You’ve done everything possible to optimize your site. It loads quickly, ranks highly on search engine results pages and your customers rave about the user experience. Still, even with your most diligent efforts to the contrary, it’s possible to get hooked up with a subpar hosting service. To help you catch it as soon as possible here are some of the signs of bad web hosting.
This, of course, begs the question—how much is too much when it comes to downtime? Truthfully, any downtime at all is too much. But to quantify it, if your site is experiencing more than one percent downtime, you need a new provider. This is particularly true if you can’t do business when your customers can’t access your site.
Frankly, there is really no such thing as “unlimited bandwidth”. Much like airlines, hosting providers overbook their services, counting on fluctuations in usage to cover their backs. However, this can become a real problem during peak seasons. If you read your terms of service carefully, you’ll find the true allocation you’re given. If it looks too low to handle peak loads, you’ve got a bad web host.
Slow Load Times
Most web users will only grant your site three seconds to load. Any longer and they’ll bounce out of your site to look for one with more expedience. Further, Google now ranks slow loading sites lower. If you’ve done everything you can to streamline for speed and your site is still loading slowly, the problem is likely to be with your hosting service.
As your business expands, your site’s needs will too. It’s going to need more storage capacity, more email addresses, more backup capacity and more bandwidth too. If a service provider isn’t ready to grow along with you, that’s one you shouldn’t consider. Why build your site on a platform that won’t scale, only to have to move when it gets too big for that provider?
If your users even get a whiff of a security issue, they’ll abandon your site like the proverbial rodents fleeing a floundering craft—and justifiably so. If it can be determined you failed to provide adequate security in the wake of a hack, you could be on the hook for lawsuits as well as the loss of your business. If the likes of Target and Neiman-Marcus can be hacked, it can happen to you. A competent hosting provider should offer you firewalls, SSL support, and DDoS safeguards, along with anti-virus and malware protection—at a minimum.
These are five of the most significant signs of bad web hosting. Other aspects to consider are the absence of routine backups, lousy customer service, weak tech support, lack of MySQL databases, poor maintenance, ineffective spam filters for email and no support for add-on domains.
Now, with all of that said, you can’t always judge the quality of a host based on price. Cheap web hosting doesn’t always mean bad web hosting, just as a high price does not guarantee stellar service. Do your homework to ensure that you choose the best web hosting service for the price.