Web hosting often doesn’t register in most people’s minds as something with far-reaching business consequences. It’s a necessary part of putting a website on the Internet. You pay the monthly hosting fee to the provider and go on your merry way. But there’s so much more to web hosting. In fact, if you stop to think about it, there’s a very strong correlation between the effectiveness of your hosting company and your business ROI.
If your hosting provider is offering less than reliable service, then your business is going to experience performance inconsistencies and unwanted downtime. Imagine if you have a customer that wants to pay for your online service but is unable to complete the transaction due to some temporary glitch in the web server. If you lose the sale, then that’s obviously very bad for business.
Whether for an individual or a company, website hosting is too important to leave to chance. The potential issues that arise from an unreliable hosting service have far-reaching consequences that make it absolutely necessary to double-check with your provider before signing up.
In the following, we outline seven key ways that web hosting can impact your online business and why it’s critical to perform some due diligence before signing up for a service.
Research shows a clear relationship between web load speed and customer conversions. The faster a page loads the more likely customers will be to visit and do business on your site.
Since speed is such an important factor for running an online business, it’s a good idea to check with your hosting provider to see what kind of package you have and whether an upgrade is in order. In the process, you’ll probably hear about several different hosting options.
Shared hosting, for example, means that one physical server is shared among many websites. Another option is a virtual private server (VPS). If shared hosting is like living in an apartment complex, then a VPS is the condominium. This ownership means more guaranteed CPU, memory and disk space allocations which can translate into better performance, speed, and ROI.
Hackers and cybercriminals will often use the web host to gain access to your website, and if this happens then your business is adversely impacted and you can lose lots of revenue. That’s why it’s critical to take steps to ensure your web hosting provider offers the best measures in place to protect your website. This includes providing reliable malware and vulnerability scanners in place to detect and ward off any malicious code that hackers may drop.
What’s more, your web host should offer a very strong policy against DDoS (distributed denial-of-service attacks). This will ensure that the hosting system is always accessible, even in case of a cyber-attack.
Nothing could be worse than experiencing a hacked website and losing all your data. Again, the implications could be serious for online businesses, even to the point of putting a company out of commission. Therefore, it’s important to understand from your web hosting provider how often your data is backed up, exactly what data is backed up, and where the backed up data is stored.
In April 2010 Google started using page speed as a ranking factor, meaning that faster pages would earn higher SEO rankings than slow ones. More recently, Google also announced that it’s moving in the same direction for mobile web pages.
So, what does this have to do with web hosting? Simple. The faster your website, the higher your SEO rankings, and the more people will be likely to do business with you. As we’ve seen already, site speed is heavily dependent on your web host.
A fast site, solid SEO, and optimal business performance are all factors that go hand in hand with a robust web hosting package.
At the risk of sounding redundant, website downtime means lost revenue for your online business and major negative impacts on your SEO. Anything that can be done to mitigate against unwanted downtime is crucial for improving the overall performance of your online business. The best step you can take to avoid downtime issues is to ensure your web host offers a continual uptime guarantee.
Another factor you shouldn’t ignore when it comes to choosing a website hosting provider is the Domain Name System or DNS. This is the Internet’s equivalent of a phone book; it’s essentially a directory that translates domain names into IP addresses. DNS is often overlooked since it’s an attribute of your website host. If DNS is down, then your site won’t work, so this is something to pay attention to.
It would be worthwhile to check with your web host about upgrading from standard to premium DNS services to ensure an automatic failover to other servers on the network if the closest server goes down. In some hosters’ portfolio, premium DNS services are already included as a standard feature.
Another factor that could really help speed up your website and improve your online business performance is a Content Delivery Network or CDN. This is defined as “a system of distributed servers (network) that deliver web pages and other Web content to a user based on the geographic locations of the user, the origin of the web page and a content delivery server.”
Translated, this means that shorter geographic proximity amounts to faster load time. The most popular CDNs on the market are AWS CloudFront, Fastly, or CloudFlare. Another benefit of a CDN is that by offloading the bandwidth you also get less risk of downtime disruptions due to traffic volumes.
A quality website monitoring service is another important aspect for preserving the overall security and performance of your website. This kind of service can be a lifesaver because it enables organizations to monitor their network anytime and from anywhere. You’ll receive alerts about mission-critical issues impacting your website long before they impact your customers. Cloud hosted web monitoring is an absolute must in today’s fast-paced digital marketplace.
Web hosting is more critical to a business than many people give it credit for. This article has shown considerable evidence for how important web hosting can be on the life of your online company, and how a bad provider can result in lost business and lost sales. Downtime frustrates your visitors, cuts into your bottom line, and ultimately erodes your business. Therefore, it’s essential that you choose a hosting provider carefully – one that will ensure your website is fast, reliable and secure.
To get a quick insight into which hosting provider will bring the best value to your business check Webhostchecker, a website that compares data of hosting providers by performance, geolocation, ranks, and platforms.