You spend a lot of time designing a website to attract users and convert them into customers. However, what many entrepreneurs don’t realize is that it’s just as important to choose a good web host as it is to choose a good Web designer.
Often, new site owners go with the cheapest and easiest Web-hosting option, thinking that the host doesn’t matter as people can access the site. But a bad Web host can do as much damage to your business as bad content can, so it’s important to monitor your site’s performance to identify hosting issues before they do permanent harm. That means being alert to the following signs
that it’s time to make a change.
1. Excessive Downtime
The goal for any hosting service is to guarantee 100 percent uptime for the client sites. However, that’s not always possible. Technical glitches, malware, high levels of traffic, even power outages can lead to downtime. Still, the industry standard is to have servers operational 99.9 percent of the time, which translates to less than an hour of downtime per month. Any more than that and you can lose traffic, suffer SEO consequences, and lose sales. If your site is experiencing a few hours (or more) of downtime every month, it’s time to find a more reliable website host.
2. Inadequate Bandwidth
Studies show that the average Internet user is willing to wait a mere three seconds for a Web page to load before clicking away. How long does it take your pages to load? If it’s taking longer than a few second your host could have a bandwidth issue, as in it does not have enough bandwidth available to manage all of the traffic for the sites on the server. In some cases, you can solve the problem by changing your hosting package, since your initial hosting package may not be enough to manage the influx of traffic as your business grows, but if that’s not possible, you need to explore your options.
3. Issues With SEO
While the extent of your web host’s influence on your website’s SEO efforts isn’t known for sure, there is enough evidence that it does affect your site’s ranking that you should be concerned about it. Factors like site downtime, speed, and even the other sites hosted on the same server can affect SEO, so if you suddenly notice a downturn in your results, it’s time to explore alternative hosting services.
4. Security Issues
It might seem unbelievable, but there are still Web hosting companies that do not offer even basic security protections like firewalls and anti-virus protection, and rely on clients to secure
their own sites. You might save money by going with one of these companies, but those savings will be negated if you’re hacked and lose your data. If your company doesn’t offer any security features at all, keep looking for one that will help you keep your site safe.
5. You’re in Poor Company
They say that people judge you by the company you keep, and that’s true in the world of Web hosting too. If other sites sharing your server have a bad reputation for activities like spreading spam or hosting questionable content, it could lead to DDoS attacks, IP blacklisting, or simply an influx of traffic that eats up bandwidth. Check out the other sites sharing your server
6. You Cannot Get Help
Ideally, you should be able to manage your hosting account and troubleshoot any issues on your own, the majority of the time. However, there will be times when you need help, and if you can’t get it, that’s a red flag. Your Web host should offer several ways to get in touch, and should have help desk capabilities 24/7. And when you do get someone on the line, they should be knowledgeable and capable, and have ideas for a solution that isn’t simply to upgrade your service or equipment. Remember, you are paying for a service, so if you aren’t receiving service, it
may be time to move on.
7. Unjustifiable Cost Increases
Cost increases are an unpleasant fact in every industry. It’s unreasonable to expect that prices will never go up. However, if you suddenly notice increases to your bill that aren’t in line with the service, or that you’re paying for services and features that were formerly free, it might be time to look elsewhere. You’ll have to pay for a quality service, but there is no need to pay more than necessary.
Changing hosting providers is likely to require some downtime, but the rewards can be a more reliable and reputable site. Don’t ignore these problems, but take steps to fix them and keep your site working for you.