There comes a time in the lifespan of any website when that blissful, cheap-as-you-like first term hosting begins drawing to an end. When it does, you’re likely to find that the costs shoot up, sometimes to as much as double what you originally paid.
As such, nobody could blame you for at least considering moving your site to a new home.
Still, before you do, it’s worth keeping in mind that transferring a website -especially if its a large one- isn’t always the easiest or most hassle-free task in the world.
Before you dive right in and make the move then, here’s just a few things you may want to ask yourself before you make up your mind as to whether -to steal a line from The Clash – you should stay or go.
Can I actually get a better deal elsewhere?
Cost isn’t everything, but it certainly counts for a lot, especially if you’re running your website on a shoestring budget.
Bare in mind that even if you find a great value package, that you’ll only run into the same issue of increased costs once the honeymoon period of your first term runs over.
Investigate the real costs then, and decide whether it’s worth the investment of time in moving to a new company.
What’s my first term experience been like?
Even companies promising the best web hosting now and again experience the occasional problem, but if you’ve been encountering more than your fair share of issues, that might be good enough grounds to move on.
Think about any downtime you’ve noticed, especially if it’s had a serious negative impact on your site, think about any issues you’ve run into and how easy it was to get them resolved. Were the customer support staff quick to respond?
Were they helpful?
What do other users say? Are you likely to only run into more problems down the line, and is there a hosting company out there that many users seem to be happy with?
Will my new hosting company transfer my website for me?
We did say earlier that transferring a website from one hosting account to another can be tricky, and we’re not lying.
Even those with a decent knowledge of websites and how they work can sometimes come up stuck when it comes to moving their sites.
Still, we’d be remiss if we didn’t give some hosts credit where its due:
There’s a good number of them out there that will include free site transfers as part of their first-term deals.
This means that all you need to do is fill in a quick form, give some information to the support team, then sit back and relax as all the hard work is done for you.
If not, am I prepared for the time and effort involved?
If the hosting company you’re thinking of switching to seems to offer everything you need -low cost, reliability, and good customer service– but won’t transfer your website (or at least not without a cost), then you’ll need to consider whether you’re up to the challenge yourself.
Remember, this isn’t as simple as simply dragging a file from one folder to another as you would with those stored on your computer.
You’ll be looking at making back-ups, configuring FTP accounts, uploading, reconfiguring your domain names, and, depending on the nature of your site, there may be even more to it than that.
If you’re not up to the task but still want to go ahead anyway, can you afford to pay somebody to do it for you, whether that’s the hosting company itself or an outside specialist?