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When should you move hosts?

There are a many reasons why you may wish to move hosting providers. Maybe the hosting service you’re currently receiving is unreliable? Perhaps you would like to move to a hosting provider that offers more features or better technical support? As with any other supplier, it’s never a bad idea to weigh up options.

In today’s blog post we will look at some of the common reasons why people move hosting providers when it is right to move.

When is it time to move?

There’s a wide range of factors to consider, but also a great deal of disruption that can be caused when moving your website. Weighing these benefits and risks is vital to making the right decision for you business. So here are our top reasons for moving host and what you should consider:

Website ‘Uptime’ Availability Reliability

Just how reliable is your website where it is now? Do you experience any ‘downtime’? (times when the website is offline or inaccessible) or is your website always available? Even the best hosting provider occasionally experiences the a temporary outage, but if this is a regular or recurring issue then action is needed! Sometimes an outage may be caused by ‘network congestion’ (i.e. busy traffic between you and the server) which may mean it appears down for some people but not all.

If your website appears down for you, it’s worth testing this to be sure. You can use any of the freely available tools below to do this:

Search engines will typically visit your site every few weeks or a month to re-index your pages. If this happens when your website is offline, search engines will either move you down the rankings temporarily until they see it come back up. Because they visit only every few weeks to a month, this means that even a few hours of outage may hurt the traffic to your site for weeks.

Website Speed

Closely related to the uptime reliability is website speed. This is important as Google now uses page load speed as a ranking factor so fast-loading websites will rank higher in Google than an identical website that runs slower.

The overall speed of your website depends on both the resources your host has, as well as how efficiently the website uses those resources. So if your website appears slow, this could be either the host or the website itself that is the cause.

Luckily, there are a great number of caching plugins available for WordPress which will reduce the amount of work your website has to do in order to server a web page, helping it use the available resources more efficiently, some of the best WordPress caching plugins are:

Support

It is rare for a hosting company to offer much support beyond simply ensuring the hosting account is working (it will be up to either yourself or your web developers to ensure your website is correctly setup and configured). For an additional price, some hosting companies may offer managed hosting with support packages that may be worth considering (this will depend greatly on how you work with your current developers and what the requirements of your website are.

Price

As with any supplier, price is a factor. We have listed this one last because if you choose a host based on price only, they will actually likely end up being more expensive for your business in the long run.

This may seem counter-intuitive but we have seen many businesses fall foul of the price trap. We discuss in much more detail why you should never choose a cheap host in more detail here. In a nutshell, some cheaper hosts will often be slow and and unreliable. Perhaps more importantly, they will often not included vital features your website needs in order to function and will sell these as ‘add ons’ – making back the savings you would have made while still offering you a below-par server that isn’t quite fit for purpose.

If you need help looking for a fast, reliable host for your WordPress website, why not get in touch with the Audit My Website team? We provide high quality managed WordPress hosting and would be happy to discuss your requirements with you.

Get More From Your Website With A Website Audit

There are websites available for all range of purposes. For some businesses, the website is their online shop front while at the same time, for others, it can be a way of promoting products, services and the brand. There are so many different roles that websites can provide; some may be for data collection and processing, others may be for showcasing products or services. But each will have their own purpose, and needs.

One way to ensure your are maximising the benefits of your website is having a regular website audit. With a website audit, like those from Audit My Website, the site is tested for speed and performance, the expert will examine all pagses, following and checking links to ensure that all visitors can successfully navigate the website without issues.  When all links are confirmed working, the website owner can be sure enough that the visitors will be able to view everything that the website has optimally. This also includes factors such as page layout, user interface (UI) and more.

A website audit will also be able to check on the number of visitors that the website has achieved for a certain timeframe along with its rankings in the search engines. This will be helpful for the website owner as they will be able to see if the marketing technique they are using is working or not. The more visitors a website obtains the more possible clients it can have as well. If the website is not getting enough visitors, then there must be something wrong with how the online marketing is done. This will be able to be corrected by the website expert.

Through site audit, the web expert can see if there are some things that should be changed within the website to make it more friendly and attractive to web browsers. Sometimes, websites have certain parts which are too difficult to understand for ordinary web browsers. If you wish to make the visitors feel at home and head on to exploring your site, you need to make the website user-friendly and easy to understand. The website can be corrected if it undergoes audit from knowledgeable web experts.

A website that has been audited will perform much better and likely attract more visitors. This is now what many website owners invest on especially if they would want to have the website itself generate more income on an ongoing basis. This service is actually being offered by many SEO companies these days. Sometimes, it is even part of the package on offer. Business websites are the ones that most use this type of service. It is important that website owners inquire on what the audit will cover so that they would know what to expect from the service. Auditing may be done on a regular basis so that the website is well-maintained and examined. This will help in getting the best from a website which can provide profits to its owners.

What Is Website Auditing? Why Choose an Audit Company?

The word ‘audit’ can have negative meaning which can be worry some. However, a website audit is very different, it’s aim is to assist companies in assessing how well their website is working and identify any improvements that need to be made.

For example, it can detect a broken link, which is a link that should the user follow it, gives 404 not found or sends the user to a page / domain that does not exist. Website audits can assess how well links are working, and point out those which need updating.

Broken links are usually a surprise for website owners, since they typically aren’t something that gets discovered except when doing a website audit. When you find broken links, you may even be able to identify any lost business as a result of the technical fault. It may not be possible to win this business back, but it certainly should be your focus to prevent it happening in future!

Website Audit: Basics Overview

Auditing a website can also identify other things besides these broken links. These can include the ease of searching for a site, the information being displayed, and navigability. Website audits target these and other vital factors which can influence both SEO and technical usability of the website. As a result of a website audit, both web designers and marketeers should have a clear picture of what improvements and issues can be addressed to ensure the website is as fit as possible. Web auditing also provides additional information on whether the site is using every feature available on the Internet. It is very easy to simply forget or not take advantage of the different areas of the Internet; especially those that have only recently begin to see an increase in popularity, such as social networking sites.

A good audit will provide a lot of information including:

a. How visitors are arriving at a site, whether it’s from online paid advertising, blogs, search engines, backlinks from press releases or articles about the company.

b. What kind of information most visitors to the site are looking for.

c. How easy that information is to find on the site.

d. How effective the site’s section labels are.

e. What keywords are getting the highest rankings in search engines.

In companies where security is paramount, auditing should be able to identify weak points in the armour and security vulnerabilities that may be exploitable but may have escaped detection.

When Should You Perform A Website Audit

Web audits are an effective process for not only identifying existing issues and snags, but also helpful when planning further development and enhancements. Audits can prove more valuable than most imagine. They can help identify very hidden issues that could have gone undetected for sometime. It’s important to note that many of the issues can have a negative impact on your SEO and rankings making it worthwhile for most companies to invest in a website audit.

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