Our web hosting accounts play a prominent role in those early days of launching our websites. When we’re not spending hours navigating our way around the control panel and getting used to all the tools at our disposal, we’re configuring domain names, setting up FTP accounts or using one-click installation to get our favourite apps up and running.
At first, it may seem like the start of a beautiful relationship, but if you’re anything like a lot of users, that’s unlikely to last. Whether you’re using FTP to upload files directly to your computer or logging into the dashboard of your chosen Content Management System, you gradually find you have less and less need to actually visit your hosting account at all.
Before you know it, you barely even think about your hosting, and, if it’s doing it’s job properly, you likely forget it’s even there at all.
This set-it-and-forget-it approach does have its benefits, mainly that it’s one less thing for you to worry about as you go about dealing with all the multitude of tasks that running a website requires, but it’s far from flawless.
Though it may be easy to ignore your hosting account as your website grows from strength, here’s a few reasons why it actually pays to be vigilant with your account.
You may not be getting the service you paid for
Even the best web hosting services claim to guarantee at least 99% up time, but as countless user reviews will tell you, that isn’t always necessarily the case. Servers do go down from time to time, and even if its only for a few seconds, those occasions do add up, and ultimately mean that you’re losing out on potential visitors.
The same goes for your site speed. Though you may be paying for enough bandwidth to comfortable manage a large number of visitors and quickly load your site for each of them, you may not always be getting it. As you already know, the longer your site takes to load, the less likely visitors are to stick around.
It’s for this reason that it’s worth paying attention to whether or not your hosting provider is keeping up their end of the deal. Of course, if you head to your site and find that it either isn’t there, or is, but takes forever to load, you’ll obviously know there’s an issue.
But let’s face it, we can’t all be checking to see if our sites are performing at their best at all times, which is why it’s why it’s worth taking an occasional look at the server status or system alerts for your provider.
Admittedly, these aren’t always that easy to find, so if you don’t spot the appropriate link from your homepage, a simple web search for ‘[your hosting company] server status’ should do the job.
Alternatively, you can always use a free, independent tool like downdector, which is always on the ball when it comes to spotting when our favourite tech-based companies are letting us down.
Those auto-renewals can be a pain
If everything’s working as it should, that’s all the more reason to simply let your host do its job in the background, but the longer you do that, the easier it becomes to forget about another important aspect of your account – those renewals.
Unless you remembered to change your payment settings when you first signed up, your host will usually revert to the default auto-renew method of signing you up for another term, and taking the money from your account. Unless you’re paying attention, either to the account itself or at the very least to the renewal reminders that land in your inbox, they can do all of this without you even noticing until there’s suddenly a chunk of money gone from your bank account.
So, even if you’re happy with automatically renewing your hosting services, it still pays to be vigilant to ensure you’re not in for a nasty surprise when you receive your next bank statement,