Slow websites are one of the most frustrating things for bot webmasters and users. Website performance can not only influence SEO but can also scare away users and can affect your online business significantly. Most websites may be fine at first, but they could slow down over time. You could still make it load faster with image and file compression, caching, etc, but what should you do if all this is not working anymore and your website is still slow and unusable?
First of all you have to find what the problem is. In most of the cases websites are getting slower because of the hosting. Rather your website is getting to many visitors and using up to much server resources and you have to upgrade your plan, rather the server where your website is hosted is oversold (in case of shared hosting accounts) and the hosting environment is not anymore favorable for your website; in this case most likely you will have to switch to a new hosting provider.
You need new web hosting provider or hosting plan upgrade?
The path you choose it really depends on the situation and on your current web hosting company.
Most hosting companies offer multiple plans to meet different hosting needs and budget. If this option exists at you current host and you are satisfied with their service so far, you don’t have much to do, just contact the support, ask for a greater plan and they will move your site to a new hosting plan. In most of the cases this upgrade is free of charges, but some hosting companies may bill you for upgrading plans.
What plans you should choose?
If your website is running on a shared account, and it is getting about one thousands unique visitors a day, most likely you will have to upgrade to a VPS plan as soon as possible. If you already using a VPS plan and site is still slow, probably it is time to get more server resources or maybe think investing in a dedicated server. As I mentioned before, all this really depends on the situation; without knowing the exact traffic is hard to tell what plan is right for you.
How to move your site to a new host?
Upgrading the plan with current hosting provider is very easy; moving your site to a new host could be a nightmare if you don’t know how to do it. If your site is built with Joomla or WordPress you have to move backup files and database and move them to the new host. You will also have to connect the database, because the old configuration may not work anymore. Some hosting companies offer assistance with moving website to their servers.
Whatever you decide to do, upgrading plan or moving to a new host, make sure the process will not cause huge downtime to your site. Move it when the website is receiving fewer hits or create a temporary page that will tell your visitors that your site is under maintenance and downtime is controlled and ask them to check back later. At the end, make sure the process went fine and your site loads faster and everything is in place, no missing images and no not-found urls.
If you have any questions or need help with deciding what plan to choose, please post a comment below.