When running a website, good quality hosting is a must – however as your site grows and develops, the performance you see from your current server may not be able to keep up. Or perhaps you have been using a budget/shared host to save some money – are you loosing potential visitors or even Google rankings by having a slow, poorly configured platform for your site?
Its a tough question to ask yourself, is it time to move hosts? Today’s post aims to give you the questions you need to ask yourself if your considering making the jump.
Im starting off with what I consider to be the most crucial question when weighing up the switch to a new host, is my site quick enough?
To begin you will need some accurate measurements for how your site performs on its current host. Here’s the Best WordPress Hosting Companies Compared | WP Site Care. You should be aware that there are a number of tools available for you and thankfully the most useful around are totally free to use. We go into detail on this in our article Speeding Up WordPress however the tools your going to need to benchmark your current situation can be found below.
Pingdom offers an excellent benchmarking tools which you can use straight away, it offers the data in a neat waterfall style so you can locate things like large images or bottlenecks in seconds, however this post assumes you have already optimized your content to gain the best performance anyway, so the info we are really interesting in here is the overall loading time.
As you can above, thanks to top notch hosting courtesy of WPEngine matched with well optimized content – our loading times are super-quick and lean. If your seeing anything over 5 seconds your really owe it to yourself and your visitors to make the switch to a new host.
Now its important to point out there despite the numerous hosting companies offering ‘Guaranteed 100% Uptime’ – actually seeing zero downtime is really an unrealistic expectation, but that’s doesn’t mean frequent and random blackout can be forgiven!
In most cases, if your server has a lengthy outage – your going to know about it, but what if the outages are for short, random periods of time (when perhaps your sleeping etc)? This is where uptime monitors is essential, however its not something that’s most users will setup prior to a serious event so its important to get something in place to keep and eye on things, even if your site is currently running fine.
A fantastic, a more crucially, free tool you can begin using today can be found over at Uptime Robot. After a quick and unobtrusive signup, you can have upto 50 monitors checking every 5 minutes – thats some serious firepower for keeping you well informed of any downtime instantly.
If your seeing regular outages, then it could be a serious indicator that its time to shop around for a new home for your beloved site.
No matter how careful you are – there are always ruthless hackers who are trying to access whatever data they can, even your site is at risk if your hosts dont have measures in place – so its important to know your sites current situation as a new host could potentially offer much more security to keep your sites data safe and sound.
If your on a shared hosting environment then sadly no matter how good your sites security may seem, your always going to be liable to attack though other, perhaps less secure sites hosted on your server at the same time. That doesn’t mean that all shared hosting should be avoided for this reason – as there some really excellent hosts out there who offer a very stable shared hosting package such as A Small Orange, but its worth some research.
A good start could be to find some real, human reviews of your current hosts (as well as pick-up reviews of your potential new hosting provider) – to avoid the affiliate traps id recommend taking a look at HostingReviews.io – you will find candid opinions and reviews without the sales pitch, which is ideal when making this tough decision.
If you arrive at the decision to make the switch to a new hosting provider, then your going to need to know how to make the migration as smooth as possible. Some hosts may entice you by offering to handle the migration for you – but if your not that lucky you can find a handy guide on our blog, check our WordPress Migration Tutorial. If you decide to just start fresh on your new server, then we have you covered too with our article on Essential Plugins.