There are many reasons why changing web host provider may be necessary. Poor reliability, high costs and lack of technical support are just some of the reasons that may make you consider changing your web host provider. While there are many benefits of making such a switch, there are also problems that you may face either during or after making the switch. That is why before making a decision on whether to change your web hosting provider or not, it is important that you take into consideration all the pros and cons of such a move. Here is a discussion of some of these pros and cons of changing a web hosting provider that you should think through before deciding to make the switch.
Pros of Changing Your Web Host Provider
Recent years have seen a proliferation of companies that provide web hosting services. As the number of providers has increased, competition among them has increased as well. This has led to a significant drop in the cost of web hosting. If you have been using your current provider for long it is highly likely that you will get a much cheaper one with similar, if not superior, quality of services if you decide to switch to a new provider.
2. Better customer support
Changing web hosting providers from a free one to a paid one will lead to much better customer service. Companies that provide free web hosting services usually do not offer customer services. This means that if a technical problem arises in the course of running the website you have to solve it on your own. This can be quite problematic especially if you do not have the necessary expertise.
3. Elimination of unnecessary ads and increase in bandwidth and speed
If you are currently using a free web hosting service provider you have definitely seen many ads placed on your website that are unrelated to the subject of your site. For example, a website that deals with recipes might have ads of university scholarships. Having such ads is not only bothersome but can also have a negative impact on the image of your site. By switching to a paid provider, you will not have to worry about unnecessary ads crowding your website.
Additionally, free web hosting service providers usually have limited bandwidth. This means that there is a limit to the number of people that can visit your site per month. This affects traffic negatively. Moreover, if your provider is hosting many websites sharing servers, the loading speed of your website is likely to be very low. This affects SEO rankings as Google usually lowers the ranks of websites whose pages take more than 2 seconds to load. In both of these cases, switching your web host provider will significantly increase your bandwidth limit and the loading speed of your site’s pages.
4. Easier management
If you have a number of websites hosted by different web hosting service providers, managing them can be tiresome and confusing. By moving all the websites to one host provider it will become easier to manage them as you will have a domain that is centrally-located which will allow you to have batch control of all the domains. Additionally, moving all your websites to a single web host provider will give your websites better security. This is because with all your websites running under one domain your contact information will always be up-to-date and accurate.
Disadvantages of Changing Web Host Provider
1. Change in server location affects SEO ranking
When changing web hosting providers many people tend to only focus on the cost. Oftentimes ignored is the location of the servers. This should not be the case as the server’s location can have a major impact on the ranking of a website. Since Google started organizing its search results on the basis of relevance, the location of the search’s origin is now given a lot of importance on deciding which websites are to be listed. Usually, websites whose servers are located in the country of the search’s origin are given priority. For example, if your website is primarily focused on US audiences and your new host’s servers are located in Canada, you SEO rankings will be significantly affected in a negative way.
If the change is not properly done, it may result in a downtime. Often, this is a result of the website waiting for propagation of the DNS. This can take between a day and three. Having your site down for such a period of time usually has many negative effects. When visitors cannot access your website for a long time your website’s reputation takes a hit. This is particularly devastating if it is a commercial site selling products online. Even if the site becomes fully operational again visitors will be reluctant to use the site out of concern for its reliability. Additionally, its SEO ranking will be affected thus affecting its traffic.
3. Structural changes of the site and missing links
When changing from one host to another, you will have to transfer the assets of the site from the previous host provider to the new one. In the process of this transfer some assets may be misplaced or left behind. If this happens, visitors to your site will likely encounter 404 errors thus leading to lowering of your site’s ranking.
4. Corruption of database
In some cases a switch to another provider leads to corruption of the database. If you are using WordPress this may even prevent you from accessing the dashboard for a while.
As the above discussion of advantages and disadvantages of switching web hosting providers shows, moving a website is not a trivial matter that should be undertaken without considerable deliberation. Done properly, it can increase your website’s functionality and save you a lot of money too. However, there are also drawbacks associated with switching web host provider. If not properly done it can lead to the site’s rankings being lowered and you losing a lot of visitors in the process.