It’s no secret that the people who run small businesses have more than enough on their plates. From finance to accounts, marketing, sales, production, customer service et cetera et cetera… your to-do list is an never ending scroll through your iPhone notes. As expected, websites more often than not are quite far down on the priority list for small business owners. You likely made your website yourself, in a hurry & just got it out there. Or you paid a local website developer a few hundred to do it for you. We don’t blame you, it’s great to get started quickly. (Congratulations on getting this far!) Your website has served it’s purpose for you by merely existing & you’ve gone back to where your business needs you most. Good idea. If this sounds like you, you’re going to want to read to the rest of this post…
The hosting provider you choose could be costing you website visitors
Yes, thats right. The platform that hosts your website could be costing you visitors. Here are some possible ways they could be letting you down:
1. Site Load Speed
The time it takes for your content to load will directly affect how/if you can convert visitors into customers. The majority of visitors will likely be on a mobile device in 2021, so we can go by the major search engine results page guidelines (SERPs). The major search engines use content load time as one of the key factors in whether or not your website is shown to the search engine users. For mobile devices this is a top 3 factor in search rankings. Let’s face it, nobody is going to wait for your website to load, would you? If your web hosting provider’s bandwidth doesn’t have a large enough capacity & has bogged down servers, they are setting you up for failure and you might not even know. If you use analytics tools, check if your website is taking longer than 3 seconds to load. If it is, you need to change hosts immediately. If you don’t know how to check this, get in touch with us for a free site load speed checkup.
2. Content Delivery Network
This is a modern, sophisticated way of delivering your website content from cloud servers located closer (geographically) to your website visitors. Shortening the physical distance between where your content is hosted & where the visitor is located, will create a rapid site experience for your visitors. Remember: you will never be able to view your site as a visitor from other locations. It may seem quick to you, because its hosted where you are but for your visitors it could be a completely different story. You will need to either sign up to paid analytics tools such as semrush, moz or google analytics to see how your site is performing from your visitors perspective. Or just drop us a message & we’ll have a quick look for you free of charge.
3. Cloud Server Infrastructure
Cloud computing has proved to be the future of the internet, that’s no longer a debate. It is going to be much simpler for you in the future to choose a hosting provider who is on the cutting edge of this technology. Single server hosts are practically the dinosaurs of this industry and you know what happened to them. Make sure you choose a cloud-based web host to build with, or risk a painful, major website migration in the coming years.
If your website host isn’t offering firewall, anti-virus or malware applications you are running a risk of losing your data to a very simple hack. If your website processes payments then website encryption and security is even more important. Your savvy visitors will never enter payment details unless your site has not only a valid, trustworthy payment processor but also a secure website from a data collection POV. Data is the newest, most precious commodity in the world & users are becoming privy to this, meaning they are becoming less and less likely to even sign up for your mail list unless you have SSL security (as a bare minimum). Use a host that gives you AND your potential customers the best safety features. Remember: If you run a store its not just your data at risk, its your customers too. Make sure you choose a host that controls a 100% secure place for your data across their servers.
Some hosts will guarantee a minimum of 15-10% downtime. Dropping off AT ALL in 2021 is unacceptable to us. If your site sees a decent daily flow of visitors then an hour or more down will mean sizeable losses to your business. Note: big name platforms don’t necessarily mean less downtime, generally they host more sites, stretch capacity and thus possibility of downtime can actually be higher in some cases. Depending on who your web hosting provider is, you may not even know about your website’s blackouts… ouch! Be safe, be smart & make sure you’re only willing to host with a provider that will guarantee you 99% website uptime. Like these guys do!
6. Integrated Tools
This isn’t as popular as it should be, but ask yourself this: does your host offer you more than it should? Are they going above and beyond just hosting? Integrated features such as Email Security, Webalizer, AWStats, Joomla, PHP, WordPress, Weebly, Ruby on Rails etc are key to your website staying on top of the latest trends. A hosting platform packed with features really puts the power in your hands and gives you the ability to execute your vision to your best ability. To host with any platform who doesn’t offer more than you need means they are not pushing the envelope & its a matter of time before they are holding you back.
7. Customer Service
24/7/365 customer service goes without saying these days. Unfortunately you’ll only know you’ve signed up for a bad host when it’s too late. If you are waiting more than 24hours for a support ticket to be answered to, do yourself a favour & change your host to someone who cares. You deserve better.
Consider all these points before making your decision. Don’t let your service provider’s limitations hinder your business. Hosting is the number #1 most important aspect of your website. Your website is the most important aspect of your small business. If its not yet then it will be. As online business is rapidly increasing, its getting hard to see a future for your business when your website hosting isn’t taken seriously. Think before you host!