Switching host provider is a somewhat large step in the life of your website or online business. Your host provider is your lifeline to the world, quite literally your distribution partner. The performance of your web host provider coincides directly with how your audience feels about your business service, because if the site goes down, they attribute that negativity to your brand, not to the brand of the web host.
The host provider that you choose should be a long-term partner in the life of your business. This is the most convenient way for a business to grow, as having to switch between providers every month can bring unexpected hiccups to the performance of a site. This is not something that your customers will put up with for a very long time, no matter how established your brand may be. There is simply too much competition in the online arena.
Here are four of the top things that you must consider if you are thinking about switching host provider.
1 – The Security Features Of Your Hosting Provider Must Be Worth Paying For
Without the proper security, there is literally nothing else that will matter about your precious website. All of the great aesthetics that you have created in order to attract customers can be destroyed. The streamlined sales process that you have set up becomes an avenue for that is just as convenient for thieves to line their pockets as it becomes for your own. All of the information that you are putting out into the world for the benefit of your customers now becomes intellectual property that can be stolen and used against you, eventually to put you completely out of business.
In order to do business online, you will naturally have correspondence with many other suppliers and merchant accounts. Your communications should be encrypted using the very latest technology in order to keep the personal and financial information of your company away from third party malicious users.
You must also have the backbone of your site protected from hackers who might come into your site looking for intellectual property. Do not put it past your competitors to try to get information from you in this underhanded way.
If you are doing business with a host that purports to be a virtual private server or a dedicated server, then you are actually paying for a dedicated data stream that is protected from the happenings of other data streams that may be on that same physical server. You must be sure that there is something in the contract that stipulates your compensation if this data stream protection and separation is broken. This is really the only way to determine if your web host is truly behind its own words on this topic.
2 – You Should Have A Guaranteed Uptime From Your Web Hosting Provider
Although there is no web host that will be able to give you a pure 100 percent uptime, there is an industry standard that you must demand from your web host. If your current web host is not giving it to you, then you must demand it from the host that you switch to. This standard is the “four nines” standard, or the 99.99 percent standard.
In order to create this standard for you, the host provider will have many options available such as mirrors and redundant servers. You should make sure that your new web host has all of these options available to you in the event that the main server that your information is logged onto is compromised in some way. This also plays into the above requirement of security.
3 – The Customer Service That Your Hosting Provider Gives You Should Be Pristine
There is no such thing as a web host that will relieve you of all problems. There are simply too many variables to get rid of everything. However, a good web host provider will be able to talk you through every problem that you may receive from any avenue.
The customer service that you get during the sales process will be the same service that you get during the contract process. You should make sure that you ask all of the questions that you have during the sales process. It is then that you will see exactly how this company will act towards you when something actually happens during your tenure.
4 – You Must Be Sure That Your Hosting Provider Allows Your Site The Ability To Expand With Third Party Apps And Add-ons
There is no site that can survive without a constant expansion. This may not necessarily be an expansion of traffic at the beginning of your business. However, you will always have to incorporate an expansion of technology. There is always new tech being built by developers for web businesses. You must be sure that your web host has the ability to add these new apps to the infrastructure of your site without causing a problem with the functionality. If this is not the case, then you may need to think about an immediate move. There is nothing to gain from a web host that does not give its clients the ability to add new technology in a constantly expanding environment.
Aside from the tips above, make sure that any host provider that you choose feels right with you in an instinctive way. You know your business better than anyone; you have been around it the longest. It is your baby. If you get a bad feeling in your stomach even if all the stats are right, you are probably right about that feeling.
Keep your ear to the street so that you will always be up on the latest and greatest apps and add-ons that your web host provider should be acclimated to. Demand that your host provider always give you the opportunity to improve your site performance. Staying the same is moving backwards in the world of the online business.