Is it time to change your host? These 3 signs could help WordPress users decide

Is your Wordpress host right for you?

The host that you choose to use can have a direct impact on the quality of service your website users receive, both positive or negative. Furthermore, it can transform the ease of how you manage your website.

You should never be complacent about your hosting provider, if the service you’re experiencing is less than ideal for you then it’s likely to be the same for your websites users too. I have found and could even be having a negative impact on your ranking in search engines. In this case, it may be time to consider if the host is right for you.

Sometimes you may just need to upgrade your package, sometimes you may need to change your host altogether, either way here are several signs the time has come to start making upgrades.

Your website keeps going down

This is probably the loudest warning sign of all. Downtime can be incredibly frustrating for your users, who might never come back. If you have just released an advertising campaign after finding it hard for your users to get to your website at all then this one can leave you tearing your hair out.

WordPress users can keep track of their websites uptime and downtime easily by installing a plugin like Sitestillup which will give you the facts on when your users have not been able to access your website.

Just because your website is running smoothly when you visit it yourself does not mean it has not gone down at some other time and that may translate into the loss of business. It’s better to be in the know so you can take control by installing this or similar plugin.

Your website is slow

Website speed can have an enormous impact on your user’s experience and is considered a ranking factor by search engines like Google.
It’s important to determine why your website is slow to decide how t proceed.

Gather as much data as you can at this point, find out what your visitor numbers are and if your hosting provider allows unlimited domains per package.

Your website may be successful and experiencing a greater number of visitors and this means it’s time to look at upgrading your package. This happens because too many requests are being made to your host’s server at one time using all its resources. Increasing your package will mean increasing resources with the view to how your website is expanding so you can be prepared for visitor spikes.

Recently I have seen this in a case of a local sports club that was rapidly promoted into a higher league. This came unexpectedly and I had to ask my hosting provider to increase the resources on the dedicated server where it is hosted.

Sometimes slow WordPress sites are experiencing speed issues because they are hosted on a shared server that does not limit the number of websites that can be stored. Each of these websites will then be fighting for resources. This shared option is a popular low-cost hosting option that is a common approach for novice website managers as a way to get started. Unfortunately, if it starts to cause problems for your website it’s not such a good experience for your users who are still developing their perception of your business.

If none of these seem to be the cause then the way you have set up your WordPress website might be the reason you’re experiencing speed issues. Make sure you are minimizing Javascript and CSS files and install the WordPress plugin W3 Total Cache to cache and reduce the load time of your pages.

Try installing a browser plugin like YSlow too. YSlow is an open source project that can pinpoint the cause and grade your website on several factors. No matter what the cause of your web sites poor speed there is almost always room for optimization and at the very least this will help you stay up to date.

Your host’s customer service is poor

Right now I am in a fortunate position of having a very good relationship with my host but this has not always been the case. Poor customer service is a clear indicator it is time to leave.

A host that values you as a customer will try to resolve any of the issues highlighted above and do everything they can to retain you as a customer. Knowing your host has got your back is a pretty good reason to stay even if you have to work with them for a while to pinpoint their issues then that’s a great sign they are willing to use their expertise to help move your website into a better situation.

If this does not sound like your current host then there are two things you need to look for in a host that will offer the best possible service for your WordPress site.

Firstly, are they experienced in hosting WordPress websites? Many hosts will offer dedicated WordPress hosting indicating they are knowledgeable in common WordPress security matters and can offer WordPress-specific  support.

Secondly, do they offer 24/7 support? You will want a host that can be available on your schedule, not a host that expects you to fit in with theirs.

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