It’s Time to Break Up With Your Web Host

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Experiencing too much downtime? Does no one answer your questions? Account suspended for “over-usage”? Server crashing too regularly? If the answer to any of the questions is a Yes then it’s time to break up with your web host.

Too Much Downtime

We all hate downtime. We our blog is down, it’s inaccessible, which means we’re loosing sales, revenue and readers by the second. Now, in an ideal world we would have 0% downtime. Unfortunately, that’s never the case. You are bound to experience some extent of downtime each month.

I’m sure you will at least experience about 5-10 minutes of downtime each month. You don’t have to worry about downtime as minuscule as that. However, you do have to start worrying once your blog’s downtime amounts to more than a an hour or two every month.

Every host has bad and good months. One month you’ll get 5 hours of downtime while the other month you might get 1 second. You should seriously consider changing your host if your blog’s downtime is in hours, month after month.

Server Crashing Too Regularly

This is part of downtime, but still deserves a separate sub-heading.

You have been having several Diggasms, day after day. However, with each Diggasm you noticed your server crashing a thousand times. A couple crashes is perfectly normal because of the Digg Effect but any more than that and it’s time to break up with your host.

No Support

So you were just trying to “tweak” your blog’s settings or changing CHMOD permissions and “accidentally” screwed up. Now you can’t access your site directly, or even through FTP. The only solution is to contact your host’s Technical Support. So you shoot out a quick email, grab some coffee and refresh your email every 10 minutes hoping to see a reply from your host. Hours pass but still no reply, and it’s soon time to sleep.

No luck the next day either. You drop your host another email. Meanwhile, your blog is offline and loosing readers and revenue by the second. Finally, your host replies and corrects the problem two days after your first email.

If you’ve had one of these encounters, then seriously switch your host now!

Account Suspended For “Over-Usage”

We always vie for the elusive Digg frontpage, don’t we? And when we finally accomplish it, we are joyful for days and absolutely euphoric.

Sadly, for some of us, social media success results in stress and anger rather than euphoria. The reason is of course our host. Mass success in the social media sphere is extremely hard to attain. Nothing can be more frustrating when your host decides to play “naughty” and bans your shared host account for “overusing” resources, just when had reached the frontpage.

This had happened to me, unfortunately. In the beginning of January, I published an article: 161 Most Useful Keyboard Alt Codes which went hot on StumbleUpon. I received 10,000 visitors in a little over 9 hours. And guess what happened after that? Boom! My host banned my account and I it took 2 weeks to negotiate with them, which resulted to about a 3 week downtime…

If the same thing has happened to you too and you are still with the same host, it is time to change your host immediately.

You Outgrew Them

Now you are finally an A Lister with an audience of over 10,000. You get the Digg Effect at least once a month. However, there are downsides to success too, albeit minor.

Your shared hosting account can no longer hold your blog. If your host doesn’t provide VPS and Dedicated solution then it’s time to shift…

If you are in such a situation then I recommend you switch to a host which sells only dedicated (or VPS) hosting. No shared. With hosts that sell only dedicated or VPS hosting, there’s more room to upgrade. Also, their plans tend to be much better and cheaper than hosting companies who sell shared + reseller + VPS + dedicated.

Too Expensive

So you finally got yourself a shiny, brand new dedicated server. It has everything you wanted: Quad Core, 1 TB Hard Disk, 8 GB RAM etc etc. The only problem: it’s putting a huge dent on your budget. Did you ever think you can get the same configuration with a much lower price on another host?

If your hosting expenses have blown off the charts and your business isn’t big enough to support it then it’s time to sit down and do some research work. Search for a host that has similar or more features with a lesser price tag. Due to the competitiveness in the hosting niche, you’ll be surprised to find a boatload of hosts that meet this criteria.

Conclusion

You might not realize it, but your host might be keeping you from reaching your A List status. If you are seriously frustrated with your host, then please change. Yes, it can be a hassle and things can (and often do) go wrong while changing hosts but it’s certainly better than loosing readers and revenue by the second. Just choose your new host wisely.

(Photo Credit: *christopher*)

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3 Comments »

Comment by Wayne Liew
2008-02-09 18:58:38

I have experienced some downtime with my host before it is for just a couple of minutes (excluding those times that I failed to notice).

Every hosts will have a good and bad review when I am in the process of choosing a web host last time. My current web host do have some bad reviews and I am praying hard that the bad things don’t happen to me. :lol:

Comment by Ruchir Chawdhry
2008-02-10 19:15:50

That’s true, every host had bad reviews. You shouldn’t worry if your blog’s downtime is below an hour every month. If it goes above that, then yeah feel free to worry ;)

 
 
Comment by Conor Subscribed to comments via email
2008-02-26 18:57:21

Hi Ruchir,

Having run a webhosting company for the past 14 years and reading MANY articles regarding uptimes, customer satisfaction and what to do, your article is probably one of the more well written ones that I’ve seen.

It’s very true, customers, for the most part WILL outgrow their host - especially shared hosting. When it comes to Dedicated Servers that’s a whole new ball game.

Price is always a concern, and the biggest factor in choosing or staying with any host should be Support. If they’re not there to support you, there’s no reason to be loyal to them.

A site crashing a server and taking it offline, sure - that happens when too many people visit, but there should be a backup plan - move you to another server temporarily, offer dedicated solutions etc - but to go offline for WEEKS during the time when you’re getting prime advertising - that’s when to start running to a new host.

Well done with your article, I’m a firm believer that web hosting companies all offer a very similar product, the ONLY thing that sets them apart is their service.

I have left my company name off this comment posting, as I do not want it to appear as spam. If you wish me to post the company name, please contact me, or edit the post to include the URL.

Have a good one!

Conor

 
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