While building your website, you probably focus on the content, SEO, the graphics and layout, advertising and marketing – all essential components of a good site. However, it turns out that the server you choose to host your website matters a great deal.
Before you select a website’s content and design, you need to choose a reliable web host first. Preferably one that will not affect your site’s loading speed and rankings. One of the factors that search engines like Google look for when indexing web pages are how quickly they load.
While a good web host cannot necessarily get your website listed on Google’s first page, a bad host can ruin your credit with Google and other big search engines. The web hosting provider’s server type, speed, location, and uptime will affect your website’s credit with the SEs. Don’t allow a bad host to ruin your website’s search ranking.
Stats and facts
A recent survey concluded that around 79% of shoppers are dissatisfied with website performance and less likely to buy. The study focuses on the correlation between website performance and the revenue the domain attracts.
The average cart abandonment rate is 68%, as measured by Baymard Institute. Customers add products to the cart but leave without making a purchase; this is referred to as cart abandonment. It is one of the most significant challenges of the e-commerce industry, and a primary reason for cart abandonment is slow websites.
If you’re an online magazine or don’t require an online retail website for your business, you might have faced similar issues of page abandonment and high bounce rate – a visitor landing on your site and leaving without interacting with the page. The chances are that this is because of slow loading times because of your site’s host.
Bad hosting services are real and only be overcome with the help of an excellent hosting service.
The Bluehost phishing
Back in August, White Fir Design discussed a situation where the web host Bluehost – based on the customer having received a phishing email – tried to sell one of their customers a $1,200 a year SiteLock security service. It didn’t paint a good picture of Bluehost, despite the phishing emails being somewhat common.
The host owners didn’t investigate the claimed situation before trying to sell an expensive security service to their customers.
Fast forward the situation to present day, and it is still happening.
The experts at White Fir were contacted by a customer for advice after having received an email they thought was from Bluehost. The recipient was suggested to spend $49 per month on a SiteLock that would fix the fraud-email issue.
Looking at the email shown above, we could see it was a phishing email as one of the links in it was to the website:
my.bluehost.com.f33ba15effa5c10e873bf3842afb46a6.co19331.tmweb.ru instead of my.bluehost.com.
The situation above was another excellent example of why when anyone contacted SiteLock about the supposed malware issue; they got a second ‘expert’ opinion from another security company. The latter was able to identify the problem, saving the affected customer’s resources.
A Bad Web Host Can Bring You Down
How does a user know if a website hosting company is bringing them down? There are several host traits that Google despises, and that will jeopardize your site security. So instead of probably showing up on the third page, your domain won’t show up until the tenth page in search engine results, all because of a problem with your web host. Check your web provider for any of the five aspects listed below.
1- Website speed
According to a study, approximately 50% of visitors expect a website to load with 2 seconds or less, and around 40% tend to bail out if it takes over three seconds. For many e-commerce websites, underestimating the impact of loading times can result in a very costly lesson. An Amazon internal survey, a few years ago, determined that only a slight increase of 100ms in their page loading times directly led to a 1% drop in sales.
Unless your host is dropping the ball, your loading times should be blazingly fast. If things aren’t going as you expected them to, it could either be due to a lack of investment in the infrastructure or an overload of shared servers – which should never be the case unless your website hosts are severely neglecting their responsibilities.
Make sure to do a quick search on the web for independent reviews before picking a server host or transferring domains. There is a community of professionals out there who take their time to review this kind of services, and they are usually quite thorough. It doesn’t have to be all that expensive either.
For example, LCN.com offers bulk discounts for multiple domain buying and transfers.
2- Support is important
Picture this: you sit down at your desk with a fresh cup of tea, crack your fingers and browse the back-end of your website to check the analytics and stats only to be a welcomed with an error like the one shown below:
Before putting your hands down, check for messages from your provider about scheduled downtimes. The next step is to to make sure that things aren’t messed up on your end, so send an email to the support desk.
A day or two later, during which you lost many potential sales, you finally get a response, and it turns out that several servers had to be rebooted. The whole matter could have been easily avoided, had your domain hosts checked their message box regularly or had administrators on call 24/7.
The moral of the story is that you should always consider a provider’s reputation when it comes to garnering their support for your business. If they are widely known for slacking, you can take your projects elsewhere.
3- Lack of awareness
Hosting sites and providers are not godly, and it is possible for them to miscomprehend the basics of what affects search engine rankings.
This means that they could unintentionally rupture the SEO measures you take to optimize your website. Instances can vary greatly, but it is as simple as shutting down a site for getting too many visitors or requesting that various plugins be removed due to strain caused by the host’s inefficient infrastructure. In case the hosting provider does not know what robots.txt is, they could cut off the Google bot from your site for visiting too often.
It is essential to do your homework on your hosting provider to ensure none of their rules and policies will affect your website’s customer experience. You should also check in with others about a particular host if they have the reputation of using their clients for damaging tactics.
4- The host’s spotty uptime
The aspect of a host’s uptime is something you should definitely research; as it warrants its category. If your website is slow or down during peak hours, such as late at night – which is bad for SEO purposes – that means search engines are locked out of your site.
There is no other way for search engines to index your site when they can’t crawl around. If the search engine doesn’t know a keyword is included or that you have updated content on your domain, it will not be indexed correctly, and your search rankings, as well as security, will suffer as a consequence.
To avoid having to petition to be reintroduced into search results, use a service to monitor your website to alert you if it crashed, providing information that might be difficult to determine on your own.
When you’re running a blog or an online store, site growth and security should be the overall aim. In case you’re starting with the lowest tier, not having the resources required can hinder a seamless pace for your business projects.
A good host gives you a wide variety of blueprints that let you know when it’s time to upgrade to a higher, more secure tier, offering your site the best facets to cater to your specific needs.
In a nutshell
While building a website is essential, your web host provider represents the foundation. A good host can enable your site to reach its potential in a less amount of time by providing stability and a helping hand whenever you need it.
When you’re searching for a new host for the next project, keep an eye out for the minimal criteria we mentioned earlier such as excellent support service, solid security practices and enough room for your work to flourish!