Free hosting services or very low cost packages are everywhere, because for many people they can be a great solution. However, a small site can eventually grow (and for most people this is their objective when setting up a website), so eventually it may become obvious that your site is outgrowing its original home and it needs to move up to a higher level. Paid packages offer a variety of benefits and they can vary in price dramatically, but some people get great value for money on a top level plans because their website requirements are very specific.
So how do you determine if your site fits the criteria for an upgrade? We would recommend looking at the amount of traffic your site gets on a regular basis for a start. Shared hosting, whether you pay next to nothing or literally nothing at all, is going to have its limitations and will usually only be appropriate up to a few thousands visitors per month. Beyond this, it’s time to consider paid upgrades.
You may also want to take advantage of other improved features apart from just the capacity to handle more traffic. Paid packages will almost certainly offer vastly improved security and functionality, as you aren’t sharing so many resources with other websites on the same level. If you get the most expensive dedicated hosting packages, you can effectively customise all your server settings to optimise them for your website. For some people this can make a huge difference and they’ll be willing to pay a lot of money for the privilege.
Once you’ve decided to upgrade, even if you are sticking with a relatively cheap package, you need to go through the process step-by-step. It could be that your current hosting provider will offer you a suitable upgrade, and this will usually be the most efficient option as long as you don’t have any major issues with them. Bear in mind that the more you pay, the better service you should expect. However, if you have to choose a new hosting provider then make sure you do your research and know how to compare them.
After selecting a package to switch to, you need to go through the process of migration. Hopefully you have found a provider that offers plenty of support for whatever platform your website is built in, and the transition will be smooth with minimal downtime. You probably need to move your domain name too, which should be straightforward. All of this can be quite technical so you should ensure you have support if it’s not your area of expertise. However, it’s well worth it if you can get onto a web hosting package that actually provides what your website needs to keep growing.