I know you don’t want to hear this, but maybe it is time to say adios to the company that is hosting your web site. You are thinking, “I have to move my site, my domain, my email, my life to a new host?! That is a nasty, time-consuming, and painful exodus.”
Maybe you are dreding the worst-case scenario – your site is going to fade to nothing and you won’t get email anymore!
It’s really not all that bad. I’ll explain why later on. If you have any or all of these problems (in varying degrees), then it is time for the heave-ho.
What Do Web Hosting Companies Do Anyway?
Most provide 3 core services:
- Domain name registration
- Web hosting
- Email service
It is possible to have all 3 of these services handled by more than one company. However, it’s best to have all services under one roof, if only to save your sanity.
Most web hosts also provide other services, some of which are free and some require an additional charge. These include:
- SSL (Security certificates)
- Site scanning
- Site backup
When Is It Time To Make A Change?
If you are suffering from any or all of these maladies, then it’s time.
1. Too Much Downtime
It is normal to have your site go down without warning about 1% – 2% of the time each month. That’s because chances are your site is hosted on a server with thousands of other sites, and keeping all of them running is not so easy. (Big boy sites like Google, Facebook, and the NY Times, have dedicated servers and are rarely – if ever – down, so don’t compare your site with those guys.)
But if your site is going down way too often, and if your hosting company is giving you explanations that don’t make any sense, then it is time to go.
2. Way Too Slow
Is your site downloading at turtle speed? It is possible that a script you’re using for your site is the culprit, but it’s also very possible that the sluggish performance lies at the hands of your host. Check with them first before you make any rash decision. They should be able to run some site diagnostics. It may be that they will need to change the server your site is on.
After all is done and nothing works, then I’d say a change is in order.
I recently wrote about Pingdom, an inexpensive service that you can use to test your site’s uptime and page download performance.
3. The Kiss Of Death: Internal Server Error
If you see too many error messages like this, you’ve got problems. If your host can’t fix it, then find another host.
4. A C-Panel That is Hard To Use
The C-Panel is what you see when you log into your host company’s site to administer your account. It’s where you manage domains, your site, email, and other web hosting services.
A great C-Panel is designed so that you don’t have to call tech support to do the things you can do yourself. If you find that you need to call for help too often because you can’t navigate your way around a confusing user interface, then you’ve got one more reason to say goodbye.
5. Poor Email Service
While this doesn’t have anything to do with your WordPress site, it sure has everything to do with staying in touch with the world. If your hosting company’s email service is spotty or has too many service interruptions, it’s time to switch. Of course, before you blame your company, make sure the problem does not lie with your Internet Service Provider, software or hardware.
6. Poor Customer Support
How long do you have to wait before you can talk to someone in tech support? When you do talk, does the tech understand your issue? How willing are they to help? One of the reasons why I love Bluehost (and why I am an affiliate of their service) is that their support frequently goes beyond the call of duty with my WordPress sites.
Why It Is Not The Nightmare You Think It Is To Change Your Web Host
Having migrated client sites many times, I know the drill. I know that the new company is usually very helpful to help in the transfer. Why wouldn’t they be? Helping customers make the move is their way of establishing a good relationship with new customers. Many web hosts will even do all the set up for you, including your WordPress site which might be the trickiest part of your migration.
Don’t be afraid to move. The time and money you save by eliminating all that aggravation caused by your current host, will be worth it.