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Don’t assume that your web hosting just is what it is and you’re stuck with it. While your web host might manage most of the details for you, you still have a certain amount of control. And if your hosting company isn’t quite doing it for you at the moment, you might have to take some steps to revamp your website hosting and get it back on track.
There’s plenty you can do from your side, so we highly recommend taking some time to try these 11 things. Who knows, you might just get a better handle on your business website needs, or find a sneaky loophole in your own host’s features that’s holding you back.
#1. Audit Your Web Host Service Provider
Just because you signed up for them originally, it doesn’t mean they’re still doing good things for your website. It’s a great idea to “audit” them regularly and make sure they’re still giving you a whole lot of value for the money you’re giving them.
Double-check everything they offer. Tools like Pingdom and Google PageSpeed Insights can be a huge help here. Be brutally honest—is your host still offering what they said they would in the beginning or is this relationship growing cold?
#2. Re-Evaluate Your Hosting Needs
Just like humans, websites grow. And when they do, their needs change. Just like you can’t feed an adult baby food and expect them to be healthy, it’s highly likely that you’ll need to change some of what you’re putting into your website.
This step can go hand-in-hand with auditing your current web hosting provider. As you double-check their own features and offers, figure out if you actually need them or not—and if you do, find out if your current host is actually meeting your site’s needs or not quite.
#3. Signs It’s Time for an Upgrade
Fighting with your website lately? If you’re dealing with consistent crashes, sluggish loading times, or a strangely high bounce rate, then it’s probably time to upgrade your web hosting package. It doesn’t necessarily mean you need to find a new web hosting company—you just need more than the current package is giving you.
#4. Research Web Hosting Providers
It’s always a good idea to know what else is out there. If you’re unhappy with your current hosting solution, well then, learn about other big players in the market. There’s a ton of options, so you might need to take a bit of time to sift through them all.
Save some time by only checking out providers who offer the type of hosting you need. Shared hosting is often NOT a good choice for businesses, so check dedicated, VPS, and cloud hosting providers.
#5. Compare Features
It’s not quite enough to just know about other web hosting companies. You need to figure out how they stack up against the one you’re currently using, so take some time to compare features and see who comes out on top.
But don’t just assume the one with the fanciest features is the best. It’s all about which providers actually give you what your website truly needs.
#6. Embrace the Power of Cloud Technology
We’re not going to lie—cloud hosting is by far the most reliable, stable, and secure. Plus, it can scale easily as your site grows, which is a huge bonus. If you can, consider shifting from regular hosting to cloud hosting. It’s a touch more pricey, but the good news is that you only pay for what you actually use, so you really get your money’s worth.
#7. Supercharge with Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)
If you’re thinking of changing your host, look for one that uses a CDN. If you’re planning on staying with your existing host, check if they use one already; if not, it’s definitely something you should look into.
Content delivery networks distribute your content across a bunch of servers worldwide, so it can be quickly accessed by almost anyone, anywhere. It makes a big difference to your site’s speed, so this is a smaller action you can take to boost your hosting’s effectiveness.
#8. Boost Speed with Server-Side Caching
Server-side caching is basically just storing commonly-used data for easy access. Enable this, and your website’s basic data will be saved on these “side servers”, loading way faster and saving seconds every time someone pops onto your site.
#9. Fortify Your Website with Security Measures
We set up fences around our houses and insure our most valued possessions, so… Why don’t we treat our websites the same? These are our digital homes, so it’s never a waste investing in great security.
Your host should offer a whole range of security features to keep your site safer. If you feel like it’s not quite enough, you can always add extra security features.
#10. Optimize Your Database Like a Pro
If your website’s database is a mess, it’s going to slow stuff down. Get rid of digital junk (spam comments, page/blog drafts, etc), and you’ll see a difference. Some hosts will offer database spring-cleaning, but not all do, so figure out if you need to do it yourself. Then all that’s left is to spend the time doing it.
#11. Mobile Optimization Matters
The truth is, most internet users these days are doing it on their smartphones. So if your site isn’t optimized just right for mobile, you’re probably shooting yourself in the foot. Don’t think it’s just teens using their phones, either—it’s pretty common across the board.
It’s a good idea to do a bit of a mobile test yourself. If you don’t spend a lot of time on your own website on your phone, now’s the time to experiment. Get a few of your friends or family to test it out as well, so you can get some honest feedback.
This might not seem like a hosting issue, but your host will operate a lot more efficiently if you get your site all optimized for mobile users from the start.
While a good few of your web host’s features might be out of your hands (especially with managed hosting), these are things you can do to revamp your web hosting’s effectiveness. Try them out… You might be surprised at what you discover!
About the Author
Paul Wheeler runs a web design agency that helps small businesses optimize their websites for business success. He aims to educate business owners on all things website-related, at his own website, Reviews for Website Hosting.