Why change web hosts?
In many cases, your web site is the first and only thing that your customer
sees (besides, hopefully, your product after they make a purchase). This is
especially true if your company does not have a real-world presence such as
a store or office. Thus it is important that your web site be available to
your visitors (and customers if your site is commercial) twenty-four hours a
day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Not only must it be available, but your web site must load quickly. If your
host computer is too slow, it doesn’t matter how much you optimize your
graphics and HTML, cut down page sizes and perform other actions.
Other features must work properly. These include CGI routines,
autoresponders, PHP, ASP and SSI scripts, and, very importantly, shopping
carts and credit card services.
All of this is so important that you must keep an eye on your site. I use
two services: alertsite and internetseer. Both of these ping my site
occasionally to determine if it is up. Any errors are reported to my email
inbox. Why do I do this? Two reasons: (a) it’s critical that my site be
online all of the time, and (b) these services provide a third-party record
of any downtime, which is useful when attempting to get fees refunded.
These two services also measure response time, which is very useful to
determine how well your site https://www.alexandremthefrenchy.com/ responds to your users browsing requests. These
two factors, uptime and response time, are the most critical measures of web
site performance. A consistently bad number in either measure is more than
enough reason to find another host.
Of course, if your CGI routines stop working mysteriously or your
autoresponders stop responding, then by all means shoot off a trouble ticket
to your host. You have a right to expect these types of issues to be quickly
and politely fixed. If they are not and the errors continue, then consider
moving to another host.
Getting Ready to Move
There are a number of tasks that you should be performing on a regular
basis. You see, you cannot predict when you might have to change web hosts.
It could be that they are suddenly sold and their level of service drops, or
they upgrade their computers which causes a series of new problems. You can
be sure that you will only find out about these things when your web site
stops working or becomes unstable.
Another reason to be performing regular maintenance tasks is the possibility
of disasters. A hacker could deface or even destroy your web site. Your
credit card could be closed, which might cause your host to close down your
site until you pay. Any number of other disasters could occur, which make it
very imperative that you have a continual set of procedures in place to be
prepared for anything.
What do you need to do regularly?
Monitor your site – As I stated earlier, be sure you use a site monitoring
service to keep an eye on your web site. That way you will know immediately
if something happens.
Backup your site – You should perform all edits to your pages on your own
computer and upload them to your site. Never edit your site pages directly.
This, by it’s very nature, ensures that a copy of your site always exists on
your own computer system.
However, you may also have databases stored on your web site which do not
originate from your computer. These might include mailing lists, demographic
data, links and other similar things. These items must all be copied to your
own hard drive on a regular basis.
You can set up your favorite FTP program to do scheduled downloads of
selected databases, or you can just manually copy them on a regular basis.
In addition, your web host should be backing your site up daily. In many
instances, these backups are available to your as downloadable zip files. Be
sure and copy these down to your system once in a while – perhaps once a
Don’t forget about such things as autoresponders, CGI routines and anything
else which you may enter at your site control panel. You must ensure that
you have a backup of everything.
Keep a log – Be sure you know everything that you’ve done to your site. You