Building a great website that is both attractive to users and liked by search engines is a multifaceted task. Many webmasters will spend a lot of time optimizing their websites for SEO and working on the user experience, but then go and purchase a cheap hosting plan, or direct their clients to do so. Its like having a high-end car and going out of your way to put the cheapest oil and gas in it. 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. 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. Firstly, 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 be down too. If you choose to go into a “shared” hosting platform, the mistakes of the websites in which you share hosting with, 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.
Many web hosting services cram websites into the same servers due to resource inadequacy. Additionally, as stated above, shared hosting environments leave you at risk of being hacked. 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. While a private server may be more expensive, we believe it is always a better idea, regardless of your websites content. It is even more important when you have client’s sensitive data stored, however, it doesn’t mean that you should accept mediocre services. Always ask about a host’s server security strategy before committing.
Reliability is of real importance. It is what your clients expect from you, and you should expect this 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 sites loading speed. 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. 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 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. “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.
Now, we have established the importance of security and reliability. Customer service is the last prong 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 will likely spend a couple of hours on the phone with a tech support person, who may or may not have the experience necessary to rectify your issue. Then what? You will spend hundreds of dollars for a developer to fix the issue. There have been many instances of clients calling 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. You have spent significant resources building your website, keep it up to date and secure with the right monthly services. Getting back to customer support, how can you ensure that should some problem occur, that it can be rectified quickly? You simply cannot. 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 to get your site back up and 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 will 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 a level playing field for all types and classes of service providers to sell themselves, it can be hard telling the genuine from the bad. Always listen to what third party reviewers and past and current 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.
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.
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.
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 hosting is $15 a month”. This is not an apples to apples comparison. As we elucidated above, when searching for the best hosting solution, make sure to be comparing services equally. Additionally, services such as the GoDaddy hosting solution provide no updates to the website, besides possibly “managed WordPress”, which for anyone working with a web development company, steer clear completely.
Is a better host helpful to marketing?
Whether you run your business entirely from a website or the site is just complementing an established brick and motor store somewhere, 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 at least win right away, not making a prospect wait many seconds for the site to load. It will encourage them to pay attention to your content and give your product a go. Your web-pages will load quickly, so users won’t be tempted to click out and look for alternatives.
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 today for more information on web hosting and how to find the perfect hosting solution for your website.