It doesn’t matter if you have a small or large site, having a good web host is critical to the success and performance of your site.
Finding a new web host isn’t too tricky as there are a lot on the market to choose from. Most of them are similar, while some do stand out among the rest.
In this article, we are going to cover all the telltale signs that happen on your website that it’s time to switch web hosts. Doing this can drastically improve your website’s performance and user experience.
Different web hosts offer different things. Here are the different types of WordPress web hosting available for your site.
Why Switch Web Hosts?
The main reason you’d want to change hosts is if something about your current host isn’t working well for you. This could be that your site is slow, yet you’ve done everything to optimize it. You have downtime on your site. Also, it could be that your site’s security is lacking and you want to make a change.
While it’s not worth changing web hosts randomly, it is worth it if you have been experiencing problems. Just remember, it’s essential not to try to fix something if it isn’t broken or if you don’t know it’s broken for sure.
That’s why you should try to optimize all parts of your WordPress site before making the switch to a new web host. That said, let’s take a look at some surefire ways to tell it is time to invest in a new web host.
1. Load Times
This occurs for two reasons. Either your web host is slow, or your site isn’t correctly optimized. It’s essential to make sure it’s not something you can fix. A great place to start is with this article outlining simple ways to speed up your WordPress site.
Once you’ve optimized your site as best you can, it’s time to move on to the next possible culprit, your web host.
It can be challenging to determine if it’s your web host is slowing your site down. Having crowded servers can be the cause of your site loading slowly.
However, if you visit your site, it doesn’t mean you’ll get a good look at the speed of your site. Your web host may have servers all over the country and even the world. The way around this is by loading your site from different servers to get a good idea of the speed your web host is providing.
The best site to do this with is by far Pingdom. It allows you to ping your site from different countries around the world to see what kind of speeds you’re working with.
If your site doesn’t load quickly on Pingdom, then you should start looking for a new web host.
2. Customer Service
Depending on the user, this might not be a big deal. In fact, there’s a good chance that you’ve never actually needed to contact support directly for your web host.
That said, having a web host that provides excellent customer service is very important – just in case there is an issue.
You’re running a business, so having a reliable web host is as important as having a reliable website. After all, if your site goes down because your web host’s server crash, your site visitors can’t visit your site. This means lost sales opportunities.
Some web hosts provide fantastic customer service. They’ve got it all. Calls, live chat, 24/7 email service, and everything else you could hope for. Others, sadly, do not.
If you have issues and your web host’s customer support is useless or unreliable, then it’s time to consider switching web host services.
3. Server Security
There’s only so much you can do as a site owner to secure your data while using a web host. Don’t get me wrong, web hosts are worth it and are usually great at keeping the data they house secure. If they don’t protect your data, then they lose credibility.
If your web host suffers an attack, it can lead to many things:
- Your site being changed or deleted
- User information is stolen
- A drop in your credibility
You’ll know when your web host is hacked. Most hosting companies send emails to their customers telling referring to the attack.
And many web hosts, such as DreamHost, have dedicated status pages with the status of their web servers at all times.
If your web host gets hacked, it’s probably a great indicator that you’ll want to switch web hosts. Web hosts being hacked are rare occurrences, and there are plenty of hosts out there that have never been successfully attacked.
4. Too Expensive
When you first start a website, it might start out small. But over time, it will grow. When your website grows, it takes up more space, which costs more money. In some cases, with some web hosts, when you go over your limit of storage, you’ll have to pay more.
Some hosting providers don’t like giving quickly growing sites their fair shake. More users mean more bandwidth on the server. It also means more data to store. These things open the door for specific web hosts to nickel and dime you to host on their servers.
A good rule of thumb here is if you’re spending more than your blog is making on web hosting, then it’s time to switch web hosts.
But what if you have an online business and not a WordPress blog?
Well, in that case, if your web hosting costs are more than you’re comfortable with, then maybe it’s time to switch. If you aren’t ready to pull the trigger on switching, then you can always explore the prices and features of a new web host. Window shopping is always free, and it’s a great way to know what’s out there!
5. Down Time
Downtime is a killer for hosted sites and the web host. If the sites are down, they can’t make money, and if they can’t make money, they either can’t pay the web host, or they’ll move to a new one.
A website going down even if it’s for mere seconds is a big deal. In fact, it’s estimated that if Amazon went down for one minute, it would stand to lose over $1.5 million dollars.
Of course, not all online businesses have the clout Amazon does. But here are some other repercussions of site downtime:
- Negative user experience
- Damaged brand reputation
- Lost business opportunities
- Lower search rankings
I’m not saying you have to change the first time your site goes down or even if your site flickers. All I’m saying is you should take it seriously and make sure it doesn’t happen often.
Otherwise, it’s time to switch web hosts!
6. Lack of CDN (Content Delivery Network)
A content delivery network offers site owners a fantastic way to improve site speed.
Content delivery networks make copies of your website on many servers all over the globe. Then when someone tries to go to your site, the CDN serves them your site from the closest server to them. This cuts download time and allows for more traffic to your site without slowing it down.
Many big websites uses a CDN to deliver the best user experience to its users. It may be a hosted CDN or an in-house CDN created by the same company using it.
Some examples of sites that have built and managed their own CDN include:
That said, small websites have a lot to benefit from using a CDN too.
In the end, no matter how big or small your site is, a content delivery network can help to deliver site content to users all over the world instantly. If your web host doesn’t offer free CDN services, you might want to look elsewhere.
And there you have it! The top reasons you might want to consider switching web hosts.
Sometimes web hosts are perfectly fine, and sometimes they’re not the right fit for you. The best way to know when it’s time to switch web hosts is to set your expectations. If your web host lets your expectations down, then it’s time to move to another one.
The right web host is out there, and there’s nothing wrong with switching between hosts until you find the right one for you. If you’re currently unhappy with your web host, here’s a list of the 9 best options for WordPress web hosting.
Have you ever needed to switch web hosts? If so, which provider did you choose and why? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!