Your web host can have a huge impact on the performance of your website. This is crucial for anyone managing a site, but it’s especially important if you’re running an online business, as bad performance can lead to loss of sales. If you’re noticing that your website is not performing the way that you need it to, it may be time to consider a different host.
What slows down a website? Sometimes features like audio/video files, images, or plugins can add to a webpage’s load time and negatively impact the performance of the site. But more often than not, a slow website has more to do with the site’s host than it does with the site itself. Website speed is directly related to traffic, and you don’t want to be losing customers because of slow connection speed. Worse, Google places slow sites lower in search results than high sites with similar SEO rankings, so a slow load time can impact your search engine visibility too. If your slow web speed is affecting your traffic, it may be worth it to examine what other packages your current web host offers, or even switch to a new provider. If your site is currently on a shared hosting package, you may want to consider switching to VPS hosting. A VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting package will put you on your own dedicated virtual machine, which means that 100% of that server’s resources will be allocated specifically to your website(s).
One way to hack into a website is to enter through the web host. A good host will understand this and have the appropriate protections in place to make your data as secure as possible. As a business owner, you not only have to worry about your data being stolen – you also have to worry about money and your customer’s financial information. Not only do you want to make sure that your host provider uses reliable malware and vulnerability scanners, but you also want to ask your host about their plan for data backup and storage. If the worst should happen, you want to be with a host that supports you.
Downtime can be incredibly damaging to an online business. Again, not only do you lose potential customers, but downtime negatively affects SEO. Therefore, you want to make sure that you are with a hosting provider that can guarantee almost 100% uptime (no one can guarantee 100%, but you want to get as close as you can). You should also ask your host provider what their plan is to manage downtime. Any hosting provider that has no plan for downtime management is probably not the right place for your online business.
Your website’s DNS is connected to the web host. If your DNS is down, so is your site. So it’s in your best interests to know exactly what your hosting provider offers in terms of DNS services. For an online business, it may be worth it to upgrade to premium DNS services so that, if your server is down, your DNS can be routed to another server and keep your site up and running.
It may be worth it to see if your web host offers CDN services or Content Delivery Network. Essentially, a CDN provides access to a network of servers that delivers your web content to users based on their geographic location. Since geographic proximity to the network increases load time, a CDN can dramatically increase your site’s speed.
If your hosting provider doesn’t offer you an easy way to access your site’s data, it will be hard for you to spot small or potential problems until they’ve mushroomed into something big and difficult to fix. Good web monitoring services are essential to the upkeep of your online business so that you can do what you need to do to ensure your customers have the best possible experience on your site. It’s easy to forget about your web host, but it’s actually an important part of the overall performance of your site. Making sure you’re with a hosting provider that can provide you the best services and security is making sure that you have the best possible resources in place to help your online business thrive.