‘Website hosting’ is one of those technical terms that feels like a waste of time to understand, but knowing how your host affects your site can help you save money and get more customers.
Because if your website is constantly crashing, or taking forever to load, your website host may be at fault. There are plenty of reasons to switch hosting providers (including the 5 we’ll explain right now) so don’t stick with a host who causes your site visitors to get frustrated and go looking for your competition instead of you.
Website hosting is one of those technical topics that makes most home improvement businesses and contractors yawn with boredom – but your website can’t attract leads without the right host.
For your website to be accessible on Google, you need to choose a host server that ‘houses’ your website. Just like a hardware store houses all the tools and resources you might use to complete your handiwork, a host server houses your website so that people can find you and get in touch with you.
In this guide we’ll explain 5 unavoidable reasons to change website hosting providers, and how to transfer web hosting easily.
“Should I change my website host?”
As a trades business owner you don’t want to be bogged down with the technical side of running your business. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a web developer or technical whiz to spot the following red flags.
If you notice any of these issues with your site, it might be time to look into migrating to a website host that offers a better price, more features, or a smoother browsing experience for your potential customers.
#1 – Your website is frequently down
If your website isn’t loading, then you can’t attract new leads – it’s that simple. Web hosting is one of the most common causes of website outages, typically due to poor server quality, whether your server is also hosting thousands of other sites, or malicious attacks.
A website that’s always down reflects on your brand, which can drive people away. No one wants to hire a contractor who can’t even look after their own website. Even worse, Google will notice your outages (yep, it affects your SEO) and your rankings will suffer.
#2 – Your website’s load speed is sloooooow
It doesn’t matter if a customer wants their kitchen painted or renovated, having to wait for a website to load will drive customers away. 70% of customers say website speed affects their purchasing decision, so you’re pushing leads to your competition if your website host is slowing you down.
Servers housing too many websites can cause speed problems, with servers hosting thousands of sites quickly becoming more crowded than a Bunnings carpark on a Sunday. And if your server is located in a country that’s a long way from you, load times can suffer even more.
#3 – Customer service is non-existent
It’s inevitable that your website host will encounter problems from time to time. But if you pick up the phone to ask for help and find out there’s next to no customer service then you should worry. Whether it’s hosting problems, billing questions, or technical concerns, a lack of customer support is a major problem and may be worth transferring to a new host.
#4 – Your hosting bill is too high
Web hosting is necessary, but that doesn’t mean it should break your budget. It’s true that you get what you pay for, so paying peanuts can leave you with a low quality website host that faces recurring outages and load speed issues.
On the flipside, with so many hosting providers you can end up paying too much for basic features that shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. If you’re shelling out more money than you’d like, it’s worth looking into a new host at a cheaper price point.
#5 – Server security is weak
Every website host is responsible for the security of their server – and not all providers offer the same protection. This attitude means your site could be at risk right now and the only clue you get is when it crashes.
If a hacker exploits a server’s weakness your site could be at risk, leading to malicious attacks, downtime and a loss of credibility as potential clients receive warnings just for clicking on your home page.
How to transfer web hosting from one company to another
Trade businesses and contractors change their website host all the time. This could be because of poor load times, constant outages, a lack of features, or a new deal popping up that’s too good to ignore. No matter what anyone tells you, you won’t “lose” your website if you transfer hosts.
The process of moving a website from one host to another does require a moderate amount of tech knowledge or you risk an extended downtime while you find someone to fix any accidents you make along the way. Like moving houses, it helps to have a plan to keep things streamlined and simple.
We’ve boiled the process of transferring website hosting to 5 steps, but keep in mind this is the super simple version.
Step #1 – Find a new web host:
Take time to compare your hosting options. Companies like HostGator and GoDaddy have different hosting packages to suit different business sizes, so check out reviews, compare features, and see what prices are on offer.
Step #2 – Find and download your website:
You’ll need to download your website files and databases (your hosting provider can tell you if this is necessary) from your previous host and have them ready for your new host.
Step #3 – Upload files to your new host:
Your files need to be uploaded to your new host, so make sure you have all necessary files and databases ready
Step #4 – Change the DNS:
Once all files are upload to your new host you can change your Domain Name Server (DNS)
Step #5 – Wait for the switch:
It takes up to 72 hours for your website to migrate from one host to another, depending how many files you have.
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“Can I change my website hosting company myself?”
When it comes to your website, anything that comes with a risk of downtime should be thought about long and hard. If the above steps sounded technical, well, that’s because they are.
We’ve stripped back the process to keep things simple, but each step could fill an entire page on their own. Can you change your web hosting company yourself? Yes, but the question is *should* you change your web hosting company yourself?
The easy way to transfer web hosting is to outsource it to the pros and guarantee there’s one less frustratingly complex item on your to-do list.
Find out how easy it is to transfer web hosting.
Hosting can cost as little as $2.49 a month up to $700 a month, so you’re ultimately in control of your budget. In the same way, if you’re unhappy with your current host, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to pay a web developer to make the switch for you.
On the flipside, tackling the transfer yourself can leave your website offline, and cause you to miss out on new leads every day until the site is back online – which could end up costing you thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
Whether you transfer your host yourself or find an expert to do it is up to you. Keep in mind that the money you’d save by tackling it yourself is always offset by the money you’d lose if you make a mistake along the way.
Wish your website was faster and not constantly crashing?
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