In the age of the internet & web Hosting, your website is your business. As the public face of your company, your website creates that all-important first impression, and that could make a huge difference to your business and your brand.

The hosting company you choose is a critical but often overlooked decision, one that could have enormous repercussions for your business, its profitability and even its long term survival, but simply finding the right host is not enough.

If you want to make the most of your business and your brand, you need to monitor your current web host on a continual basis. Hopefully you will like what you see, but here are five times when switching is the best choice.

#1. Downtime Has Increased

When your business is online, even one minute of downtime is too much. If your downtime has increased, it is time to find out why. As a business owner, you cannot afford downtime, and a hosting provider that cannot keep you online 24/7 is not worth your time or money.

In some cases there may be reasonable explanations for the downtime, and a single instance is not usually a reason to jump ship. But if the downtime is consistent or increasing, it may be time to shop around for another provider.

#2. You Have Security Concerns

Hiring a hosting provider is about more than just getting online. When you partner with a hosting provider, you also hand off the security for your website, and by extension your business.

Unfortunately, not all hosting providers are up to the task, and it is important to monitor their performance carefully. If you have any doubts about the security of your data, you need to research the company carefully. From examining their online reputation to talking to fellow business owners, there are steps you can take to secure your data and make sure your hosting provider has implemented the latest procedures and technology to keep your data safe.

#3. Customer Service is Spotty or Nonexistent

Great tech support and excellent customer service are two critical underpinnings of a successful hosting company. If your calls to customer service go unanswered and your tech support responses are not as robust as they should be, it may be time to move on.

You can test the robustness of the customer service and tech support teams by reaching out with minor issues or common questions. If the response is lacking, move on now, before something major happens.

#4. You Are Paying Too Much

It is easy for hosting companies to take their customers for granted, slowly increasing their prices and introducing additional fees for features that used to be free. If you are paying more than you use to, your current hosting service may no longer be competitive.

If you think your current hosting service is taking advantage of your good nature, reach out to other companies for quotes. You may be surprised at how much you can save simply by moving on.

#5. You Are Using All Your Available Bandwidth

Even if you are happy with your hosting provider otherwise, you may have outgrown their capacity. If you are at the maximum limits of your storage space and bandwidth, you may have no choice but to move on.

You can talk to your current hosting provider before you make the switch, of course. The company may have additional plans available, or they may be planning future growth that could allow you to stay with them for the long term.

Changing hosting providers can be a time-consuming endeavor, but there are times when the pain is worth it. If any of the situations outlined above apply to you, it may be