This is the number one reason I left my last web host.
While it’s true that into each website a little down time will fall, if your site is down or unavailable for reasons beyond your control more than roughly once a year, it’s time to seek higher quality services.
In my case, the company couldn’t explain what was causing the situation. They even switched and upgraded servers, but there were still too many site outages in too short a period of time. I did some research and discovered that many others were having the same issue with this provider. That’s a red flag to move on.
#2 … your site is toooooooooo slow.
This was my second reason for changing providers.
In my situation, I had some files that were difficult to remove clogging up the system and the host helped me to remove them, fairly quickly.
That was good customer service, and it sped my site up a little – but it didn’t last long. A week later, I was again experiencing slowness that made it difficult to work on my site at all. None of their solutions helped and they finally stopped calling back and started emailing general information memos. Their inability to fix the problem led to poor customer service.
#3 … Customer service is not helpful.
While I did experience problems in this area, in ten years of running a blog I have not had some of the horror stories I’ve heard from other site owners about poor web hosting customer service. I’ve seen problems from unanswered questions to the inability to fix a serious problem. Your data is precious and if a company can’t be bothered to service your web site problems quickly or take the time to respond to you by phone or chat, you have to wonder how much effort they will make to safeguard your data at all.
A quality web hosting service will have a clearly marked way to provide you live chat support. They should respond to your request in 24 hours or less and back that service up with useful documentation. A good wiki or answer database is helpful, but if you can’t get a live person to handle an issue beyond your control or when your site is down, compromised or damaged, it’s time to move on.
#4 … you need more space, functionality or other resources.
My problems with my former web host were solved once I moved: site slowness was completely fixed.
However, you may be experiencing problems because you’ve run out of space on your host. I’ve run my blog for 10 years without ever needing to upgrade the space. If you do run out of space quickly, this means you have a LOT on your site such as video or podcasts. I’ve never had to upgrade the size of my hosting package, but I’ve always had comprehensive packages. In fact, the last two times I purchased web hosting, I was given sales event pricing, which means I got a lot of value for my dollar. If your site is data-intensive and you need more space, then go for the upgrade. However, if you are simply writing blog posts and running a few plugins, and your host wants to charge an exorbitant fee to upgrade, it may be a time for a new web host.
Everybody’s definition of “too much” is different, but if you are simply running a blog, you should be able to get quality web hosting, including great customer service and enough storage, in a reasonable price range. Of course, pricing depends on how much storage you need.
If you are running a video or podcasting blog that updates daily, you’re going to need a lot more space than the average blog . However, a website or blog that’s predominantly text and images can run you $10 per month or less. As mentioned, look for discounts and sales – some of these will run for the life of your blog – or talk to a salesperson and tell them your budget.
If you are a new customer, they may be willing to work with you.
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I used to have this amazing web host that I’d used for years and it was everything I’d hoped for: instant customer service, comprehensive packages, affordable price, web professional recommended. They even had an easy referral service. One day, they changed their billing software.
I had set up my system to automatically pay my monthly bills so I could set it and forget it. Then one month, I got a notification that they’d shut down my site if I didn’t pay in a few days. I called customer service and they told me they’d made change in their software and that I’d have to make adjustments on my end. I did and thought the problem solved – until the next month, when I was asked for payment again. This went on for months and, despite my complaints and requests, nothing seemed to solve the problem. I have a lot on my plate and remembering to manually pay a small bill for a service I’m always going to need is a waste of time. Since I had another hosting services at the time, I simply moved my blog and discontinued services.
Convenience is definitely a consideration when you are a serious blogger or website owner.
#7 … you’ve been hacked, more than once.
Having your website hacked is painful but it happens. Hopefully if it does, you or your web host will catch it early, before any real damage is done.
Once a site is hacked, I would expect any web hosting company worth its salt to do everything in their power to make sure it doesn’t happen again – from revisiting and improving their security measures to guiding you in how to better protect your site once it has been restored. There is no excuse for getting hacked twice or more.
#8 … you’ve heard about a great service elsewhere.
If you’ve ever said, “Wow, my web host doesn’t do that,” it may be time for a change.
Web hosting on a budget can only offer you so much, but we’ve all heard stories of amazing services or support that can make it better. My current web host, for example, switched my blog over safely and soundly while I slept. I awoke up to website that functioned quickly and reliably without a single glitch in service. If you don’t feel that level of comfort, or are bothered about negative reports you’ve seen on your web host, it may be time for a change.
The guidelines above will help you determine if it’s time for a change, but only you know if the time is right. Your website is only as good as your web host so take your time and do your research when choosing a new web host.
Article by Gina Badalaty
Gina Badalaty is the owner of Embracing Imperfect, a blog devoted to encouraging and assisting moms of children with special needs and restricted diets. Gina has been blogging about parenting, raising children with disabilities, and allergy-free living for over 12 years. She’s blogs at Mamavation.com, and has blogged for major brands like Silk and Glutino. She also works as a copywriter and brand ambassador. She loves engaging on social media, travel and cooking gluten-free.