Can Your Hosting Affect Your Online Success?

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.

Site Speed

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.

Decision Time: Web Designer vs. Website Builder

The World Wide Web continues to expand exponentially. This opens an interesting debate that focuses on choosing between a professional web designer vs. website builder. The key difference between the two is a website designer builds from scratch. In contrast, a website builder provides ‘canned’, customizable solutions.

The Great Debate – Web Designer vs. Website Builder

Right now, there must be tens of thousands of people scattered around the world trying to decide between hiring a web designer vs. website builder. As you might expect, there are sound arguments in favor of both camps, hence this article.

Take 1 – The Value a Website Designer Adds

Hiring a professional website designer means finding someone with the right, proven skills set. They should be able to share an impressive portfolio with contactable references, irrespective of whether they are self-employed or working for a firm. Do the research before deciding. They must have the vision to interpret your requirements and translate them into the perfect website. Agree a written requirements specification before starting the assignment. Then,

– What impression does their website make on you?
– Do they have a Review button? If so, read the feedback
– Are they offering a turnkey solution?
– Is the turn-around time to your liking?

Read and understand the contractual obligations carefully, particularly clauses relating to guarantees. Voice your concerns if the contract favors the provider. Moreover, what provisions are in place for minor changes after initial development? Finally, is a service level agreement available for ongoing maintenance and at what cost? Do they have membership of the American Marketing Association?

Now it’s time for a quick crosscheck to find out if you are happy to proceed with a web design company, or an individual web designer. In other words, how comfortable are you with the fit?

Take 2 – Choosing a Website Builder

For many, this might be the only choice because of capital costs. There are many impressive offerings out there in cyberspace, so you need to do some homework before deciding. Here are some helpful tips about what to look for before choosing a website builder:
What range of services are available from the website builder? For example,

– Web hosting
– Is cloud hosting an option?
– Do they have dedicated servers?
– What email services do they provide?

Study the apps hosting available and ask if tutorials are included – here are some popular apps:

– WordPress *
– Joomla *
– Drupal
– Magento *
– PrestaShop
– WooCommerce
– Note: The * denotes optional themes/templates

Check the Support and Back up Levels

This is very important, because you are pretty well on your own. What happens when you need urgent help while setting up your website?

– Is the support free?
– How quickly do the agents respond?
– Is live texting an option?
– Can you get transcript copies?
– What about ratings and reviews for the service provided?

Before signing, understand the tariff structures – precisely what do you get for your chosen option. This should include domain registration and renewal costs. Can you migrate to higher / lower service options? Understand the contractual obligations and the notice are you required to give.

What You Know vs. What You Need

Your decision to have a go yourself or hire a professional depends largely on the scope of your business and your goals. If you need a simple web presence, a website builder is a good enough option. You follow the walkthrough, set up a few pages and go online.
If you’re looking to generate revenue – i.e. attract traffic and convert – you need to be well aware of modern requirements:

Are you familiar with the principles of effective web design?

– How up -to-date are you with users behaviors?
– Can you ensure your site is compatible with mobile technology?
– Do you have the tools to optimize visuals?
– Do you know enough to correct set-coding and improve it?
– Can you identify bugs and fix them?
– Do you have the time to build AND manage a website while running a business?

Bottom Line

The choice between web designer vs. website builder hinges entirely on your human and financial resources. Assuming you have at least a mid-size budget spend, a web designer is a good choice. Since no designer is going to work for less than the going rate, rather sign up for a website builder if your budget is insufficient.