of their sites, so you can check them out even before you buy your hosting plan. Here’s a look at 7 well known web hosting companies and how their support sites stack up.
As a long time InMotion Hosting customer, I have always experienced first rate support. Not surprisingly, their online support center is one of the most extensive resources available. InMotion’s support page contains separate sections of frequently asked questions, email and website tutorials, domain names, a community support forum, education channels, and tools & resources.
The education channels are of particular interest as they contain both full scale tutorials (including video) and popular articles.
Earlier this year, Go Daddy made an effort to simplify and streamline their website for its customers—and that included the support section of their site. Go Daddy’s support page features a five tab interface consisting of product support, forums, blogs, groups, and idea share—where customers can make suggestions on new features and new products. The Groups area allows you to join and participate in beta releases and check out new features.
The iPage Help Center contains links to their knowledge base as well as tutorials, their user guide, terms of service, and a contact page. You also have the ability to view system notices and any tickets you have created. The knowledge base and tutorials are very extensive. But what should be even more useful to beginners is the iPage user guide which is a great help in configuring your email, managing your domain, and designing your site.
The star of the DreamHost support site is their own Wiki that features a huge resource of helpful information on setting up and troubleshooting your website. Besides the Wiki, there is also access to their discussion forum, the DreamHost status blog, and tech support contact button.
Web Hosting Hub
Web Hosting Hub’s Support Center has some (but not all) of the same support features of InMotion Hosting’s support site. What I think is really helpful for beginners here is the inclusion of a click through (or more accurately a click into) starter guide which provides the information you need to set up your website and email, as well as becoming familiar with cPanel.
The Help Center at Bluehost features scrollable links to their most popular help content along with menu buttons to open a support ticket, view your support history, and get access to the knowledgebase, getting started wizard, video tutorials, and the user forum. I do like the concept of including a wizard to help users get started. However, some people may be put off with some of the upsell attempts for additional services that you encounter along the way.
The 1&1 Help Center features links to popular support articles and in addition, lets you select by category various support topics such as email, domains, hosting, etc. What I don’t particularly like about their support site is that you have to dive down several levels to get to the actual help document you need. Some may find this a bit too much. I do however like the video tutorial section which contains some excellent video guides.