Choosing the right web host can be a challenging task. If you want shared hosting, dedicated hosting, or cloud hosting, the options are endless. Almost all the companies claim they are the best with lots of offerings like un limited bandwidth, unlimited disk space, free SSL certificate, pure SSD storage, and free emails.
They want to assure you of 99% or more uptime, 24/7 support, and site builders.
This article mentions 3 ways your website’s performance is affected by the web hosting provider. Those ways will help you to make an informed decision.
Almost half of your site visitors expect the sites to load within 2 seconds or less, and approximately 40% of visitors will leave the site if it takes more than 3 seconds. Higher loading time will make your customers unhappy and as a result, it will impact your business.
Search engines like Google use site speed as a ranking factor. The web pages load quickly; your website receives a good rank in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Page). A well-optimized site loads faster, however other factors also play an important role.
Various factors affect the website loading time. The important elements that affect the website loading time are mentioned below:
For many years the standard HDD or hard drives have been used for storage in the servers; however, they have a limitation – the technology. The moving mechanical parts of HDD increase the loading time. A solid-state drive in place of a standard hard drive will offer a much faster loading of your website. An SSD server can read and write requests from your visitors much faster and as a result your website visitors don’t need to wait for a longer time for the web pages to load.
Other server resources and technical specifications like RAM, CPU, and bandwidth also decrease the loading speed of your website. RAM is responsible to store the data and make it available to your viewers. Higher RAM leads to better speed and performance of your website. The size of RAM depends on your website requirements; an ecommerce website with higher traffic needs more RAM, and small websites with only text content need lesser RAM.
The CPU functions like the brain of the server, it performs the required tasks. The cores of the CPU do the work. More number of cores means a higher loading speed of websites. Generally, 4, 6, or 8 core servers are enough to offer higher speed. The amount of server bandwidth determines how fast your website can load content for your visitors; so, it is directly linked to overall website performance. Web hosting companies offering higher bandwidth are a good alternative.
Before you make any changes to your server resources, it is advised to test web page speed. Some common tools to do that are Pingdom Website Speed Test, GTmetrix, and Google PageSpeed Insights.
Some other easy ways to increase page loading speed:
- Optimize and compress your images
- Reduce your redirects
- Cache your web pages
- Enable browser caching
- Remove unnecessary plugins
Web visitors are impatient; every moment counts for them. If your site is down even for seconds, you will lose your visitors, potential and present customers, the website traffic, and overall your sales. Higher uptime is necessary for various reasons; like:
Website downtime leads to loss of revenue:
If your website is down, your website, products, and brands are unreachable to your visitors. There are chances that they can move to your competitors, and as a result, you lose sales. A website always up and running will cater to your customers to generate revenue.
Higher uptime means happy and returning customers:
In case your website is down, loyal customers also will not wait long. One by one they will move to other websites; your brand value and loyalty will decrease simultaneously. On the contrary, a website with higher uptime will generate returning customers for your brand.
Higher ranking in SERPs:
Higher uptime will reward your website with a higher ranking in Google search engine result pages and that will also work as a better SEO ranking factor.
Some factors can increase website downtime.
A quick spike in web traffic:
A sudden increase of traffic to your website caused by legitimate visitors or any unethical cyberattack can cause higher uptime to your website.
Your website is stored on a server. If you are using shared hosting with limited resources like less RAM, and CPU with fewer cores, it can lead to higher uptime.
Higher downtime of your website can lead you to:
- Losing brand value to customers
- Increased bounce rate
- Lesser number of returning visitors
- Lower SEO ranking
Check the uptime offered by the web host carefully. If it is more than 99.5%, that hosting provider is a good option. Along with the information given on the website, you must read reviews by real customers on impartial sites. Also, get in touch with those customers if needed.
Attackers are always looking for vulnerable websites; online store websites, healthcare, technology, and financial websites are most sought after for them. This attack can come in any form like Cross-Site Scripting, Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF), Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS), SQL injection, or Phishing.
If your service provider is not trying enough to protect your website from those types of attacks, you can be in deep trouble at any moment. Cyber attacks on your website can lead to theft of corporate and personal information (of yours and your customers), theft of money, disruption of business (in the case of an ecommerce website), and loss of loyal customers and brand reputation.
You can save your website, financial information, and passwords by adopting some simple measures.
- Installing security certificates and using HTTPS protocol on your website will make your website less prone to security threats. An SSL or Secured Socket Layer certificate encodes the details between the browsers (client) and your website (server). Some service providers offer free SSL certificates and some have charges for SSL certificates.
- Your password is like the barrier between the hackers and the server admin (you or a member of your team). Nothing can stop the hackers to do tremendous damage to your website on a server, once they can access the password. So, your password should be super strong, and unpredictable to keep you on the safe side. Using your name, the name of your favorite football team, or the name of your spouse as passcodes is not at all a good choice.
- You must keep your websites up to date to make them impenetrable. Update the software, and plugins to reduce the chance of vulnerability to your websites. If possible, enable the auto-update feature in your cPanel.
- Don’t forget to fully back up your website content for a successful recovery in the event of a cybercrime or website crash. Some hosting providers include a backup solution in their plan and others provide backup plugins, like UpdraftPlus and VaultPress from WordPress.
The overall hosting environment is handled by the web host. So, it is the responsibility of your hosting provider to implement the above-mentioned steps on your behalf or they can help you to execute them on your cPanel.
Speed, uptime, and security are three primary factors that affect website performance. But still, there are other components to influence your brand performance on the web and it is the sole responsibility of your web hosting provider to assist you in those cases.
If you get a free domain name for a year, a free SSL certificate, 99.9% uptime guarantee, multiple addons, 24/7 customer support, and secure payment gateways from your web hosting company, that company is a good option to host your website or application on their servers.
Your responsibility is to build the website by preparing the content and your web hosting company presents you the foundation to host that website on their server. A good hosting provider can take your website to a new level with a helping hand, and a horrible hosting provider can be a nightmare in your life with frequent downtime, and cyber-attacks on your website. The moment you look for a host for your next website, remember to keep an eye on the most important criteria to make an informed decision.