Picture this. You have worked long and hard at designing and developing a website for your business, taking each careful step to ensure a bug-free, user-friendly experience on your website. But, after a successful launch and a few good days, you start receiving complaints from customers about being unable to access the website or being unable to complete transactions because of slow speeds and timeouts. Frequent downtimes and slow loading times can eventually cause your frustrated website visitors to decide to take their business elsewhere. Your bottom line starts taking a hit as you continue to lose business even though your website, by functional standards, is well-designed.
This isn’t a very pretty picture, but it is one that becomes a reality when businesses aren’t careful about choosing the right type of hosting for their website. While the hosting service doesn’t by itself directly affect a website’s ranking, it can however be a contributing factor to your website’s credibility with search engines.
So, here are some ways in which the type of hosting can affect your online business.
According to this report from Kissmetrics, the higher the load times, the higher were the abandonment rates. Slow load times count as a poor user experience, and results in a higher bounce rates, and lower conversions. It should therefore be no surprise that page speed matters to search engines. Poor page speeds can be especially detrimental to e-commerce websites, where high bounce rates translate to higher cart abandonment rates and lower satisfaction rates, as evidenced by Kissmetrics’ report.
So, the type of hosting you choose can have a bearing on your site’s performance; it therefore comes down to choosing the right type of hosting depending on the kind of business you have. Shared hosting options, while cheaper, will mean that you’ll be sharing bandwidth with a number of sites, which in turn, will have an impact on your site speed. If your website isn’t content heavy and doesn’t expect high volumes of traffic, the shared option can suffice.
If you want a measure of control over your resources, a virtual private server (VPS) is a slightly better option than the shared option. With this option, you’ll still be sharing space with other sites, but you’ll be able to choose the amount of resources you want control over. However, if your business is an e-commerce venture or social networking website, a dedicated option would serve you better. With the dedicated option, you will have control over the full bandwidth and server resources to handle the high volume traffic and transactions on your website.
Accessibility and Uptime
No matter how fast your website is or how well-designed, it all becomes worthless if your users cannot access it. If your website is constantly crashing, it is at risk of being dinged by Google. Now, it should be understood, that no hosting service provider, no matter how well-known or prominent they are, can give you an accurate estimate of their uptimes. While their numbers may be close to accurate, there will be down-times at some point. Therefore, while choosing your hosting provider, you should ensure that you read their terms of source for guarantees of support and remuneration in the event of downtimes.
On your part, you should have your own plan of action for both planned and unplanned downtimes. However, if you encounter frequent downtimes in the server, get in touch with your hosting provider and get them to resolve the issue.
Security is a two-way street. First ensure that you have taken every measure to ensure website security on your end. A website that’s susceptible to attacks can have a serious impact on your search rankings, since Google can devalue your domain if it finds malicious code on your site. However, your hosting also bears some responsibility in ensuring that your website is safe from nefarious elements. Hosting services are a favorite snack for hackers – remember when nearly the entire East Coast was brought down by a DDOS attack in October 2016?
So, it’s of paramount importance that you are completely clear on your hosting service provider’s security policy. DDOS protection and automatic back-ups are must-haves, and here’s a handy list of questions you should have for your hosting service regarding website security.
So, while your hosting may not have a direct impact on your online business, it does play a role in impacting your website’s online credibility.