When you choose a web host, you’re putting faith in a provider to keep your site up and running. Unfortunately, not all web hosts are built the same. While some may offer incredibly cheap platforms, others provide greater efficiency. Luckily, it’s not all that difficult to move your website.
Why You Should Switch Web Hosts
Although there are many web hosts available on the Internet with good intentions, it takes more than positive thinking to maintain a successful website. Not all providers use the best and most updated elements of hosting.
A weak network infrastructure can be problematic even for the most well-developed websites in the world. In reality, the foundation of your site is only as strong as the server it sits on.
Think of it like digital real estate. What kind of neighborhood or community do you want to build your property next to? In many ways, hosting providers offer virtual landscape to build personal and commercial constructs. Choosing the right one is vital to your website’s success.
Below are my 12 practical reasons why you need to consider switching your web host today. Waiting too long could have repercussions to how well you operate your business.
1. Better Performance from Hardware
More than 50 percent of mobile users will not wait longer than three seconds for a site to load before leaving.
Most developers understand the importance of site speed. It impacts visitor retention rates as well as search engine optimization for ranking in results pages. A slow site will lose customers while handing over income to the competition. It’s as simple as that.
While the site’s design plays a pivotal role in speed performance, the hardware it sits on does as well.
For example, Static State Drives, or SSD, have a considerable speed boost when compared to traditional hard drives. Because there are no moving parts, these drives are capable of accessing data faster without fragmentation. What does this mean? It means your site is faster on SSD than on regular HDD.
Hard drives are only part of the improvements good hosting providers should offer. In fact, there are many elements of the server itself that will improve site performance.
2. Improving Bandwidth Usage
A common reason why people often switch hosting companies is because of bandwidth usage. However, some will revamp shared hosting to deliver a better experience. Unfortunately, not all providers take such measures for performance.
Anyone who builds a website is looking to drive greater numbers of traffic over time. The more people who visit the website, the greater the potential for making money. Unfortunately, not all providers can keep up with the increasing traffic.
In many cases, hosting providers will add fees to those who use excessive bandwidth. It’s almost like a punishment for being great. If your host cannot sustain the growth of simple traffic, it may be worth the time to look elsewhere.
Let’s look at it from a different angle. What if you had a business site on a shared server and someone else has a vast uptick in traffic? This will actually affect your site’s performance by reducing available resources in the pool.
It’s like sharing a building with a noisy and popular club while you try to sell children’s clothes.
3. Improving Security
Having optimal security is the responsibility of both the host and the client. Not only do you have to keep your site locked up, but the host should offer firewalls and other features to keep the server itself from being a target. Cyber security is an important key aspect to consider when maintaining a website.
The more security you and the host deliver in tandem, the stronger the site becomes. The truth is, a lot of the more vital security measures rely on the efficiency of the web host. While you can plug up software holes and exploits in design, you don’t have control over the kind of firewalls that are placed on the actual network.
As hacking and malware grow year after year, you need to have faith that your host isn’t using outdated security measures to deal with today’s threats.
4. Better Customer Service
A lot of customers will pay top dollars just because of the consumer experience. This is a driving point in many industries both online and off. It’s the reason why people often tip more to wait staff at restaurants.
However, customer service doesn’t just reflect interactions with a company’s representatives. It could also come in the form of support tickets. When you submit an issue, how long does it take to get addressed? How many times have you submitted a ticket over the past 365 days?
Some website owners can go years without submitting a technical support ticket to a web host. While this could mean those individuals were simply lucky, a more feasible explanation is because the host offers excellent customer support and a solid network foundation.
5. Unlimited Growth Potential
One of the biggest reasons why many people transfer web hosting is because of growth potential. I mentioned bandwidth earlier, but growth is more than just how much traffic a site receives.
What if you wanted to grow the website outside of how much space you’re allotted? Will the hosting provider help you branch out and take more digital real estate, or are you simply locked into a set size for the site?
Another aspect of growth is owning more than one domain. There are many people on the Internet who operate several business platforms from a single hosting account. Unfortunately, not all hosting providers offer the best services when it comes to this kind of growth.
6. The Use of a CDN
Content Delivery Networks help a great deal when it comes to speed and site performance. Essentially, a CDN makes copies of the website and stores them on various servers around the globe. When someone access your website from a specific geographic location, the closest “copy” of your site is accessed.
The use of a CDN removes many issues that come with distance between visitor and website. For one thing, there is less latency caused by faulty networking hardware between the two points.
You’re only as fast as the slowest router. If there is a problem anywhere along that connection, your website will appear slower.
Not all web hosting providers deliver this efficient speed-boosting technology. While it’s still possible for a business website to be fast without a CDN, it will be at a disadvantage compared to those who are. This means competing businesses will be able to surpass you indirectly through customer acquisitions as well as search engine results.
7. Features that Are Worth the Investment
Another reason why people often transfer web hosting or select specific providers is because of the features. I’m not just talking about the finer points listed above, though. There are many aspects to a hosting account that many people find extremely valuable.
For example, web hosting that offers cPanel and the tools it contains gives users a lot of control over the website’s environment. Things like Softaculous give you access to one-click installations of content management systems while phpMyAdmin gives you complete control of any databases you use.
What about root access to your website? Not all providers give access to the internal workings of the directory system. For instance, many WordPress hosts only give access to the WordPress admin dashboard and not the root directory. Why is this important? It reduces the ability to control and access the website completely. It also reduces successful troubleshooting of the file structure.
8. Better Control and Access
Root and database access are not the only form of control that is ideal in a web environment. Being able to install any business application is a key feature among many. There are a lot of businesses which have proprietary software designed for an online environment. Everything from eCommerce to client services may require these applications.
There may be times when full control of email is necessary. This is especially true if your business hires a large number of people. Can you ensure everyone has an email address? Is there proper spam filtering installed? What are the size quotas for those accounts? These are only a few questions you may want to ask yourself in regards to your own hosting platform.
Access to the domain and subdomain system may also be a necessity. Redirects, expansions and more open the doors to many opportunities. That is, as long as you have access to those resources.
9. Adaptation to Newest Tech and Trends
For many tech gurus, keeping up with the newest technology trends is a full-time job. In many ways, it is simply not economically feasible to upgrade each time a new piece of tech hits the shelf. However, there is something to be said about being too behind in the times.
Like I mentioned before, the difference between HDD and SSD is staggering. However, this is just one small piece of an extremely large puzzle. Software updates, memory improvements, networking equipment and even power consumption all advance at a regular pace.
A hosting provider that doesn’t upgrade their systems over a significant amount of time decreases the potential of the website and puts your data at risk.
10. Improvements to Streaming Multimedia
Did you know that approximately 59 percent of executives would rather watch a video presentation than read content? Video content is a powerful tool when it comes to engaging customers regardless of demographic. In fact, 74 percent of millennials use videos when shopping for goods.
Streaming multimedia is a growing use of the Internet. YouTube, iTunes, Twitch and many others rely on hosting that delivers optimum capabilities. This is because streaming data takes up a large amount of bandwidth.
I know not all businesses plan on using streaming video in development. However, you still need to consider how effective streaming video can be for conference calls, employee training, business-related video content and other uses of multimedia.
Plan on offering a podcast for your customers? You better make sure the host’s servers can handle the strain. Otherwise, you may have to spend even more money finding a platform to store your content.
Most medium to large-scale multimedia streaming platforms should be held on virtual private servers. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean those units are still capable of handling the load – especially if the content becomes popular.
11. Improvements to eCommerce
A vast portion of online business conducted is that of eCommerce. Bandwidth for traffic, storage space of images and security while storing personal information of customers all have to be addressed. If you plan on selling digital content that requires a download, that’s even more bandwidth that will tap the system.
Many site owners will make the switch to a hosting company that offers superior services for eCommerce. For instance, what if you had a popular brick-and-mortar business that is constantly full of people with lines stretching outside?
Do you stay in the same building, or would you rather expand to a locale that can accommodate the extra people and space for more registers?
The more efficient a website is for eCommerce, the more money it will make. This includes everything from speed to security practices. In fact, nearly 80 percent of shoppers will not return to an online store if they had issues with speed.
12. A Better User Interface Experience
Not everyone takes into consideration the interface that comes with certain web hosting platforms. Something that is ultimately too difficult to manage or confusing to operate can reduce your efficiency when it comes to development and maintenance.
The last thing you want to do is spend hours on end looking for specific tools in areas that would seem logical. I’ve seen many people switch web hosting simply because they wanted the layout and functionality of cPanel, nothing more.
The user interface is an important part of any business practice. No one wants to feel lost or overwhelmed when looking at an admin dashboard. This has potential for losing time and making mistakes. Either of these instances could cost a business quite a bit of money over the long-term.
Switch Web Hosts for Greater Success
A good web hosting service should give you all the tools you need to be successful. Everything from superior customer service to the newest updated software needs to be at your fingertips. You have enough on your plate to create an amazing website without worrying if your host is going to be able to keep up.
Always remember, a website can easily be moved without visitors experiencing any down time with the right support staff.