Is your current web host providing you with what you need? Are you satisfied with the costs, services, page loading speeds, design, reliability, and other additional benefits it offers? If not, it might be the right time to switch or migrate to another hosting provider. In this post, we’ve shared the top 6 essentials you need to keep in mind while migrating your online business to a new web host.
Businesses are always looking to get the best deal for their money or to improve the design of their site. Choosing the best hosting service for your company can be a daunting task because of the large variety of options available.
Before Making A Move, Consider The Following Essential Elements To Decide If You Need To Change To A New Web Host
01. Do You Need More Space?
Your current host might have been a great fit when you first launched your website, but you may have outgrown it.
This is especially true as you become more adept at creating and adding compelling visuals. Do not skimp on these as they attract more visitors and customers. As businesses grow, they need more room on the servers for storing their design elements, larger files, and content.
Suppose your traffic levels have significantly increased with more recurring users and new visitors to your site. In that case, you will need a server that can handle the additional traffic.
Image files, such as logos, blog post pictures, and infographics generally take up more storage, bandwidth, and disk space than text, especially if they’re bloated and oversized.
Be sure to optimize image files so they don’t slow down your page load speed and take up too much space on your server.
Image optimization reduces the overall size of a file without losing quality. Its benefits include:
- Faster page loading speed
- Better SEO rankings
- Less bandwidth and storage usage
It is best to choose a web host that enables you to scale your hosting service as your business grows. However, if you did not think long-term when choosing your provider, switching to a new host might be inevitable.
02. What Type Of Hosting Do You Need?
Different web hosting options exist because all servers are different, and each businesses’ needs are unique.
Some websites have their own servers, while others share a single server. The four main types of web hosting are:
- Virtual Private Server (VPS)
Shared hosting is offered by almost every web host and is the least expensive form of hosting. Websites share a server and its resources with other sites. This can impact page loading speed, and you should compare loading times with dedicated hosting options.
For small companies with budgetary constraints that do not expect much traffic, shared hosting is a viable option.
VPS hosting is best suited for large personal sites or small business websites that require higher resource limits and expect a lot of traffic. Multiple websites still share the same server, as with shared hosting, but have their own set of RAM and bandwidth resources.
Cloud hosting plans have multiple remote servers, each with its own set of responsibilities. The value lies in another server’s ability to take over if the one being used is compromised.
Dedicated hosting means your business has an entire server all to itself with total control, including over resource limits. It is a good option for medium to large-sized businesses that expect to grow significantly and see massive traffic to their site.
Once you decide the type of hosting you want, review the providers and select the plan that suits your needs.
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03. How Much Bandwidth Will You Need?
When looking for a better hosting plan for your business, you must compare and evaluate the bandwidth cost against what you need.
Bandwidth is the total amount of data transferred in a specified period, usually in seconds. The amount of bandwidth a hosting company offers is usually a good indication of its capabilities.
In general, the higher the bandwidth, the faster the connectivity, network, speed, and systems. Based on Bitcatcha’s Website Speed Recommendation, your server response time should be kept below 180ms.
Beware of providers that offer unlimited hosting plans. If you look at the fine print, it usually says that there are penalties for going over “normal” bandwidth usage.
04. Is It Getting Too Expensive To Stay With Your Current Host?
Web hosting is often the most considerable expense associated with running a website. Avoid paying for server space or features you do not use or need.
If you started small when building your website and didn’t plan for scaling it while your company grows, you are likely to face hosting challenges.
As time goes on and you start generating more traffic, leads, and users, you will need a server that can handle the increased load on its resources.
If your host has upgrade options available to meet the needs of a growing business, the cost may become prohibitive.
One option is to move from shared hosting to a dedicated server. However, if your current host doesn’t offer dedicated servers, as much storage as you need, or is too expensive, switching to a new host might be advisable.
If you are spending more money on hosting than your business brings in, you should consider downsizing or going with a new host to stay within your budget.
05. Are You Experiencing Too Much Downtime?
When users are not able to access your website, it is called downtime. Even only a few seconds of unavailability can make your site appear to users and search engines as low-quality and unreliable.
Too much downtime will result in lower search engine rankings, hurt your site’s visibility, and harm the user experience.
The Most Common Causes Of Website Downtime Are:
- Type of server you are using. Shared servers tend to become overloaded more quickly than others.
- Web host’s level of security to minimize malicious attacks that can lead to downtime.
- Reliability and quality of the web host’s equipment and servers.
If you are experiencing too much downtime, this would suggest that it is time to move to a new web host with a more reliable or different hosting package.
06. Is The Customer Service You Are Receiving Inadequate?
If you are having issues with your website and want to know your options with your current host, can you reach them quickly and easily?
Maintaining a website is often challenging. Problems and issues arise that affect your users’ experience and the performance of your site. You are likely to experience frustration and stress, and it could also harm your reputation, if your hosting provider doesn’t offer stellar customer support.
If the customer service you are currently receiving is inadequate, it’s best to know what type of support you will receive from a new host before moving your site. When everything is running smoothly, web hosting customer support might not seem to be as important as when you experience errors, complications, and issues.
A hosting company that cares about its customers will ensure that everyone on its support team is trained and prepared to troubleshoot problems and guide customers towards resolution.
Below Are Some Of The Tasks You Will Likely Need Help With From Customer Support
01. Site Malfunctions and Errors
It is not uncommon for every website to fall victim at some point to malfunctions and unforeseen errors. Even if you have a technical guru on your team, keep in mind that server infrastructures vary depending upon the host.
When you pick up the phone or reach out via chat, the hosting company should be available and able to resolve your issues quickly and efficiently. There might be times when your problem needs to be escalated higher up to the support staff team for more complicated issues.
02. Installation of New Tools
Most web hosts offer software and tools to increase website functionality and streamline processes.
Often, the installation process is a bit more complex than simply clicking a button. If you make a mistake or get stuck, customer support should be available to assist you.
03. Upgrading Resources
When your website grows faster than expected, it could demand more resources than what you have allocated to handle additional traffic and queries. Unless you are a technical expert or work with someone who is, customer support should explain the various available packages with their associated costs.
They should also help you determine the number and types of resources you need and walk you through the upgrade process to avoid downtime and data loss.
Rather than moving to a new web host and waiting until you have a problem, do your research, read customer reviews, and look at a new web host’s social media accounts for the following:
- How long does it take customer support to respond?
- The average amount of time it takes to resolve problems or issues.
- What are the methods by which customer service can be contacted?
- Does the company have at a minimum phone support, live chat, and a ticket system?
- Is there an available and up-to-date knowledge base system with solutions to problems and active customer interactions?
Wouldn’t you want to know, before making a move, that the new company you choose to host your site will provide better support than the one you are leaving?
Providers that do not make it easy to contact them will lose customers. If you cannot get satisfactory responses to your questions, it is time to find a new host that will be there when you need them.
Pro Tip: Don’t Forget About Security
One of the most important aspects of web hosting, especially if you are running an eCommerce site, is security.
Lack of or inadequate security can lead to devastating consequences for a business resulting in loss of income from affected customers.
The pandemic brought with it a thriving online business marketplace making security even more essential.
Additionally, Deloitte reports that the number of cyberattacks has increased by 35% post-pandemic.
Whenever there is a possibility of exploiting a website for malicious actors to benefit, they will try to gain access.
The web host provider you choose must ensure that their servers are secure in order to protect your:
- Customers from cybercriminals attempting to steal their identity.
- Business from hackers who simply want to cause disruption.
They should also provide you with the necessary tools to protect and secure your website and its functionality.
Safety should always be your top priority. When evaluating security features for a web host, below are the absolute minimum measures you must implement.
- Firewall configurations
- Security audits
- User permissions
- Spam filtering
- Multi-level authentication
- Viruses and malware scans
- Password security
Reliable web hosts will often include the features above in some of the packages they offer. Others might offer them as add-ons.
Rather than waiting until your website is compromised or hacked, keep your business and customers safe by choosing a new host that follows proper security protocols proactively.
Do your research to ensure the new provider is superior to your current hosting company. It needs to fulfill your current and future requirements. When migrating your business to a new web host, your goal is to minimize or eliminate downtime without breaking your site.
A good web hosting provider should help you move your site without visitors and customers experiencing any downtime. They should also provide you with all the tools you need to succeed while keeping your site secure and functioning properly.
Be sure you have enough space and bandwidth on your server for your pages to load quickly and house all your design elements. A best-case scenario is for your new web host’s tech support team to move your site over to their servers while you sleep. And, when you wake up the next morning, all your pages, structure, navigation, and features are running smoothly.
Do not make your decision based solely on price. Although you don’t want to pay for more than you need, you also want to ensure that the hosting servers are reliable.
Keep in mind that a website with a stellar design will only function properly with good, secure, and reliable hosting.