Typically, businesses may choose to change hosts when:
- Updating their site becomes increasingly difficult.
- Business owners feel they don't have full control over their site.
- Website down times increase.
- Delivering and receiving e-mail becomes a problem.
Hosting should be easy. However, too many web design firms feel they "own" the website design and code (remember when someone paid you to do the work?). Other design firms don't want "too many cooks in the kitchen" in fear an inexperienced business owner will cause havoc if they change content (i.e., changing content is too difficult, etc.).
However, when choosing to change hosting and content platforms, always consider a potential search engine optimization disaster. Services and SEO options you had with the previous host may no longer be available. On the flip side, you may find yourself on the receiving end of better opportunities. Let's hope so!
Recently, one of our clients switched web hosts. In the short-term, it was an SEO disaster and we had to clean up a little bit of a mess (no biggie) in order to bring things up to par. However, the new host is all WordPress which now creates easier opportunities for our client to create new web pages and write more content. Of course, as you may know, the WordPress platform is extremely search engine friendly. Some additional SEO plug-ins will help as well!
One word of caution: Before switching hosts, make sure you have a "local" copy of your entire website, including your site's XML sitemap, downloaded and saved on a hard drive or local server. A complete directory and file inventory is required. Then, when the switch takes place to your new host, check to make sure all files have been properly moved and uploaded (in the proper folder structure) on your new host.
Have you experienced an SEO disaster after switching website hosting services?