There are many different types of web hosting available – each with their own features and price points. Most website owners will need to switch plans at some point or other, but there are also times when you may want to consider looking for different website hosting.

As an example, one group of site owners who are likely to want to change website hosting providers are those who signed up on WordPress.com. This host is great for those who are starting off their WordPress journey, but because of its many limitations, many quickly outgrow it.

WordPress.com is great to start out with but may end up frustrating dedicated site owners
Caption: WordPress.com is great to start out with but may end up frustrating dedicated site owners

Today we’ll look at some of the situations where you might need to consider switching web hosting providers and also some of the things to pay attention to when making a move.

Why You May Need to Switch Web Hosting

There are many reasons why you may want to switch web hosting providers. As an example, here are some of the scenarios which may arise;

Hardware Changes

Web hosting service providers base their business on two key elements – hardware and software. While there may not often be radical changes in software, the hardware is a different matter entirely. Take for example the time when web hosts were introducing solid state drives (SSDs) to data centers.

SSDs are a great thing to look out for in web hosting as they can increase site performance significantly
Caption: SSDs are a great thing to look out for in web hosting as they can increase site performance significantly

SSDs can boost data read and write speeds by tremendous amounts and this means huge performance increases for websites. Unfortunately, they were expensive and not all web hosts offered SSD performance. Even till today, some web hosts who say they offer SSD performance may not offer 100% SSD storage all the way.

Occasions like this are motivation to look for a better deal at another host since the performance impact on your website may be significant.

Software Changes

There are times when web hosting providers may decide to arbitrarily change the software they offer. For example, I host some sites with Shinjiru and they recently decided to replace Nginx with LiteSpeed and I’m not happy with that.

Although it affected me minimally, some of you may not have been pleased with such a move. Yet these switches are often unilaterally decided by your host and getting out of it may mean you have no option but to look for a different host.

Customer Service

The support element a web hosting company offers is also subject to change from time to time. For example, your host might decide to outsource their support division to reduce their operational overhead.

Things like this sometimes result in less than optimal results and the new support team may not be to your liking. This may also be one of the reasons to look elsewhere for web hosting.

Your Needs Change

As I mentioned earlier in the scenario of those who host with WordPress.com, one of the reasons to switch to a new host may also be your own requirements. Sites develop and change over time and if your site is growing, your existing host may not have the capability to cover your needs.

When you find yourself being restricted by your current host in too many ways, it is time to consider a move.

Tips for Moving to New Web Hosting

With literally hundreds of thousands of web hosting service providers in the business today, it can be difficult to choose a new one to move to. You can make use of the web hosting comparison tool to help you.

If you need quick tips, here are some things you can look out for the make the transition as painless as possible.

1. Look for Free Migration

Personally, I think this is something great to look out for since it takes a lot of stress off those who might be looking to move. This is where the competitiveness of the web hosting industry helps consumers.

Hosts are always trying to get new customers and one of the ways they can do this is by making it easy for potential customers to switch to their hosting. There are many excellent web hosting companies that offer free and professional migration services for those moving to their hosting.

All you need to do is basically sign up for a hosting plan with them and ask them to help you with the move and they will take care of the rest! Ideally, look for a hosting provider which can do this for you with zero downtime.

2. Backup Your Files!

This is something you should be doing regularly even if you aren’t moving service providers. However, if you are moving to a new host make sure to create backups of your website even if the new host is taking care of the migration for you.

There is always the off chance that something might go wrong, and you want to be prepared for that. When making backups ensure that you are not just saving your files but also a copy of your database. You may or may not also want to ensure that your emails are archived, just in case.

3. Warn Your Visitors

No matter how much you plan, hiccups have been known to happen. Before you start making your move, make sure you try to warn your site visitors that they may encounter some service interruption during the time you are moving.

You will be surprised by how understanding many site visitors are and I have known some to even go so far as to help me out by reporting any issues that occur after a move.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when deciding to move web hosting providers, but the process isn’t necessarily as painful as you might think. A little pre-planning can go a long way to mitigating the problems.

As a site owner, you will likely be in touch with the service level your host provides. If you notice that there are changes underway that you aren’t entirely pleased with, start taking the steps necessary to move your site.

This really isn’t something personal against the web hosting provider but looking out for your own best interest is not just for you but also for your site visitors. A poorly-performing website can have a significant impact on your traffic.

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