The vast majority of people who purchase hosting will begin with a basic service package. And at first this makes perfect sense. After all you don’t want to be paying for capacity and features that you won’t even be using. However as your website grows in popularity eventually there will come a time when you need to upgrade. Failing to upgrade can be a serious mistake as it can make your site difficult to use and in some cases inaccessible.
Most people will only start to look at upgrading their hosting when problems are already occurring. It’s a little like getting sick. Generally we don’t go to the doctor until we can’t avoid doing so, but it is much better to treat a problem before it even starts.
The same principle applies to hosting. When you start to experience problems with your site such as features crashing or slow loading speeds then chances are you are already over taxing your current hosting resources. Simply put too many people are visiting your website for your current hosting package.
To ensure that you upgrade before it becomes a problem you should look for a hosting service which offers the means to measure your monthly bandwidth, disk space and CPU usage. With a good hosting service you will find these tools inside of your control panel. When looking at your sites current CPU usage you want to make sure that you have a margin of safety. During peak usage hours your traffic can spike so this is when you will experience problems. You should also be careful if you are expecting your site to receive an influx of traffic, for example if you guest blogging on a popular website.
Also watch your disk space and monthly bandwidth usage carefully. Your exact disk space needs will depend largely on what type of site you are running. If your site is content heavy or features a lot video then it is fairly easy to use up all of your available disk space. Also keep in mind that many hosting packages allow you to host multiple domains but have a fixed amount of disk space that must be shared amongst all of them. If you have multiple sites which have a lot of content then this can cause problems.
Bandwidth, disk space and CPU usage are not the only reasons that you might need to upgrade. Often you will have special requirements that cannot be meet by a basic hosting package. An example of this is if you have a specific script that you would like to use on your site. Sometimes you will need to upgrade in order to accommodate this.
Once you realize that you need to upgrade your hosting you should make a list of why your current hosting package is not meeting your needs and what your future requirements are likely to be. Generally it is better to overestimate your future needs so you don’t need to upgrade your hosting again too soon. Contact your hosting service provider and explain what your requirements are going forward and ask what packages they offer. Your hosting service provider will then be able to explain your available options and guide you through the process of upgrading your account.