How to Tell if You Have Outgrown Your Web Host

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You've got your design layout tweaked (not like this) and content is optimized and ready. You're all set to go live with your new website, right?

Not so fast. Who's hosting you?

You may think that the choice of hosting service is unimportant. I mean, they all use more or less the same technology. Just choose something cheap and roll out your blog. 

When shopping for a hosting service, keep the three R's of website viability in mind: reputation, reliability, and resources. There are cost considerations, but if you compare most popular hosting plans by price, you'll discover that you can find value without losing the functionality and features you need.

Many hosting companies offer steep discounts, but only if you sign a long-term contract. That means you could be locked into a substandard plan that actually hurts your business. 

How bad could it be? The buzzword of the day is "Scalability." If your hosting platform can't accommodate your traffic and needs over the long haul, it can cause you to lose traffic, money, and your hard-earned reputation. 

The Unintended Consequences of Inadequate Hosting

Unless you're creating a personal blog or a static website that will see little traffic or rarely change, rule out shared hosting plans right away. The prospect of pooling resources among potentially hundreds of other tenants will all but ensure that your own website's performance will suffer after the first real traffic spike or growth spurt.

This problem can be mitigated to some extent with a content delivery network but eventually too few resources spread among too many clients takes its toll. There are consequences that ecommerce newcomers may not realize until it's too late. 

Choosing the wrong hosting platform can:

Cause you to lose money. Slow page loads or system crashes lead to a bad user experience (UX) and the possibility of excessive downtime. The average website loses $5,600 per minute of downtime. Can you afford that kind of revenue loss?

Lower your search engine ranking. Speaking of UX, it's one of the main factors that Google evaluates when ranking websites. On average, users will leave a website that takes more than three seconds to load. You may not get them back again once they've disappeared.

Pose a security risk. Bad hosts don't backup your data, offer restore options, or provide 24/7 support. 

Each of the above points will also lower your confidence rating and reverse any progress you've made toward establishing a strong web presence. 

5 Signs It's Time to Move On

Your website is often your first introduction on the internet. It's essential that you make a good impression. With so many choices available, it takes very little to send traffic running into the arms of your competitors. While making sure that you're maintaining a professional appearance, be on guard for these signs that you've outgrown your hosting service. 

1. Your Page Lags

When was the last time you tested your page load times? We live in an instant gratification society. If your metrics show a sudden or consistent spike in bounce rates, your web speed may be part of the problem. Tests determined that the average mobile website takes up to 22 seconds to fully load. 

We recommend shooting for speeds of 5 seconds or less. While factors like design, coding, and type of content can put a drag on your page loads, your hosting platform plays a huge role in maintaining consistently fast speeds. For best results, consider solid state drive (SSD). 

2. Your Neighbors Are Inconsiderate

Perhaps you chose your shared plan because you got a great rate and what seemed like all the bells and whistles, unlimited disk space and the works. Then, you spent time around your neighbors. For their bargain price, they're determined to wring every last byte of storage and second of speed. They run resource-hogging apps around the clock and routinely send bulk mailings to every last email address on their 10,000-person contact list.  

Some hosting services place limits on this type of behavior, but too many do not. The result? You're going to often run low on bandwidth, RAM, and storage, and your performance will suffer the consequences. Worse, your site is liable to be lumped in with the misbehaving ones.

3. Your IP Address Has a History of Problems

When you choose a web host, you're also depending on their reputation. If the IP address associated with that platform has a history of spam or malicious activity, you could end up in spam folders or on a blacklist without ever doing anything to earn the censure. You can run a check on the history of IP addresses here, and check to see if you're on a blacklist here

4. Does Your Website Become Lethargic When You Need it the Most?

Say everything does run fine most of the time. What happens when you have a surge in activity? This could occur at regular peak business times, or you could suddenly have your website slow to a crawl just as your seasonal sale is kicking into high gear. 

Sluggish website performance can usually be tied back to lack of power. Maybe the CPU doesn't have the juice necessary for your shopping cart when it's running around the clock or you run out of RAM. Make sure that your hosting platform has adequate resources and technology available to serve you under any conditions. 

5. You Run Into Compatibility Issues

Your hosting platform may have worked just fine when you were running that standard anti-virus software or accounting app. Then, you decided to upgrade to the latest PHP version or use a different SQL. For example, you want to use MySQL, and your server only supports Apache. You shouldn't have to endure something that doesn't work for you just because it's your only option. Find a hosting service that offers support for a range of OS, software, and applications. 

Worse, or at least as bad, is when a web host doesn’t bother to upgrade their hardware or software and every client on the server ends up getting hacked. That leaves you to deal with getting your site back up and then trying to mitigate the loss of customer trust.

Another Option - Enter The Website Builder

While the typical path for setting up a new website involves buying a domain name and then finding affordable hosting it doesn’t always have to be like this. Over the last several years website builders have emerged to provide a more seamless experience for new signups. 

With a builder like Webself you can avoid the hassle of setting up your Wordpress hosting, picking the right theme and spending countless hours learning how to set things upright. A builder offers everything you need with a lot less frustration. 

Building Your Site in Three Simple Steps

With Webself, your site build is as fast and painless as possible. Step 1 involves picking one of our pre-built templates that offer a variety of designs for all kinds of websites. Step 2 requires you to add your content, pictures or any logos. Step 3 comes down to customizing your backend and getting your online store good to go.

For more information take a look at our templates

Final Thoughts

Price may no longer be a consideration when it comes to choosing a web host, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be discerning. Many hosting companies give the best discounts to long-term customers. Look for one that allows you a free trial before you make a commitment. Ask questions, and make sure that you read and understand all of the terms of your SLA before you sign up. Those are some of the surest ways to keep from coming down with a serious case of buyer's remorse.