Avoid Website Downtime by Changing to the Right Hosting Plan

Over the past few days we’ve mentioned that it’s important to ensure that your website’s hosting plan is adequate enough to support any spikes in traffic, or even steadily increasing traffic, that your website may receive. The outages of multiple political websites this week are a prime example of why this is important. If you have an “unlimited” hosting plan you may think that you have your bases covered. The truth is that how you define “unlimited” and what your web host thinks “unlimited” means are probably two very different things. If you aren’t careful, you may assume that your website is ready for a surge in traffic when, in reality, that surge can take your site down in a heartbeat. That’s why we’re going to help you understand the actual what “unlimited” hosting really is and how you can tell whether or not the hosting plan you use is really meeting your needs – both current and future.

How Does Your Web Host Define Unlimited?

They say the devil is in the details, and that is most definitely the case when it comes to unlimited website hosting. When your web host tells you that your hosting plan is “unlimited” you probably take it at face value, assuming that you’re not at risk of any website downtime due to increases in traffic. This can be a costly mistake when you consider the fact that each minute of website downtime equates to lost profits. Yes, Alertra will notify you when your site goes down; but isn’t it better to ensure that your site won’t go down due to something like increased visitors and traffic? Especially when increased traffic is an indicator of increased success?

So what exactly does unlimited mean when you have an unlimited hosting plan? That really depends on which web host you use and what they determine that they will provide on an “unlimited” basis. For some web hosts the word “unlimited” pertains to the amount of disk space you use. For others, it’s the amount of bandwidth. Some web hosts even offer both. Even then, however, if you are allowed “unlimited” bandwidth and disk space and you’re on a shared server, then the amount of server resources you use may be limited. If it’s not, that’s another problem altogether as other sites using that server may be impacting your site’s performance and uptime if those sites are using up all of the server’s resources. Do you really want the performance of your site to suffer or the server your site is hosted on to crash because others who are on the same server are using up all of the server’s resources? So the question of the day is: What type of hosting plan do you really need in order to avoid website downtime when your traffic starts to spike?

The Best Hosting Plans

If you’re not yet ready to move to a dedicated server (which you should definitely do as soon as you can justify the cost), then make sure that you use a web host that is up front about what you are getting for your money. For example, if they have a standard, silver, gold and platinum plan and each plan clearly defines what you are getting for the price, then you know that the servers are being managed properly and you are going to be getting what you pay for. You won’t have to worry about other sites on the server using all of the server’s resources or causing you to have website downtime.

If you are keeping an eye on your website’s traffic and usage and you notice that your needs begin to exceed what your current hosting plan allows, then you can make the upgrade to the next plan before your website is overloaded with traffic.

Later on in the week we will discuss how you can figure out how much bandwidth your website needs so you can further ensure that your site won’t go down to increased traffic, but make sure you keep the above in mind and ensure that your site is being hosted on a server that isn’t going to crash due to “unlimited” usage and that you aren’t using a plan that doesn’t meet your site’s growing needs.