Sometimes the best solution to a bad web hosting situation is to switch providers. There are literally thousands of web hosting solutions available for small businesses, but not all of them are equally robust. If you are seeing a spike in downtime on your website or receiving complaints from your customers, it may be time to cut the link to your old web hosting company and switch to a firm that has your website and the best interest of your firm in mind.
That having been said, switching web hosting companies is not something to rush into – or something to be done rashly. The spike in downtime may have a simple explanation, and the problems you have been seeing may be outside the control of the web host. Before you rush out and change web hosting companies, you need to carefully evaluate your current service and thoroughly research the alternatives.
Back Everything Up
Whether your current web hosting company uses an IBM AS400 or some other platform, it is important to do your homework and prepare carefully before you decide to change firms. Changing your web hosting service can provide a number of important benefits, from improved uptime and enhanced customer service to lower cost and greater transparency. Even so, if you do not handle the switch properly, you will live to regret it.
Perhaps the most critical thing business owners need to do before switching web hosting services is to back up all of their data in a secure location. It is a good idea to make multiple backups of the company website, blog sites, social media pages and other critical infrastructure prior to making the move. While you hope the move will go seamlessly, you never know what could go wrong. Having a local and a remote backup of all your electronic infrastructure is a vital first step when considering a web hosting change.
Once the data has been backed up and the backups verified, you can go ahead and sign a contract with the new web hosting company. You will want to have the new web host in place before discontinuing your old service, so it is important to plan carefully. You may need a week or two to make sure your new web hosting service is providing what you need before you cut ties with your old web host.
Keep Downtime To A Minimum
It is important to work with the new web hosting company to point your website domain to their servers. The company you are switching to should be able to provide all the information you need to repoint your website and make sure the experience of end users is unaffected.
When you change web hosting companies, you want to make sure there is no impact on your customers and the end users of your website. The change should be completely transparent to your customers – if anything the new web host should provide a better experience, 24/7 uptime and superior service going forward.
Web hosting is a must for any company, and it is important to constantly monitor the quality of the service you are receiving. If you notice a degradation in quality of service or a reduction in uptime, it is important to research alternatives and start getting ready to make your move.
Kimberly Banks works in E-Commerce and enjoys being able to share her industry insights with an online audience. She writes for a number of different business and IT websites.
Image by B.Garry Under Creative Common License.