Web hosts and mobile apps are not generally used in the same sentence. There is a marked degree of separation between the two.
Web hosts are typically used in the context of websites.
Mobile apps belong to an entirely different plane.
And yet, there is a connection. When we consider the rise of mobile app builders, the connection between web hosts and app performance becomes much clearer.
What are Mobile App Builders?
First, let us understand mobile app builders.
Developing mobile apps is a tedious and complex process. Even those who know how to code and create an app from scratch would attest to the same.
This is not counting the cost. App development agencies do not create apps for mere pennies.
So, creating a mobile app from scratch using code is tedious, complex, and expensive.
Both entrepreneurs and companies want to build their own mobile app. In addition, they want to sidestep the various obstacles associated with traditional app development.
This is the point where you need t think about mobile app builders. These platforms allow businesses to bypass all the hurdles and enable them to create mobile apps without writing any code.
Furthermore, app builders generally cost a lot less than typical app development agencies.
Where do Web Hosts Come in?
App builders generally use websites as the cornerstone to create a native mobile app.
The app users created with app builders import all content from a website. Thus, every time companies add a new product or publish a new blog post on their website, the same is reflected on their app automatically.
App builders enable users to connect their website and app. The app then uses the website’s resources to operate.
Resources mentioned before do not just mean content. The app uses the website’s hosting space to function as well.
Every time an app loads, it requests content from the website. If the website has a poor response time and loading speed thanks to a sub-optimal web host, the app’s performance is affected.
Thus, the right web hosting partner can directly impact the app performance in case someone is using an app builder.
App builders are here to stay. They are the only way people can create an app and leave behind the hassle of traditional app development. This means the spotlight on web hosts will only intensify as they become responsible for enhancing app performance.
How to Choose the Right Web Host to Enhance App Performance?
Choosing a web host to boost app performance is not vastly different from selecting one to improve website performance. The fundamentals are still the same.
Mobile app users generally expect high performance. A survey going back to 2015 revealed that 49% mobile users expect an app to respond within 2 seconds.
With an increase in internet speeds and general app performance in the last few years, one can only imagine this expectation to have become stronger now.
What does this mean for companies and individuals using app builders?
Put simply, they need to take steps to optimize their app’s performance. Choosing the right web hosting partner can go a long way in this regard.
The following sections highlight some factors that help companies identify a good web host for both their website and app:
Speed and Uptime
The quality of a web host generally comes down to two important metrics – server speed and time.
The server speed of a web host represents the time it takes for a host to load a website. The most trusted web hosting providers have speeds ranging from 300-400 ms.
A lower time is naturally desirable. As mentioned earlier, people have high expectations when it comes to app speed and performance. Companies must thus verify the speed of a web host before choosing it for hosting both their website and app.
Uptime refers to the time for which any given server is operational. If the uptime is 100%, it means a server is always operational.
Most top web hosts have uptime stretching up to 99.99%. This means these hosts are operational 99.99% of the time.
For a company with millions of website visitors and app users, even a slight drop in uptime can cause a lot of unhappy visitors. It is wise to thus choose a web host that has an optimal uptime.
Anyone using a mobile app builder must keep in mind both server speed and uptime while choosing a web host.
By definition, bandwidth refers to the amount of data a web host can transfer in a given period of time.
A simple blog with 50 daily users can operate on a low bandwidth because there isn’t a need for the web host to transfer a lot of data.
On the other hand, a streaming platform like Netflix with millions of users on its platform at any given minute needs a lot of bandwidth.
If you plan on growing your website and app users, you must start thinking more and more about bandwidth.
This is because your web host must take care of both app and website visitors. Thus, your web host must offer large enough bandwidth to handle users coming to both platforms at any given point in time.
Many hosting providers claim to offer unlimited bandwidth in their hosting plans. This claim is only partially true.
Your web host cannot really provide you infinite bandwidth. Unlimited bandwidth only means that the web host will scale your bandwidth as your traffic increases.
You should be on the safe side and talk to your web host about how the scaling process will happen. This will bring clarity on what happens in case your traffic increases and you need to scale your bandwidth.
Most app builders advise users to get SSL certification for their website before connecting it to an app.
What does an SSL certification do? In simple words, it secures data transmission between a client and a server. Since apps from app builders request data from the web host, an SSL certification can secure this transmission.
Web hosts these days provide free SSL plans to their customers. For those creating an app using a mobile app builder, it is wise to choose a web host that offers free SSL certification.
Imagine your website and app suddenly crashing because of low storage space. How do you explain such a crash to your users and customers?
Reputed platforms rarely crash. When they do, it becomes trending news simply because such an event is exceedingly rare.
Companies run websites and launch apps to reach a similar plane of performance. Entrepreneurs running small e-commerce stores would never envisage their websites and apps crashing because they never see Amazon and Flipkart crashing.
Not envisaging a serious problem does not reduce its chances of happening. Websites often crash because they run out of storage space.
This is typical in case of companies who do not foresee sudden jumps in traffic and consequent rise in storage needs.
Think about it. How often do you think about your web host when you’re elated by an upward tick in traffic?
Getting a web hosting plan with ample storage space is especially important for companies using app builders. The previous sections go into detail explaining exactly how app builders use the resources of a website to host a mobile app.
A web host serving a website and an app must take care of the storage needs of both. Before choosing a hosting partner, make sure the storage provided in the plan is enough to take care of both the website and app.
Many hosting providers claim to offer unlimited storage. This claim generally comes with a whole set of terms and conditions. You should know the commitments hosting providers are ready to make and check whether your needs are met.
Things can go wrong at times. Maybe you install a plugin that erases all the data on your website. Sometimes high traffic can crash your server and leave you in urgent need of upgrading your plan.
For those using app builders, the stakes are even higher. Anything that goes wrong with a website also goes wrong with the app.
In difficult times, it is naturally better to talk to a real person. If you need urgent support from your hosting partner, you cannot just raise a ticket and wait for something to happen. You need a real executive whom you can contact and talk to.
It is easy to discount the value of customer support at normal times. Only when a crisis hit does the need for a helping hand become apparent.
You must choose a web hosting partner that provides real customer support. This can safeguard you in case you urgently need more hosting space, or any other pressing matter emerges and requires the help of your web host.
The locality is an important factor many people ignore all the time when looking for a good web hosting partner.
Let us assume you are an Indian company selling products to an audience located primarily in America. Does it really make sense then to have your website and app hosted at a server location in India?
Server location plays a key role in the performance of your website. If you are using an app builder, it will even affect your app speed.
Websites use CDN to cut down the importance of server location, but there is a better way of approaching this challenge.
Choose a server location where most of your customers are located.
Take the example we used earlier. When targeting a primarily American audience, it makes sense for your server to be located in the USA.
Your server location must likewise be India if your primary audience is Indian. Distance may seem like an unimportant factor in the digital age. However, optimal server location can shave off some seconds from the average loading time and improve the overall performance.
Identify your target audience and choose a server location based on the same.
If your app and website both depend on the web host, choosing the right location becomes even more crucial. A point made previously underlines the high-performance expectations users have from mobile apps. Decreasing loading time even a little can help meet this expectation.
The cost of a hosting plan is always a deciding factor and you do not have to be shy about it. Every company out there tries to save money when choosing a hosting plan, big or small. Thus, you should not be skeptical about choosing a cheap hosting plan if it offers more value compared to an expensive one.
Accounting for affordability does not necessarily mean choosing a cheap plan. It generally refers to choosing a web hosting plan that is value for money.
There are many hosting providers out there that offer similar hosting services at a range of different prices. This divergence in price can come due to factors like brand awareness. You are naturally more inclined to pay more for a hosting plan if the provider is a well-known brand in the space.
Making good financial decisions means seeing the value in a particular product or service. You should study the value a hosting plan can provide to both your website and app. Make sure there are no hidden costs for add-on services that are otherwise free such as email and SSL certification.
This article puts the spotlight on how a web host can affect app performance when we bring app builders into the equation.
The arrival of app builders has changed the way companies and entrepreneurs normally think about app development and performance.
A good web host can supercharge the performance of both a website and an app.
This article also goes on to cover the important factors one must consider while choosing a web host for optimal website and app performance.
The factors earlier covered are not exhaustive. Other metrics also play a role in affecting app performance.
Nevertheless, a serious accounting of the factors discussed earlier can enable companies to choose the right hosting partner for their website and app.