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    Downtime or Poor Performance

    If your host is offline or unreachable on a regular basis, you might want to talk to them about it, or start looking for a new host. In the world of web hosting, we’ve always said, “great service means never getting noticed.” The lifeblood of your online business requires your website to be accessible. If it’s not, you aren’t getting your money’s worth and should look elsewhere.

    Other performance reasons to consider changing web hosting providers might include:

    ●      Slow loading of web pages

    ●      Assets on your page are delayed or don’t load at all

    ●      Poor disk performance

    ●      Slow database queries

    ●      PHP processes take longer to run than normal

    ●      Sluggish SSL pages

    ●      Weak internet speeds considering your server

    Bottom line, downtime and performance issues are bad for your online reputation. This includes impacting your SEO scores and overall traffic. If you’re experiencing several of these issues and the host won’t budge, this is a crystal clear indication that you should switch hosts.

    How do you know if your site is offline or performing poorly?

    There are several pagespeed tools that can help you determine if your website loads quickly and reliably. Pingdom has a service that can monitor your website and alert you if/when it finds your website to be unreachable. They’ve also created a free speedtest tool that lets you know how efficiently your website is being displayed to visitors.

    Testing your server’s internet connection

    If you have SSH access to the server, you may be able to use Speedtest’s CLI tool to check your internet connection speed. Here’s how you do it:

    Installing Speedtest’s CLI

    If you’re on Ubuntu or Debian, you can install like this:

    apt install speedtest-cli

    If you’re not, you can install manually like this:

    wget https://raw.github.com/sivel/speedtest-cli/master/speedtest_cli.py
    chmod a+rx speedtest_cli.py
    mv speedtest_cli.py /usr/local/bin/speedtest-cli
    chown root:root /usr/local/bin/speedtest-cli

    To run it, do this

    speedtest-cli –share

    What you should see is something like this:

    # speedtest-cli –share
    Retrieving speedtest.net configuration…
    Retrieving speedtest.net server list…
    Testing from Amazon (**.**.**.**)…
    Selecting best server based on latency…
    Hosted by Pocketinet Communications (Walla Walla, WA) [107.16 km]: 15.911 ms
    Testing download speed………………………………….
    Download: 490.56 Mbit/s
    Testing upload speed…………………………………………..
    Upload: 225.04 Mbit/s
    Share results: http://www.speedtest.net/result/6491426653.png

    And of course, the share link that it gives you at the end will look something like this if you need to share proof to your host:

    Testing your server’s disk performance

    This requires SSH, but you can also test your drive’s performance. If you purchased an SSD super-fast drive, but you see less than 100MB/s, something’s wrong and you should confront the host.

    dd if=/dev/zero of=test bs=64k count=16k conv=fdatasync

    Reporting and testing (in general)

    There’s one other script that warrants mentioning. Created by Rafa Marruedo, vHWINFO performs a download speed test on a file download from CacheFly. Here’s how to use it:

    wget –no-check-certificate https://vhwinfo.com/vhwinfo.sh -O – -o /dev/null|bash

    You should see something like the following:

    Lack of support, or not getting what you need

    Not getting support when you need it can be frustrating. If your web hosting provider is not supporting you, definitely have a heart-to-heart with them and let them know you aren’t happy. If they aren’t receptive, then consider your hosting options.

    Things to watch out for:

    ●      Slow (or no) responses to support tickets you’ve opened

    ●      Boilerplate messages in reply that don’t address the issue

    ●      Runaround with support agents

    ●      Not accepting responsibility for downtime when confronted

    ●      No backups or too infrequent backups of your website are provided

    ●      Problems with [GB1] security for your website at the host level

    Reviews

    Web hosting reviews are a great place to start when considering a new hosting partner. With so many options out there today, it’s difficult to know which solution to go with, and you may be unsure of how to interpret the claims of each of the different companies in favor of their service. Read some web hosting reviews online for better insight into what others think about the options.

    When reading reviews, pay attention to things like:

    ●      Poor feedback on the company

    ●      Overcrowded web servers

    ●      Dishonesty

    ●      Lack of support

    Also, if you love your current web hosting company, consider writing them a positive review. They’ll appreciate it, and you’ll be helping others with their decision!

    Maybe you’ve outgrown your current web host

    Sometimes your website is just too big. If you’re noticing yourself running out of space or bandwidth often, try talking to your host to see if there’s something they can do. They may be able to get you into a bigger hosting package or another solution that fits your business’s needs better, but they can’t help you if you don’t ask.

    At Gravitate, we work with both small and large clients. If you’re unsure what to do about your current web hosting situation, give us a call or read these three critical items to consider when it comes to web maintenance.

     

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