If you think that you should get a hosting upgrade, you are most likely right. In the beginning, most business owners try to save some money on their hosting plan by opting for a basic shared hosting plan. On paper, it offers a lot for a small investment, and most of the time it is beginner-friendly, which is enough for a start. And there is nothing wrong with this logic. A basic hosting plan can cover your needs from the start, and you can do more important stuff like designing your website to be future-proof, implementing core functionalities, and focusing on content.
But once your business starts to grow, you will start to feel all the restrictions of basic hosting plans. There are some good indicators that it is the right time to think about a hosting upgrade for your business.
Your website performance is declining
In recent years, the visitor’s attention span has gone to only a couple of seconds. Almost 50% of the users expect a web page to load in less than 2 seconds, and if it takes more than 3 seconds, 40% of the users will go to another page. It is cruel, but it is true. This means that if your business is depending on visits (and 90% of the time it is), your business is suffering if your website is getting slower. Remember that one of the key factors for search results rankings is speed and performance. If you are experiencing a decline in visitor count, there are a lot of different websites that can measure your website’s speed and performance, and it just might be the time to look for a better hosting plan.
One of the most important things for every website is visitors count, and you are doing almost everything you can to draw them to your website. If your traffic is increasing it is great for your business, but if you have a basic hosting plan, your visitors might feel the slower responsiveness on your website, caused by limited bandwidth and hardware allocation. Even if you’ve made up your mind to choose shared hosting, try to look for plans that will allow you flexibility, and room to grow over time, like the one Hostinger offers. This way you can pay less in the beginning, and increase your plans accordingly, as your needs grow. It is smart to pick hosting providers that allow you to change the plan type if you require more bandwidth, or your business surpassed the limitations of your current plan.
As a business owner, you want your customers to feel safe when they visit your website. And so does Google, when they recommend your website in their search results. SSL is short for Secure Sockets Layer, and it is a protocol that encrypts data between web browsers and servers and keeps it safe from malicious users. SSL usually comes free with hosting plans, but it also has a great impact on your position in Google search results.
Also, your website can be bombarded with different kinds of attacks, and additional protection, especially from the most popular ones is always a good thing. A good hosting provider offers a regular backup, as a part of the plan that you already pay, and backup is just like a parachute – you don’t need it every day, but once you do need it, your whole business might depend on it.
If you already have this within your hosting plan, then you got most of the things covered, but if you are hearing about these things for the first time here, it might be the right time to upgrade your hosting.
Downtime for your website is the same as a closed sign on your physical store in the middle of the day. Just one minute of downtime is costing Amazon around $220,000 in revenue, and a lot more in brand trust. If downtime is frequent it can also have devastating consequences on your business, causing revenue drop, and a decline in your search results position. Most providers offer very high guaranteed uptime, and these are the plans you should aim for.
When you started your business, limitations like one domain and a limited number of subdomains did not look like a big deal. But now, as your business developed, you need space for expansion, and your hosting provider is holding you back. If this is the case with you, and your provider does not offer you a simple solution and a seamless transition to a new, more flexible plan, it is a clear sign for you to change your current provider. One of the golden rules of online business is to never settle for a mediocre website and to always shoot for the stars.
More space and bandwidth
With website growth, you can expect the growth in content: more pages, more files, more user activity. When you combine this, you will need more server resources to keep your website operating smoothly. Your hosting provider should be able to grant you additional resources when you need them, but if that is not the case, and you see constant hiccups in your website operation, maybe it is time for you to find a different hosting partner.
Shared hosting plans usually offer little to no customization for your website. This can be very tricky if your business requires custom apps, scripts, or specialized software, and your plan does not. Keep in mind that cloud hosting plans also have limitations when it comes to customization, so if this is the case, it might be the right time to look for a VPS or dedicated server solution for your business.
Is it time?
If you encounter any of the things mentioned, you are ready to upgrade your hosting, and with it your business. Whether you are upgrading the current plan, opting out for a different type of service, or even changing the hosting provider altogether, there should be no limitations affecting your business, especially the ones you can fix easily. Your hosting plan should be right for your business, and flexible enough to let you grow, but you should at least try to anticipate your future needs. Cheaper solutions are a good starting point, but as your business is not meant to stay small, your website shouldn’t too. The good thing is that upgrading your hosting to a better plan or solution, with more resources and features is not hard, and you should not be afraid to do it.