Monday, September 12, 2011

Is it Time to Switch to a New Web Hosting Company?

By: Jennifer Knox

Your site is down....again. Customer service is not helping the way you’d like. You’re realizing you’re spending more money than you should on hosting your web site. Are you experiencing any of these situations lately? If so, it may be time to switch to a different host.

Switching webhosts is not nearly the pain it used to be. In fact, hosting companies are becoming quite adept and creating tools to make the switch relatively painless!

Here are some key signs that it’s time to start shopping for a new webhosting company:

1. You’re finding that the price is creeping up despite service offerings remaining stagnant.

In the competitive web hosting marketplace, hosting companies should be increasing features, disk space and bandwidth limits to compete with other hosting companies. If you’re finding that your host is still offering the same tired packages at relatively expensive prices, it may be time to start looking for a new host.

2. Your site inventory is growing and choking on the plan you have now.

If you’re adding new sites to the same hosting account and are finding that one or two sites with more traffic are causing your entire hosting account to slow down due to bandwidth limits, it may be time to find a hosting company that specializes in shared servers with large numbers of sites. It’s also important that your host offer you the ability to add an unlimited number of new domains to your current plan within plan limits. The days of charging separately for each new hosted domain have been over for quite some time!

3. You’re consistently bumping up against your bandwidth and disk space limits.

Chances are that if you’re still on a hosting plan with terribly restrictive disk space and bandwidth limits that you’re on an outdated plan. It’s more common now to allow liberal limits or even “unlimited” bandwidth from most companies. If your host is still imposing restrictive limits, it’s probably time to switch.

4. You’re still manually installing software to your site and doing manual updates.

If you’re using software like Wordpress, PhpBB, ZenCart, Joomla, Drupal, Pligg or Moodle you’re probably finding that keeping up with manual updates is a part-time job. If your host isn’t offering a “one-click install” or “one-click” updates you’re on a host that isn’t offering you all that it could to save you time and even money if you typically pay someone for installations and upgrades of software.

5. Your sites are down more often and for longer periods of time.

It’s a bad sign when downtime is rising and frustrations are rising with it. A good host should be able to quickly resolve downtime issues and put safeguards in place to make sure they happen less often. If you’re finding that your sites are down more often, chances are that the hosting company is either unable to spend the money on infrastructure to keep sites running at their best or hasn’t put that task at the priority it should. Either way, this is a prime reason to switch, and fast!