The online world has clearly come to stay.
The implication of this stark reality staring us all in the face is that, websites, blogs and hosting companies will also continue to be a part of all our lives as long as this present online order holds…
…and it is not going away anytime soon – that much we know.
However, while we get used to the reality of hosting – and hosting companies, there is something else that is worthy of attention.
Unfortunately, for many beginners online, it is well easier for a camel to go through the proverbial eye of a needle than for them to figure out which hosting company is good and which should better be left alone.
Until it is well too late.
Until they (or even you) sign up, spend some time with the company well past the money back period.
But, even then, getting to the root of the matter and calling a bad hosting company outrightly bad (and with complete conviction) always remains a challenge.
You want to change hosts – but are not very sure what awaits you at the other end.
You are effectively trapped with a hosting company you hitherto believed was a smart option when in the real sense, it is a very sad example and at best, is currently responsible for your woes online.
So, when is the time to opt out and pick on a smart hosting solution?
What are the dead sure signs that it is time to fire your web host and get a shiny brand new one?
These 5 signs will surely light the beacons and pave the way for you!
5 Dead Sure Signs It’s Time To Change Your Web Hosting Provider
Having been in the business of hosting websites for over a decade – across many hosting companies, we have come to observe that the worst hosting companies in the hosting world share these 5 traits in common.
We have also come to notice that, when a hitherto awesome hosting company begins to exhibit these signs, it’s time to change – and move your website away from it, for good.
This is why, we are an advocate of hosting companies that accept monthly billing as against the options that insist on locking you in for at least a calendar year.
On a monthly payment schedule, you can easily move your virtual real estate to another (read: better) hosting provider once you notice that the dreams of your current hosting company no longer align with yours or worse, your current hosting company is not poised to serve you in manner that results will show themselves.
Enough of the grammar. What are the signs its time to port?
1. Extraordinary Poor Customer Service
You’ve always heard that customer service is the backbone of every successful business.
However, online – and in the present context, it’s a little different: you’re not the one who is supposed to provide the customer service; you’re expected to get (and actually demand the very best) from the hosting providers.
Here too, unlike the regular offline world, the customer service that you are actually expecting is of the essence and is actually mission critical.
In this sphere and context, bad customer service could mean loss of sales, reputation and missing out on opportunities that should not have been missed in the first place.
For example, if your website goes offline during the weekend and you cannot communicate with the hosting support for that entire period, no one will be able to access your site during such a period.
Now, if you’re selling on the site or are an affiliate…imagine what you’ll lose – all thanks to poor customer service!
It does not matter if you’re a pro or are just starting out: the rule still remains the same: do not tolerate bad customer service!!
Usually, the smartest thing to do before you purchase any hosting is to attempt contacting the company, especially during the weekends and see how fast and prompt they respond.
This test, it is worthy of note, is especially valid when you’re looking to host afresh.
However, this test can also be conducted on hosting companies that you have already signed up for – before a challenge actually occurs and shames you.
How does your web host support perform on a Saturday night?
This is an indication of what to expect – should you ever get into trouble 🙂
For reference, if you’re calling, you should not be kept waiting for more than 2 minutes; if it’s a ticket that you’ve forwarded, the first response should come not later than 20 minutes after your initial query and if you choose to opt for chat, someone should respond in less than 5 minutes.
2. Persistent Downtime
No one loves downtime, even your enemies!
On a (very) serious note, Google, the plethora of site visitors you’re likely to have and importantly, yours truly won’t appreciate a down time rate that is as frequent as the rising or the setting of the sun.
Let’s start with how this affects Google and the plethora of search engines.
Google and the other numerous search engine out there love to crawl and index.
However, when they crawl and find nothing to pick up and index (because your site is down), they return a negative feedback which in return means lower rankings: simple and short.
Look at it this way: someone who keeps attempting to visit you and keeps meeting your absence. Is such a person likely to be motivated to attempt further visits?
Clearly, the answer is a big NO.
And for an authority like Google to take a disinterest in your site simply means poor organic traffic and and a plummet of earnings accruing therefrom.
Over to your site visitors: personally, we don’t (further) bother with sites that return errors or are offline when we attempt to access them.
What we do is simply to ignore them, use the back button and look for a suitable alternative!
This, we believe is what most folks attempting to check out your site do – unless they’re friends or family members 🙂
Finally, you: tell us honestly – how would you feel if you attempt to access your site directly as a visitor would and it’s simply offline without any prior warning?
Bad, we believe, is an understatement.
The summary is this: there is nothing good in having a web hosting company that actually specializes in keeping your website offline.
But, a million dollar question exist: how do you even know if your site is offline?
It’s actually quite simple: if you use the most popular CMS, WordPress, installing a smart plugin like JetPack is all you need to do to be kept abreast with your site’s uptime or downtime.
If you don’t use WordPress or would rather not add up any more plugins, Pingdom will notify you of all downtimes – you only need to sign up and and add your website or blog.
By means of wrap up here, you should consider changing your hosting provider if you have more than 2 downtime experiences a month; these two experiences last for more than 30 minutes and it has almost become a monthly ritual!
While a 99% uptime guarantee remains standard in the hosting industry today, there are some hosting companies like Liquid Web Hosting that are actually offering an impressive 100% uptime guarantee!
If you have really suffered in the hands of a horrible hosting company that offered you something that you could swear was under 50% uptime, then, we sincerely believe that migrating to Liquid Web immediately is the smartest thing you could offer your online business or presence at the moment.
3. A Snail-Like Loading Website Or Blog
Google and the plethora of search engines today take website loading speed very seriously.
Aside these, the visitors who land on your site also do not take it likely when your website is snail-like or when it takes forever to load.
A slow loading website, accordingly, irritates both the search engines and the visitors to your site: its a lose-lose situation.
Unfortunately, when you discover that your website is loading slowly via either direct observation or with the help of tools like GT Metrix, the first thing to do is to look at the your hosting provider.
Naturally, the hosting companies try to push this challenge back to their clients and claim that a misconfigured site, badly coded themes or badly developed plugins are responsible.
Naturally too, you’ll usually treat all that they mentioned – with immediate dispatch.
However, if you tackle all what your hosting provider indicated and things are still not okay with your site (i.e. it still takes more than 2 seconds to load), simply change your hosting provider – they have deployed very poor servers, have too many customers per server or have badly misconfigured servers; all of which you should be proud to steer clear from.
However, a note of warning here won’t be out of place: before you decide to change hosts on account of your website being super slow, be sure that your site is truly slow.
This is why we recommend that you test your website with a website speed test tool and not make reliance on what is informally called ‘eye-gauge’.
4. Poor Security
Security is something that we all talk about offline – and take very seriously.
That is the reason why we have doors, windows and burglary-proofs around our houses.
For added security measures, most of us also have high fences, with high voltage electric cables running at the top.
Now, for many of us (too), this is not enough: we have also hired security guards and have the most aggressive hounds for the dare-devil criminal(s) that will try to defy the existing physical structures.
Now, that is how to take security seriously offline.
Online is no different: your website is your office (or home) on the internet and the hosting company is the neighborhood which you choose to build the house in.
Now, unlike the physical house that cannot be moved, this online asset can easily be moved from one location to another (by means of changing hosts).
If this is a good neighborhood, there are some security measures that are supposed to be the responsibility of the neighborhood.
Think of it as the provision of patrol on the streets where you have your house, the physical restriction of would be guests with the intention of ascertaining their identity and intent before allowing them in etc.
The gist is this: no matter how strong your own personal website security is, if you are hosted with a lousy hosting company, it is only a matter of time before your own walls are breached.
And, the definitive reality that your web hosting security is poor is a compromise or, more directly, a hack.
Thus, if you wake up one day and discover to your sad dismay that your website has been hacked, your mind should first go to your hosting company: they did a pretty poor job at securing your asset.
Once, you fix the hack, beach or compromise (depending on what you call it), the next smart thing to do is to port out of the host and choose an option more secure…
…or you would be dealing with another hack in no distant time!
5. High Renewal Charges
This is straightforward and to the point: you should consider changing your web hosting company if it wakes up and is determined that what you’re going to pay for renewal is way more than what it took you to sign up.
Now, don’t get us wrong: some hosting companies have a policy of offering discounted hosting services for first time customers – and they make it crystal clear that such payments are for the first year only.
It is not this type of scenario that is envisaged here.
What we’re talking about is directed at hosting companies who increase their hosting charges arbitrarily and force their customers who have already subscribed to renew at the new, highly exorbitant rate.
The practice of increasing hosting charges, to be judged fair, should lock the old price for existing customers.
In essence, old customers should continue paying what they paid on sign up. It is new customers that should get to pay the new rate.
To conclude: if you get served a useless hosting fee increase by your hosting provider, kindly move away to a better and cheaper alternative and by so doing, make the company in question understand that there are many awesome hosting companies in the world today and that they are not the only folks offering to keep websites online.
Simple and short.
Bonus Point: Non Provision Of A Free SSL Certificate
Officially, we’re down with the greatest 5 points that should indicate that you need to change your hosting provider.
However, there’s a point here that is very interesting – and should be mentioned as a bonus point: the non-provision of a free SSL certificate.
Now, you may wonder why an SSL certificate is important and has to be reckoned with as an index of an awesome hosting company.
It’s simple: the presence of an SSL certificate, (resulting in https) is now officially a ranking factor for search engines such as Google.
The net implication of this is serious and straight to the point: all other things being equal, a site that is powered by an SSL certificate will certainly outrank one that is not.
However, ranking on the SERPs is just one of the many benefits that an SSL certificate ensures.
Traditionally, an SSL certificate encrypts both the data coming to a site and the one going out.
The result is usually a more secured site that is free, to a large extent, from hackers and those who would want to maliciously intercept data that is not meant for their consumption.
The good news is that, now, SSL certificates are basically free, via the efforts of such companies as Let’s Encrypt.
The bad news is that, most hosting companies have outrightly refused to partner with such a worthy, security initiative and instead, prefer to sell expensive SSL certificates to their customers.
If you’re hosting with a company that does not offer you a free SSL certificate, it is high time you switch to an option that does.
If you need help with that, kindly take a look at our top best hosting companies that offer free SSL Certificates.
Here you have, right in front of you, the top 5 signs that indicate that you should move your hosting away from your current web host to something (better).
By way of wrap up, it is very important to note that, these points are all very important in their own capacity and must be taken seriously.
What this means is that, if your web host is not meeting up on only one of these, it is enough to begin to look for an alternative.
If your current host is lacking 2 or more points, the million dollar question at this point will be: what are you still doing with such a useless hosting company?!