Understanding the inner workings of website hosting and all of the contributing parts of the service isn’t something that is exactly widely understood by business owners or those in a decision making position. Most people just want to know their website is up and available for their audience. They could care less about how it happens. This is all fine and good until you understand that all hosting isn’t created equal, and a poor provider or overworked server could be costing you conversions(aka money).
The Real Estate of the Internet
Let’s use an analogy to look at this in another way. Think of your website as a custom home. You looked through blueprints and floor plans, chose the perfect colors for the walls, picked out all the essential features you wanted. Now, you just need somewhere to build it. When choosing a home, this is nearly as important as the quality and design of the home itself. A bad area with a high crime rate and lots of houses crammed together would lead to lower property values and appreciation compared to a location in an up and coming area with low crime rate and more spacious properties. Where you put the house matters no matter how nice the design.
Think of your website the same way. Your server (hosting provider) is the plot of land your website occupies. You went through revisions rounds with a designer, chose the features you needed to include, and are ready to go live and start promoting. Don’t just toss your site to any provider and hope for the best, but take a little time to understand the value of a quality hosting setup and the benefits that come with it.
How Can My Host Affect My Website Performance?
An Inconsistent or Unreliable Uptime
Uptime is how often their servers go down. If they boast anything less than 99.9% uptime, they probably have unreliable servers and you may experience down time from time to time. This means time that your site is unavailable to potential visitors and customers. You can check many online forums to see what people are saying about their experience with the providers.
Not Providing Backups
Having backups of your website stored is essential. If something ever happens to your website (knock on wood) having regular backups available can save you a ton of time and money, making the process pretty easy. Without backups, you will spend more money fixing the broken or infected site, as well as experience a longer period offline.
Putting You on an Overcrowded Shared Server
There are several types of hosting options provided by all kinds of companies. The most common is a shared hosting package that has been the bread and butter of the more commonly known providers for years now. Shared hosting means they cram your site onto another server with several other sites.
Think about your server like wifi. If you are the only one, or one of only a few using a wifi network, your speeds are typically going to be pretty good with little loading time. If you are in a public place sharing wifi with many people, the speeds and loading time will likely be significantly slower. This works the same way with the amount of websites a server manages, and overall the amount of traffic the server is supporting. The more traffic supported by the server, the slower your site will load and perform.
That’s right. This is the big one. While Google doesn’t come right out and tell us all of the exact ranking factors and the influence they have, enough people have been watching close enough to have a very good understanding. Speed, uptime, and location are all determining ranking factors in Google’s algorithm. While there are over 200 ranking factors so these may not be huge influences on your organic rankings, they may be what hold you back from breaking through to those top positions.
The reliability of your hosting service can affect your website in a lot of ways. All of those ways can potentially cost you money and time. In the digital first age we have fully embraced as a society, it is essential to choose the right hosting company and package to achieve the highest results from your website and ensure that you minimize the chance of losing any potential customers.
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