Your web hosting service plays a significant role in the success – or the demise – of your web endeavor. No matter how well written your content is, how well optimized your website is for search engines, or how much you’ve invested in ads and social media presence, if people can’t access your website all of your efforts fall into the water.
The more important your website is to your business, the more crucial it is to have reliable web hosting. That’s why it’s important to notice the signs that your web hosting service provider might not be up to the task of keeping everything running smoothly on their end.
How Much Downtime Is too Much Downtime?
If your web host is promising you 100% uptime, it’s a sure way of telling you shouldn’t be working with them. 100% uptime means that the server that hosts your website will never ever go offline, taking your website offline with it. Even tech giants like Google and >Facebook experience downtime and they’ve invested untold millions of dollars into their servers.
The reasonable amount of downtime your web hosting service provider could guarantee you is between 99% and 100%. A 99$ downtime means that your website will be down around three and a half days of the year. A 99.9% downtime translates to roughly nine hours per year, and a 99.99% downtime is around an hour per year. Your host will probably promise the former, and any significant changes into the uptime should be a warning sign that something’s wrong.
Slow Page Load Times – When They’re Not Your Fault
You shouldn’t expect your website’s visitors to sit and wait while your website loads. If your landing page, for example, takes more than a couple of seconds to load, you will lose visitors due to the slow loading speed. And your SEO will suffer as well, although not as much as your >click-through rates.
Slow loading times don’t have to be the fault of your web hosting service provider. Your website can be poorly optimized. It can contain large images, or too many other elements such as scripts, that take a lot of time to load. A badly optimized WordPress theme can slow down your website, as can installing too many plugins. And having a lot of visitors at the same time is also a possible culprit for your website’s speed issue.
But if you did everything by the book, and your website is still loading too slowly, it might be the server’s fault. Issues with network latency, the time it takes for the server to respond to requests, can cripple your website’s loading speed. If the support staff manages to catch the issue and fix it, it doesn’t have to be a big problem. If it happens often, regardless of your complaints, it’s not an issue. It’s a feature and not a feature you want.
Problems with Customer Support
The way a web hosting service provider handles problems will tell you a lot about them. When you notice there’s a problem with the service and you submit a ticket, you want the problem fixed as soon as possible. But some problems can’t be fixed easily or quickly.
What can come easily and quickly is the response to your ticket. If the customer support at your web host takes days to respond to your tickets, it’s a sign that they’re not too serious about their work. In fact, tickets should be replied to within minutes, even if it might take days to actually resolve the problem.
Another issue that should cause worry is the lack of transparency from the web host. They should be able to tell you what’s the cause of the problem. If they’re not telling you, they might be hiding something. And even if they’re not, the lack of transparency is not a good policy as it might cause suspicion among customers.
It’s Not Them, It’s You
As your website grows, so should your web host’s capacities. You can probably increase the bandwidth and storage space you currently have by choosing either another service package or transferring to a different type of server.
Several things can happen when you decide you want to expand. You might find out that your current web host doesn’t offer the type of service that you need. They might not offer features that your new and expanded website will require. Or they might offer you everything you need, but at a much higher price than the competition. When you start feeling confined in your current service package, and none of the options your host can offer make sense financially or features-wise, it’s a sign it’s time to take your website elsewhere.