For companies that depend on online traffic to succeed, reliable web hosting is a critical part of your business. Prioritising content on your website is good but web hosting shouldn’t take a back seat.
With many choices available, it’s easy to choose the cheapest option. Think of web hosting as an investment. The foundation has to be strong. This requires a top quality web host company close to you.
A good web hosting company provides reliability, maximum uptime and speedy connection required for your potential customers to find your business.
Top reasons to invest in premium web hosting
The security of your business is on the line
It’s easy to overlook website security when making business plans. Just like you would buy insurance for your home and an alarm system for security, that’s how important good web hosting is to your business.
As of July 2018, over 50,000 websites were hacked every day. You might think that a hacker is not interested in your website but what you don’t understand is that hackers are only interested in hacking. They use sophisticated programmes to find vulnerable aspects of your website, which they use to infiltrate and destroy your website.
Top hosting providers fortify your website with security plugins, firewalls and well-timed updates to keep your site secure from online attacks. They are constantly monitoring your website to detect attacks and vulnerabilities. They notify you when there is anything fishy such as a disallowed plugin.
PCI issues are handled correctly
For an e-commerce merchant, Payment Card Industry requirements might be difficult to navigate. You need a premium web host company that understands PCI to help your business website scan results. They should analyse results from a PCI scanning company and fix all issues to ensure your website remains secure and passes an audit.
Improved performance for your business
Your website is an extension of your business. If it does well, it will reflect in your ROI. Most premium web host companies have a proprietary caching technology that makes your website load quickly. They deploy large server systems in different data centres to provide high availability.
Speed is critical for websites. Google wants to please your visitors, hence they favour fast loading websites in search results.
Research by Kissmetrics shows that people abandon a website that doesn’t load within 2 seconds. Webperformance goes further to say that you will suffer a 7% conversion cut for every one-second delay in page load speed. When the page loads slowly, users bounce to your competitors.
A premium web host company ensures that your site is optimised for speed 24/7 by looking for innovative ways to improve speed such as adding a CDN, implementing proper caching and using right server hardware. They also monitor the network to prevent overloading.
Whether your option is a VPN cloud, shared hosting or dedicated server, you need a reliable web host company that understands the value of a responsive website.
You’ll need support when you have issues
Even the best websites sometimes suffer a mishap or two. There are occasions when your site goes offline or stops working. Sometimes it’s an edit in the site code, your own error or an issue with the web host.
It might be a hassle trying to get it back online without the required technical expertise. Looking through user forums for answers take time. Whatever the issue, the fact is – as Brendan Wilde of Discount Domains puts it – “a premium web host always provides a support team to get your website online as quickly as possible. “
More customisable options
Co-branding is an issue with free hosting. You’re sharing branding with the host provider. It weakens your credibility and makes your website appear unprofessional. You have limited access to tools and plugins that help your website grow. With a premium website, you can customise your website as you please. It gives you full creative control.
One click backup and restore
Backup and restore points are important for your website. All premium hosting services offer automatic daily backup that is saved for 30 days (or more). Before making changes or updates to your website, you can use the “click to backup” and “click to restore” function.
Free hosting offers backup and restore but the restore process is time-consuming and complex. Apart from hacking, there are other reasons for a site going offline. Getting your site online within seconds can be the difference between making sales and losing potential customers.
Huge storage space and great bandwidth
You need massive storage space when you have a website to maintain. You’re going to upload images, documents and sometimes video to your website, all of which require storage. The amount of storage depends on the type of service/products you offer and the type of website.
Larger bandwidth means users can download media files from your website directly instead of getting redirected. Good bandwidth also means increased speed for your site. When searching for web hosting providers, always look for companies that offer more bandwidth and storage.
As your website grows, you’ll get more traffic. With a free hosting service, you’ll quickly reach the threshold of your limit, which pressures the website and leads to server loading problems. Premium web hosting allows your website to scale as your business needs grow. There is no loss of visitors or speed and a good browsing experience is assured.
If you have to pay a few extra dollars for premium hosting just to use the staging server, do it. It gives you the ability to copy your website to a different server where you can test new versions of themes and plugins; you can also change the features on your site and test them in an offline environment while your website remains online.
If you don’t like the changes, you can abandon them, and if you do like the changes, take them live with one click.
The failure to update the themes, plugins and CMS is one of the reasons why a website goes down. The challenge is in the fact that each entity is separate. They do not update on the same schedule.
A premium web host can either provide an automatic update feature or alert you of a new update to ensure your plugins and themes are in sync. You can also configure it to test the update before deploying it.
How bad hosts and free hosting plans can ruin your business
There is no such thing as a freebie
Think about it. Those web hosting providers who offer freebies only give you limited options that leave you feeling handicapped. You get a tiny amount of bandwidth and 50 MB of storage. No way to transfer content or FTP access. It literally cripples your ability to do anything.
In time, you’ll probably cave in out of frustration because moving your site to another hosting provider would be impossible on a free plan.
Downtimes can happen at any time
Even large companies like Amazon have experienced downtime. In 2013, they lost an estimated $4.8 million from 40 minutes of downtime. Your website might not be as big as Amazon but you could have the same problem. Cheap hosting companies have limited funds, which means less support personnel to help you get your site back online.
Lower SEO rankings
There is a popular saying on the internet. “The second page is the best place to hide a website”. Most online users start and end their search on the first page of Google search results. Ideally, that’s where you want to be.
A website that suffers server downtime is a sign of a non-reliable web host. Search engines can’t find your content when they receive a related query because your website is offline.
Page load time is a ranking factor. Cheap web host providers usually host your site on a shared server. Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team said that site speed affects your website ranking. It’s also easy for your website to get spammed when hosted on a shared server. You won’t get the reliability, speed and scalability that your business website needs to grow.
Your website can disappear without any notice
Free hosting providers don’t have any obligations to you. They can easily shut down their services at the drop of a hat. When this happens, all the backlinks you’ve worked hard to earn becomes useless as you’re back to square one on a new site.
Poor customer service
You get what you pay for with a cheap hosting provider. A new business decided to invest in some prime web development tools for their website. They built the site with a drag and drop builder.
Sadly, the shared RAM and CPU couldn’t accommodate the premium tools they used. They tried to reach customer service via live chat but there were 45 customers already waiting in line with no agent in sight. They sent an email and customer service personnel replied after five days. The solution? Invest in a dedicated server package.
Web hosting shouldn’t be an afterthought when designing your business website. We’ve outlined all the benefits you will enjoy and the consequences you might suffer when you choose a good or bad hosting provider. Our advice is to set aside a budget to invest in a dedicated web hosting package that gives your business room to grow.