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As your site gets busier, your hosting environment needs to be upgraded to match, otherwise, you’ll have a slow website.

Having a popular website is great – 1000s of visitors a month means lots of opportunities for new business leads, but if your hosting isn’t upgraded to match your increased traffic, your site can start to run slower and cause more of these valuable new visitors to bounce.

Why do you need to upgrade your hosting?

There are several reasons why your hosting platform needs to be improved or upgraded:

  • Your website traffic is growing significantly
  • You are storing a lot of images or media on your server
  • The website is processor-heavy (it’s doing complex things)

Growing traffic.

Firstly, this is not a problem, it’s a sign that your website is performing well and your marketing efforts are working!

As your site gets more visitors, more strain is placed on the server as it needs to serve up more pages, more often; this means it needs more resource to keep working quickly.

If you are getting over 8,000 visits per month, it’s time to think about a more dedicated hosting environment to avoid serving slow pages to all your hard-won traffic.

Storing lots of data.

Online storage is not free.

The more images and media files you upload to your WordPress media library, the more space your site uses on the server.

It’s perfectly fine to use your server to store 100s of PDFs, Movies or image files for your website, but all that space also uses server resources, so if you are storing a lot of data, you’ll need to upgrade your hosting to allow for it.

Processor-heavy tasks.

Some WordPress sites are more processor-heavy than others.

If your site runs lots of plugins, uses a page builder, WooCommerce or other plugins for larger functional requirements, there’s going to be more drain on the server resources.

Servers are basically just computers, so your server will need more RAM, a better CPU or more storage to accommodate processing tasks – just like your home PC or laptop.

What’s the upgrade process?

We aim to minimise any downtime when moving sites to new servers.

For non-eCommerce sites, the process is simple; we clone your site to the new server and then update your DNS records to point at the new environment.

For WooCommerce sites, the process is the same, but we need to ensure no new orders are taken during the migration. We, therefore, put the live site behind a holding page for a maximum of one hour whilst we move the site.

Due to this, we suggest that migrations are done during quieter sales periods (typically outside office hours on weekdays).

What are the costs?

Charges for hosting are based on the number of visitors to your site, the complexity of the site and your storage requirements.

We’ll work with you to assess these factors and suggest the best hosting platform for your website.

We advise our clients to invest in the best hosting that budgets will allow.

Costs are based on the following:

  • Visits per month
  • Storage required
  • Bandwidth per month (the amount of data your site serves to visitors)

Perspective.

As an example of what hosting can cost, we like to be upfront.

Toast invests over £50,000 in hosting every year.

Obviously, we host a lot of client websites – everything from small blogs with 200 visits a month to large corporate sites with over 40,000 monthly visitors.

We recommend investing between £50 and £250 per month on hosting, depending on the requirements listed above, the nature of your business and its reliance on the website.

Need extra security?

With DDOS attacks on the rise, it’s wise to get additional layers of security to protect your site.

If you want 100% uptime, it comes at a price, so we can also advise on best-practice and associated costs for the most robust and secure environment for your website and DNS.

What if you don’t bother…

No one likes a slow site; if you don’t invest in suitable hosting, all those visitors that you’ve worked so hard to win, and the search rankings you’ve achieved can slowly start to disappear.

Site speed is a major ranking factor and the bottom line is that as your site gets slower, the search engines will notice and your site can start to drop in the rankings.

If SEO isn’t a concern for you, also consider your visitors; a slow site can be a major factor in potential new clients bouncing off your site.

Slow websites can:

  • Make your business look unprofessional
  • Frustrate your marketing team
  • Force potential new customers off to your competitors
  • Make your site drop out of the hard-won rankings in search
  • Prevent people from contacting you with new business enquiries

It really is that simple, but unfortunately hosting is very far from simple.

The general rule is: go cheap, go slow, which is why we encourage all our clients to take milliseconds seriously when it comes to hosting.

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