Many webmasters will spend a lot of time optimizing their websites for SEO and working on the user experience, which are essential to the success of their websites.
But then they go wrong by purchasing a cheap web hosting plan or directing their clients to do so.
This is like having a high-end car and going out of your way to put the cheapest oil and gas in it.
Your Web Hosting Matters
Web hosting is significant, and it is what separates the good from the great.
Look, all of what we described above is important (please don’t misunderstand), but hosting is just as essential to the performance of your site and your overall visibility as your user experience and search engine optimization.
In this article, we will explain the importance of good web hosting and what to consider when looking for hosting services for your website.
What Makes Web Hosting Great?
The first thing you need to know is that not all hosting service providers are the same.
The second is that instability on the part of your host means that you will share in the losses.
What does this mean?
If your hosting service goes down, then that means your website will go down too.
As You Can See, Cheap Shared Web Hosting Is Risky
If you choose to go into a cheap “shared” hosting platform, the mistakes of the websites in which you share web hosting can also affect you negatively.
These are mistakes that could paralyze your business if they keep occurring.
Why spend time, money, and resources building a website that portrays your business well only to lose on hosting? Doesn’t make much sense.
Quality web hosting guarantees you security, reliability, and great customer service—the three factors that should be at the center of your decision-making process.
1. Web Hosting Security
Many web hosting services cram websites into the same servers due to resource inadequacy.
And, as stated above, shared hosting environments leave you at risk of being impacted by bad incidents that happen to other websites on the same server.
A security breech in one site can create a gateway into your website. This can be very frustrating because now you are not even in charge of your data’s security anymore.
Private Servers Are Worth The Cost
While a private server may be more expensive, we believe it is always a better idea to have, regardless of your website’s content.
It is even more important when you have client’s sensitive data stored on your site.
However, you shouldn’t accept mediocre services from a private server just because it’s available. Always ask about a host’s server security strategy before committing.
2. A Reliable Web Host
Reliability is of real importance. It is what your clients expect from you and what you should expect from your host.
Having your reliability compromised by an inferior web hosting service provider wouldn’t be a wise choice. There are too many websites out there vying for the same business as you are.
A bad web host will slow your site’s loading speed, which is majorly problematic.
Imagine going through all of the steps to obtain a new customer, spending advertising dollars directing traffic to your website, only to have the prospect click away from your site due to a loading speed issue or latency caused by bad service.
Your Site’s Performance Relies Partially On Your Web Host
While most user experience issues are under your control, some are hosting-based, and a good balance of both is required for your website to run as smoothly as possible.
Cheap web hosting often leads to slow loading speeds and it’s not a great first impression to users who may devalue your services based on this.
Beware of those hosting providers that promise all-inclusive packages at extremely low costs. Performance issues means that, “Cheap is the most expensive.”
Regardless of your budget, the additional costs are totally worth it if it means ensuring the integrity of your website.
3. Excellent Web Hosting Customer Service
Now that we have established the importance of security and reliability, customer service is the last major facet to go over.
Cheap web hosting solutions are just that—cheap.
What happens when an issue arises?
If you choose a shared hosting environment, you might end up spending a couple of hours on the phone with a tech support person, who may not have the experience necessary to rectify your issue.
You will spend hundreds of dollars for a developer to fix the issue.
Managed Web Services Are Faster Than Shared Hosting
There have been many instances of clients calling us who are currently with an inferior web hosting service that then opt to have us move their sites to a private server and take over managed core, theme, and plugin updates on their behalf.
Then if they run into an issue, they can call us, and we’ll get the issue resolved as soon as possible. They never have to worry about long wait times on the phone again.
The Speed of Web Hosting Customer Support
Getting back to customer support with other web hosts, how can you ensure that should some problem occur, that it can be rectified quickly? Is your current choice up to par?
When the chips are down, it is all about how fast your hosting service responds to your issue and puts your website back up.
If a hosting plan doesn’t include a guarantee that it can get your site back up and at no additional cost, move on to a better solution.
Good hosts have enough knowledgeable representatives to listen to their clients and provide them with prompt and long-term fixes.
Why Do You Need A Reliable Host?
A reliable host works to ensure your website isn’t affected by hosting-based issues, and your security is not jeopardized due to vulnerabilities in the server.
Good hosts not only put effort in resolving issues but also ensure similar issues do not affect you in the future.
They have a knowledgeable support team at your service at all times for inquiries and emergencies.
How Do I Find A Good Host?
With the internet providing an open playing field for all types of web hosting service providers, it can be hard telling the good from the bad.
Always listen to what third party reviewers and clients have to say about a hosting service provider.
More importantly, conduct your own research to ensure the host guarantees good customer support, overall reliability, and server security.
4 Steps To Finding A Good Web Host
1. Pinpoint Your Objectives
The first step to choosing a great website host is pinpointing what your goals are and what you’re trying to accomplish.
Web hosting companies come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages, so having a clear idea of what you’re trying to do will help you pick the correct hosting plan.
If you don’t expect a lot of traffic to your website, for instance, you might (despite what we’ve already talked about) choose a shared hosting plan, which again, means your website will be sharing server resources with a number of other sites.
2. Choose A Web Host That Guarantees 100% Uptime
Website downtime is when users are not able to access your website, which as already mentioned, can be caused by problems with your web hosting company. When the web host server goes down, so does your website.
Web hosting companies that have a lot of issues will naturally have a low uptime rate. You’ll want to avoid buying from a web hosting company if theirs is low.
The truth is: Web hosts that don’t have a VERY high uptime rate are sort of bad news (maybe not intentionally, but their services are unreliable).
If you do want to buy hosting from a web host that has an uptime of less than 99%, then you should either be paying pennies or get a guarantee from them that you’ll get perks if your website goes down.
Remember that Google frowns upon sites that have a lot of downtime, which will hurt your organic traffic.
3. Find Out What You’re Paying For
To ensure you are getting what you pay for when it comes to your web host, you’ll want to do two things.
First, you’ll want to look at their subscription period and the details of your contract to see if there are any sneaky charges, such as an increased renewal fee. You’ll want to clarify what your monthly charges are.
Second, you’ll want to dig deep with your preferred web host company and ask questions about what exactly their hosting plan offers.
You’d be surprised how many hosting plans either don’t offer as much as you thought or offer more than you thought.
Understanding what exactly comes with your original plan, what you’ll need to pay for if you want to upgrade, and what is an add-on is very helpful.
Unfortunately, sometimes web hosting companies will run tricky, or even deceptive ads that make you think their plans do more than they actually do.
Asking questions helps you avoid curveballs, especially if you build your website and eventually need to upgrade to a better plan.
4. Look At The Web Host’s Reviews
Reviews are everything nowadays and for good reason—they’re usually right.
Now we’ve all seen those 1 star reviews that were written by someone who was overreacting over a small issue….Or maybe the person was leaving a bad review because they weren’t able to get the freebie they were expecting.
But if you look at a company’s reviews and notice a string of 1, 2, and 3-star reviews, there is most likely a very good reason why.
Reviews are in place to protect you, and they only take a few minutes of your time to read.
Websites like Trustpilot are a great place to go for reviews of web hosting companies.
What Kind of Security Should I Be Looking For?
Adequate security is a concoction of protection against malicious infiltration and good customer service. Review your chosen hosts’ security tools and see how fast they respond whenever you call or email them.
What Specific Security Offerings Should I Expect From A Web Host?
One of the more critical offerings your web host provider should have available is backup and restore.
To be fair, every major web host provider we’ve come across does make it possible to backup and restore your website in the event of an issue.
But some web hosts are less strict than others about how often they back up customer sites.
If you’re not pleased with how often your web host backs up your website, you can do a manual backup.
But this is a little bit time-consuming.
As a website owner, you’re probably not going to want to spend time manually backing up your website whenever you make changes to it—it’s much easier to have a web host that backs up your site regularly.
If you’ve ever visited a website and seen the HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), and it doesn’t have the S at the end, then that means your site doesn’t have an SSL certificate.
SSL certificates are necessary for certain websites, for instance, eCommerce stores, since they enable an encrypted connection.
You don’t want to input your credit or debit card information (or any other important personal information) into a website without an SSL certificate, as this will put your information at risk.
The reason we mention this is that every major web hosting company either has SSL certificates that you can buy or offers free SSL certificates.
Logically, if your web hosting company offers you a free SSL certificate, it’ll help save you around $60 per year, which is the average cost of SSL certificates.
Protection Against Malware
When choosing a web host, a good thing to ask is what protections they provide against malware.
Some web hosts will scan your website for malware, but not all hosts do.
It’s a good idea to ask your web host how their networks are monitored for malware and other security issues.
It also doesn’t hurt to ask what your web host security compliances are.
Side Note – Your Web Host’s Location
As an aside, it also doesn’t hurt to ask where your web host keeps its servers. US-based servers are going to be safer than servers located in regions with substantial political instability.
While this isn’t a big concern for most people, viruses are NOT the only threat to your digital security.
In extremely rare cases, physical breakdowns to your web host’s company building, environment impacts, Acts of God, and even war can compromise your web host if they aren’t located in a safe area.
What’s The Most Secure Form Of Web Hosting?
Every type of web hosting has vulnerabilities, but managed hosting is likely to be the most secure hosting you’ll find at a reasonable price since you have a team of people whose job it is to manage and monitor the server you are renting.
If you are concerned about adding extra layers of protection to your website, consider asking your web host about routine backups, firewalls, and DDoS protection.
The least secure version of hosting, of course, is shared hosting. We can’t warn people enough about it.
Shared hosting servers are sort of a target for skilled hackers, who can upload malware onto a given website on the server and gain access to information from all the other websites.
A knowledgeable hacker may target the shared server’s directory—a major concern.
Bad Hosting: Don’t Let Your Email Be Mistaken For Spam
Another problem with using a shared server is that your website or email may be mistaken for spam.
If another website on your server is engaging in unscrupulous activities, the IP address connected to the shared server will implicate your website.
This last issues is a MASSIVE problem for those who want to improve their website’s search engine optimization.
The bottom line:
Hosting your website with the wrong shared server can get your website blacklisted by Google through no fault of your own.
Should You Consider Cost When Looking For A Host?
For anyone operating on a budget, cost is a factor, but you should never forfeit better services just to save a few bucks.
You can find a hosting service provider with the perfect combination of price and quality if you conduct your research well.
If the cost is too low, there is a chance you are paying for mediocre services, because superior hosting tools are certainly more expensive.
A Better Quality Web Hosting Service Equals Better Support
Hosts that charge more can afford to hire enough customer support representatives and pay for data protection services.
This reduces the risk of attacks, optimizes page load speeds, increases user experience, and improves issue resolution for clients.
In the end, you get the peace of mind you need to run your business knowing your website is well taken care of.
We often hear, “But GoDaddy web hosting is $15 a month.” This is not an apples to apples comparison.
As we elucidated above, when searching for the best web hosting solution, make sure to be comparing services equally.
Additionally, GoDaddy hosting solution doesn’t provide updates to the website, besides possibly, “Managed WordPress,” which for anyone working with a web development company…steer clear completely.
Are There Any Hidden Fees?
At Sage Digital Agency, we are very clear about our pricing. When you work with us, you’ll never have to worry about getting blindsided by unexpected charges.
This distinguishes us from some competitors who nestle unexpected charges in their web hosting agreements or will renew at a higher price even if they didn’t make it super clear to you that you could expect a higher charge eventually.
Speaking of hidden charges, one thing you’ll want to watch out for when working with other web hosting companies are their setup fees since setup fees are added on top of your monthly payment.
Another thing you’ll want to watch out for is your use limit. While many web hosting offer “unlimited” web hosting, in reality, every web host has limits, and if you go over it, you’ll probably end up having to pay a fee for it.
Is A Better Host Helpful To Marketing?
Whether you run your business entirely from a website, or the site is complementing an established brick and motor store, you cannot ignore the power of a strong online presence.
Studies show that 70-80 percent of all customers research products and services before buying.
A stodgy, slow, and partially available website will both receive unfavorable ranking from search engines and put off prospects looking for your type of service online.
With good hosting, you win right away by not making your customers wait a long time for your site to load.
Call Sage Digital Agency
In today’s digital environment, your website is the first impression of your business. Slow loading speeds and frequent unavailability are red flags that most internet users won’t forgive.
Give us a call 702-268-9000 today for more information on web hosting and how to find the perfect hosting solution for your website.
Further Reading: Web Hosting FAQs
1. What Is The Cheapest Type of Web Hosting?
Shared hosting is certainly the cheapest.
Shared hosting is, in fact, exceptionally cheap due to the risks it poses and only costs $1 to $20 per month, depending on which of the big box hosts (or one of the thousands of smaller competitors) that you go with.
Our prices, meanwhile, vary since we provide managed web services specific to your needs.
Call us at (702) 268-9000 for a free, no-pressure consultation and quote.
2. Can You Tell Us More About What Sage Digital Agency Offers?
First and foremost, Sage’s approach to managed web services revolves around providing you with high-quality, lightning-fast support.
We answer you quickly (either right away or we get back to you ASAP) and provide you in-depth answers to your concerns from our knowledgeable team.
When you work with us, long GONE will be the days where you have to wait for hours on the phone to speak with a customer service rep, which can happen when you work with a big box host.
In addition to our commitment to providing you with top-quality support, we promise the following:
- Guaranteed response times
- Regular updates of your WordPress core, theme files, and plug-ins
- Reporting on how your website is performing
- Professional tools for performance and speed optimization
3. Are Web Servers That Important?
Most definitely! Without web servers, the internet wouldn’t run. They do the heavy lifting required to keep websites up.