6 things to consider when changing hosting providers

One of the most important steps in corporate website design is finding the right hosting company, because this can make a huge difference to the success of your website. If you have already engaged the help of professional corporate web design services for your new website, you will need to ask them if they offer hosting services themselves or can they recommend a hosting service for your website?

To be honest, one of the best decisions you can make for your company is to actually engage a website management team in Brisbane, because they can organise your website’s hosting and deal with any IT problems that might occur in the future.

Many corporate web design services also offer hosting and website management services as well, giving you only one firm to deal with when something goes wrong. If you are investigating corporate web design services or hosting companies at the moment, here are a few thoughts to consider, before making your final decision.

  1. Costs: What are the hosting company’s upfront and ongoing costs? Cost is not always reflective of value, so whilst it is important, don’t just hinge your decision on cost alone.
  2. Passwords: Before another hosting company can take over hosting your website, they will need all of the passwords to access your website. These include more than just your WordPress passwords, so you will need to obtain these passwords from the corporate web design services who built your site.
  3. Location of servers: If your customers are in Australia, then you need an Australian server, as this improves the loading times of your website; unfortunately not all hosting companies offer Australian servers.
  4. Support: When something goes wrong you need customer support fast, making access to technical help an important consideration when selecting hosting companies. This is where a company that specialises in website management and technical support can be invaluable — especially if their support staff are based in Australia.
  5. Speed: You want your website loaded on fast servers, because this improves the speed of your website. Older servers can be very slow, resulting in lost customers and lower conversions.
  6. Trust: You don’t want a fly-by-night overseas hosting company with no experience, instead you want a company that has been around for many years with a good reputation in the industry.

At GO Creative we offer web design, web hosting and web management in Brisbane, so why not give us a call on (07) 3333 2932 and see what we can do for your business?

Why is “website stuff” such a pain to manage?

Many business owners struggle to stay on top of some of the more technical aspects of website management in Brisbane.

In particular, domain names and web hosting are two areas where there’s a lot of confusion around ownership and management. If you don’t own your domain name, for example, the current owner can do whatever they want with it. And that’s a HUGE risk to your business.

How does this even happen?

Anyone can register a domain name or set up a web hosting account, and it’s up to them whether they put your business down as the owner. Sometimes these services are set up through:

  • a friend who doesn’t really know what they’re doing
  • a company that went bust
  • a company that you no longer want to work with
  • another contact who you can’t get in touch with.

While the domain name industry is regulated, and all .AU domains need to be manually approved by auDA, the governing body, before they’re registered, it’s not particularly difficult to register any domain you wish. In fact, we’ve registered thousands of domains for our clients over the years, but only had the registration rejected/queried a couple of times.

As for web hosting, there’s really no regulation at all. You can go to any hosting provider now, set up an account under any name, and off you go. All you need to do is point the relevant domain name to the hosting provider’s system, and you’re off and running. This means if your domain name isn’t registered under your name, the owner can basically point it to their own website if they want to.

The other issue here is that if you don’t have the login details for your domain name or web hosting accounts, and can’t get them from your provider, in many cases there’s literally no recourse. For example, if you were hosting your website with one company and wanted to change to a new one, if your name isn’t on the account then you’re out of luck. Since we specialise in website management in Brisbane, we can help you to work your way through these annoying problems.

Is it common though?

Unfortunately, the above scenarios happens quite often. We recently started working with a new client, and part of the initial project was to consolidate their domain names, web hosting accounts, and email services, under the one roof.

After looking into their setup, we found the following problems:

  • Their domain name was actually registered under the name of their original web developer.
  • Their web hosting account was set up by their original web developer, but because of the way he’d set it up, it wasn’t possible to provide our client with any login details without giving us access to ALL of the web hosting accounts that the other developer manages.
  • These services were set up through two different providers, which isn’t necessarily “wrong”, but it does make management more difficult.
  • The original web developer no longer works in the industry, so they’re difficult to get a hold of.

In the end, our new client had to pay $99 to change the domain ownership, and we invested several hours of time (at a cost, of course) to help sort everything out. It chewed up a lot of their time as well, but now they own all of their services.

What’s the solution?

Well, at the end of the day, someone has to set up and manage these services. That could be you, but usually it’s best to find a reputable local provider (who might also offer professional website management in Brisbane) who has been established for a long time and ask them to confirm (before signing up):

  1. Who will “own” the domain name? (Ensure they can show you ownership after it’s registered.)
  2. Will you have login details for your domain name and web hosting account(s)? (If not, don’t use the company!)
  3. Will you be free to move your services elsewhere at any time, once you’ve paid for them?

If your domain name is already registered, you can check your ownership at the links below. You need to check the “Registrant” name (it should be someone in your business), and the email address should also be someone in your business that you trust, if not yourself. This is vital to ensure that if you ever want to transfer your domain to a new provider, you can retrieve the domain password. Contact your domain registrar (or web developer) if you need to update the information. (for all .AU domains) (other domains)

We can help you sort out your domain and web hosting ownership, or point you in the right direction. Just call us on (07) 3333 2932 or contact us today.

What is SSL and can my Australian web hosting company help me?

If you need a a security certificate (“SSL”) for your website or app, most Australian web hosting companies should be able to provide this. However, let’s take a look at SSL first, so you can decide if you need a certificate for your website.

SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer” and is the current security technology used to connect your customer’s browser with your web server. They are essential for any website that collects personal data from customers and are vital for websites that use payment gateways (i.e. membership sites, ecommerce sites, and finance application forms).

Essentially, an SSL certificate changes the http:// at the beginning of your URL to https://. Your Australian web hosting company can sell you an SSL certificate and quite often they will activate it for you on your website as well.

Advantages of an SSL certificate for your business

If you don’t collect sensitive information via your website, then you don’t necessarily need an SSL certificate. Although there are rumours that Google will start to use these in their ranking algorithms next year, and some believe that this is already the case. In one way it makes sense to have an SSL certificate, even if you don’t collect sensitive information, because it lends you credibility and proves that your website is legitimate. It proves that you are who you say you are, because you have to go through a process to verify your identity before you can use an SSL certificate on your website.

Disadvantages of an SSL certificate for your business

When your web hosting company has activated your SSL certificate, if this is a brand new website with a new domain name, then you can go ahead and create your website as usual.

The problem is with existing sites, because you now have two websites – one that starts with http:// and one with https://. This is where you need an Australian web hosting company that also offers web development skills, because you have to remap your old website to the new website or else all of the backlinks and rankings belong to your old site. Your https:// website is a brand new website with no rankings in Google at all.

Want to get set up with SSL?

To register an SSL certificate at affordable prices, or for help redesigning and remapping your old website to the new URL, visit our instant quote page.