Web hosting is one of the more competitive industries in existence today. If you don’t like your current hosting provider, you won’t have any trouble finding a wealth of other providers who are eager to earn your business.
Yet there are still some hosts that fail to appreciate how precarious their position is in the industry today. These hosts usually start off providing a decent level of service but then things go downhill after you have been paying them for a while. When this occurs, your mind may quite naturally turn to thoughts of how to transfer your website to a new host.
If a transfer is on your mind, here are six signs that will reliably indicate the time is right to make the leap.
Sign #1: Your customer service requests go unanswered.
Maybe things started off well enough, with a specific point of contact to handle your account and a responsive technical support desk that provided quick answers to your questions. But now things have changed. Your support tickets are met with a deep wall of silence. When you call to follow up, no one can find any record of the requests you made.
Meanwhile, you are beginning to consider paying a third-party technical person to help because the support you are paying for is not being provided through your current host. When you get to this stage, you are ripe to transfer your website to a provider who will welcome and appreciate your business.
Sign #2: Your site starts to experience more downtime.
Did you know that more than half your average web traffic will spend less than 15 full seconds on your website – and that is just if your landing page is up and loads quickly.
Speaking of which, a full one-third of visitors will bounce away from a site that doesn’t load in one second. Some visitors will give it five seconds, but most fall somewhere in between. That is not a lot of time if your site goes down frequently!
Web visitors and customers today expect 99.9 percent (basically 100 percent) site uptime, whether they visit you at 3pm or 3am. If a visitor lands on your site and it is down or not loading quickly enough, you will lose them and likely they will never return again.
If your site is loading more slowly or going down more frequently, you don’t need any further provocation to make like your web visitors and bounce to a new hosting provider.
Sign #3: You have researched competitor pricing and realize you are paying too much with your current host.
Every year or so, it is a good idea to take a brief look at what you are paying for web hosting services….and then take a look at what your host’s competitors are charging.
In general, your basic charges should sit around $110 per year. If you are paying more, you should be getting more for your money than just domain name registration and web hosting.
If a survey turns up significantly lower prices for essentially the same basic services, you can first attempt to negotiate with your current host. But if you don’t find a receptive audience there, the next step is to seek a hosting provider that appreciates what your hard-earned cash is worth.
Sign #4: You don’t have access to some of the services you want to use.
Today’s web hosts must provide a high level of integration just to remain competitive. A basic example is the ability to create a new post for your website’s blog page and have it automatically publish on your social media channels. But today’s baseline for third party app integration goes much further to include integration with e-commerce store options, database and customer relations management (CRM) tools, analytics and reports and even accounting software.
What makes this possible is an underlying compatibility (called SaaS, or “software as a service”) between the web host and the third party software. Hosts that do not have this underlying compatibility cannot provide these valuable tools – many of which are free to opt in for after paying for basic hosting services.
If you can’t integrate the third party tools and apps you want to use on your site through your current web hosting provider, this is a clear indication that you need to transfer your site to a host that provides this essential functionality.
Sign #5: Your site template options are not updated to the latest responsive technology.
The term “responsive design” refers to a website template’s ability to display and function well on a variety of devices and browsers.
With an estimated 84 percent of customers researching their purchases from mobile devices and a record 184 million such devices in use today, your website simply must offer responsive design technology in order to simply survive, let alone thrive.
If the templates your host offers are outdated, static, unattractively functional or – worst of all – non-responsive, it is time to transfer, no questions asked!
Sign #6: Your current host is trying to make it hard for you to leave.
Some web hosts simply don’t want to play well with others. Horror stories abound about hosts that make it hard for former customers to backup their site data, transfer their site intact or even claim their own domain name in the transfer!
If you see any brewing signs of this unfolding with your current web host, it is better to take the hit and make the jump now before things get worse.
By continually monitoring your site’s uptime, integration capabilities, responsiveness on mobile devices, customer service, competitive pricing and open door policies, you will be able to spot warning signs and transfer your site before small issues turn into major problems. In this way, you will be able to proactively safeguard your hard work and vision and ensure all of your partners do likewise.