Last Updated on October 30, 2020
Where to Build Your Foundations
Imagine you’ve done everything right on your website. You’ve got great SEO-optimized content that’s written specifically to your target audience. You’ve made sure each page has a compelling CTA to drive conversions. You’re also collecting names and email addresses so you can follow up to nurture those leads. But there’s one thing wrong… your site takes too long to load, or sometimes it’s unavailable because your server is having problems. It’s the equivalent of being all dressed up and nowhere to go.Ready to Talk?
How disappointing that all the hard work to create a seamless and effective online presence hinges on web hosting, a service that’s become a commodity. There are a lot of choices, cutthroat pricing, and special deals worthy of a ginzu commercial. If you’re shopping for a better web hosting service provider, here are a few things to look for and why:
Sites that are slow to load lose visitors. We’re impatient and most of us aren’t willing to wait for those pretty graphics in the promise of a high-value payoff. Perhaps returning visitors may give you a second chance, but those fresh off a Google search probably won’t. Also, It isn’t just searchers that will give you the cold shoulder for a slow site. Google will penalize sites that load slowly on desktop, or mobile, devices.
If your site doesn’t load in under a second (and are sure your site’s code is not at fault), then it’s most likely your web hosting server that’s slowing things down. This can be caused by a number of issues like inadequate hardware resource, too many other users on the same server (shared-hosting), or a slow connection to the internet backbone. Not sure if that’s your problem? Check your site’s speed in Google Analytics or Google’s Page Speed tools.
Houston, we have a problem. It’s not uncommon for system glitches. If your website isn’t backed up regularly (especially if new content like blog posts are continually added), you could be in a world of hurt. Your web host provider should be doing full backups of your site. You need these backups in case your site has problems, but you also need these backups to be secure in case they carry any customer data. Look at the fine print about their process of reloading your site should it go down or get hacked. If your online presence is driving the phone to ring, then every minute counts.
Quality Customer Service
If you’re not technically oriented, then no explanation is needed here. 24/7 access to customer service reps that can actually answer your web hosting questions is worth it. Your site could have problems at any time of the day, so you need help available at the drop of a hat. Here you should, beware of big name web hosting providers. They may provide technical support but the speed of their servers are bogged down. You need to weigh the low cost and system performance with the value of quality support. You’ll either need to spend money on experts or invest time in learning the basics yourself.
Web Hosting Features
Review the various web hosting features you’ll need such as SSL Certificate (required for secure financial transactions in shopping carts and other sensitive data and now an important SEO ranking factor) and databases (needed for collecting contact info like names and emails). Using a standard CMS platform like WordPress? If not, make sure the web hosting provider supports your CMS and can handle mobile optimization.