You work hard on your blog. You write new content each week. You weed out the spam and engage with your readers in the comments. You market the blog like crazy in the hopes of increasing traffic and growing your readership and exposure.
Now let’s say you reach your goals for blog growth. Then what? Can your current Web hosting company handle it, or will your blog suddenly go offline? Are you prepared for a sudden move to a new host if your current company shuts you down for overusing resources? The host that looked like a good deal when you launched your blog might not be the right option moving forward.
Let’s look at a few signs that it might be time to find a new host that can better handle your blog’s continued growth:
- Your account was suspended for using too many resources. — Yes, you may have purchased a hosting plan that claimed to be “unlimited.” But those plans only offer a few resources supposedly without limits (a technical impossibility anyway). You’ll still have other resources limited, and if you exceed those limits (usually tucked away in the fine print) you risk suspension. One of the most common resources you’ll exceed is the CPU limit. If you get suspended, you either have severe optimization issues on your blog, or you’ve outgrown your current hosting plan.
Your CPU is throttled. — Rather than suspending your account, some hosting companies will instead throttle your account if you exceed CPU limits. I had this happen to me on a shared hosting account for a blog a while ago. The thing is, you likely won’t know what the real limits are (nor what your actual CPU usage is — you’ll just get stats in terms of a percentage). After moving that site to a dedicated option where I could monitor all resource usage directly, the CPU usage was extremely low. That’s just to show it doesn’t always take a lot to outgrow a shared host. This generally happens when a host puts more than a reasonable number of customers on a single server. And having your CPU throttled means your blog will load more slowly to visitors (a turn-off that can cost you traffic). That said, it’s still better than having your blog suddenly taken offline.
- You need more control than your current host gives you. — If you’d like to be able to install programs or modules on your server to enhance your blog (such as growing your site from a blog into a larger business presence with the blog on the side), you’ve likely outgrown your shared host. A VPS or dedicated option might be what you need at this point if you want that level of control. You won’t get it in shared hosting because it isn’t your server space — it’s split between many of the host’s customers.
In the end, the best thing to do is keep your eye on performance issues with your blog. If loading times suddenly increase as traffic increases (and without optimization problems on your end), that’s the best sign that it’s time to move on and switch hosting companies. If your site constantly goes down or loads too slowly, you’ll lose those very readers you worked so hard to gain.
Have you ever outgrown a blog host? What factors made you decide that it was time to move on to bigger and better options? Share your stories in the comments below.