Owning a website is like owning a piece of virtual reality, while the hosting provider is like the street your little shop is on. Every one of the hosting companies out there boasts having the same features: 99.98% uptime, fast and superior customer service, unlimited storage and traffic, unlimited email addresses, and unlimited everything else. It’s no wonder it can be hard to tell which hosting company is worth their salt and which one should be avoided like the plague.
Let’s clear something up from the onset – not all providers are created equal, just like all sites aren’t created equal. This is why there are helpful articles about how to choose the correct hosting provider plastered all over the web. Each person’s needs are quite different, and while there are a lot of overlaps; the same company may not be able to serve up the same service to everyone.
The premise is to determine if there is a remedy to an issue, implementing that remedy, and repeating when possible if it is possible. A lot of personal value goes into the decision to use a particular hosting provider, but here’s how to start telling if you need to ditch that virtual street in favor of a newer one.
If you start noticing that your site is down just as long or longer than your site is up, it’s definitely time to find out why. Sometimes it can be considered an act of God when a server malfunctions or goes down, or an oversight in rare cases. But if your site is suddenly experiencing an influx of downtime, and the answer your hosting provider doesn’t jive in your gut; then it’s time to switch.
Frequent Internal Server Errors
The dreaded internal server errors happen quite frequently in the WordPress community. Unfortunately, they are completely vague which doesn’t help you as the website owner to understand what is really going on. These errors don’t help the user track down the problem which probably makes it the most infuriating error there is.
It can be a faulty plugin that is causing the error, or it could be several plugins fighting each other for priority. If your host cannot resolve the problem, then it’s time to switch.
If you find your site suspended without warning, then it’s time to find out why. With copyright compliance being a very valid reason for a site to be taken down or suspended until corrective action is taken, make sure you haven’t infringed on someone else’s works. If the cause for suspension is something like data overages, visitor overages, and you are already at the company’s best plan, then it’s time to switch.
Poor Customer Support
Can we be honest for a moment? When do we ever use the customer service side of a hosting provider? When things go wrong. So, reading the flame worthy reviews of hosting providers isn’t going to be helpful. Not everyone will be satisfied with the same service, so you have to judge with your own feelings.
Be mindful of the manner in which you feel you must be able to get support as well. Some providers work with tickets only while others may offer phone support when on certain plan. However, if you just come out of a customer support session with more questions than answers or that nauseated feeling in your stomach, then it’s time to switch.
Slow Page Speeds
This problem is a dual street. If you have optimized your site to load fast correctly, and find that you are losing visitors or conversions, then it’s time to get some help in discovering a remedy. If it is entirely server side and you feel like you are getting the short end of the stick; then it’s time to switch.
Remember that your site speeds can directly impact your bottom dollar. With Google determining the rules for all things web related, if your site doesn’t meet their speed criteria, then you might not even be found.
Outgrown Your Current Provider
Hey, it’s possible. If you feel like you have gone through every plan the provider has offered to solve problems and you keep getting hit because you have such a large fandom; it’s time to switch. But it could also be time to switch when your current host doesn’t have a plan that will accommodate your needs.
Data security is a huge one. If, at any time, you feel like your data or your visitor’s data just isn’t secure enough, then change providers. Not tomorrow, not today, yesterday! Keeping personal data secure should not only be a prime concern for your chosen hosting provider but for you as well. There is nothing worse than having personal data leaked out in any way, shape, or form.
Time to Change
If you feel like your current hosting provider gives you any of the above problems; then change to a hosting provider that you feel more in-touch with.
Do try to give some leeway for things like customer service in terms of how you can contact them. They may not offer 24/7/365 live support, but if their email support only takes 10 minutes of waiting for a response, then this could be spelling a winner for you.
You may even think that your host is causing the problem, when really, it’s just something you’ve been doing wrong. Maybe your plugin is only faulty because you aren’t using it correctly. If this sounds familiar, there are many WordPress plugin guides you can follow to ensure you’re utilising it in the correct manner.
Having a hosting provider care about you in such a way that you feel like the champion, especially when that care makes you a champion to your visitors, is worth a lot too. Support the hosting provider if the problem can be remedied by simply going to the next pricing tier or switching to a dedicated server; virtual or otherwise.
Providing the best hosting solutions to everyone simply isn’t possible. Having the flexibility to work with a customer is something that every hosting provider should be able to do without fail. When the impasse happens, then it’s time to switch to a better solution.