The New Year is traditionally seen as a time of new beginnings for individuals and businesses alike. These resolutions are almost always intended to provide some kind of longer term benefit, so when it comes to the company website, you may be looking at changing host to boost performance or conversion rates. So what should you consider if changing webhost is your New Year’s resolution?
1. Am I changing host, or getting a new website?
You may be tempted to undertake a costly website redesign in an effort to boost performance. However you may find that it is your current webhost that is at fault. So a far cheaper, easier and quicker option may be to move your existing site to a new webhost.
2. Does the new host use the right technology?
Your existing website may be a collection of static webpages, in which case it will be compatible with any webhosting technology. More likely though it uses some form of content management platform like WordPress, Joomla, or Magento. These content management systems rely on certain underlying technologies, so you need to ensure any prospective webhost is able to accommodate these requirements.
3. Does the webhost have sufficient capacity?
The performance of your website is heavily reliant on the amount of available infrastructure the webhost has at their disposal. Resources are typically shared between customers, so if too many sites rely on too few resources, page load speeds are negatively affected. You should also try and find out some basic details about the network connectivity at the host’s datacenter – is it suitably speedy to support hundreds or thousands of simultaneous visitors for instance? Make sure you get some indication of a webhost’s resource levels and usage before signing a contract.
4. How much disk space is available/required?
Most providers offer hosting packages based on the amount of storage space your website needs; the more disk space you need, the more your hosting package will cost. To keep costs low, you should only buy as much space as you need. However you must consider not only the amount of space required for your site now, but also allow enough to keep pace as you add more pages, pictures and other content.
5. What is/is not included?
Most webhosting packages are quite basic, with dozens of options that allow you to customise the service to your needs. However you should always check exactly what is included with the basic package to ensure that a crucial part of your site set-up is not missed. Do you get Secure Socket Layer (SSL) tools to help protect your ecommerce shoppers for instance? If not, how much extra will it cost?
Changing webhost should be relatively straightforward so long as you properly understand what you need before you make any changes. And when you find the “right” webhost, you may even discover that they are willing and able to help you complete the transition process.
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