Web hosting is one of the least thought about aspects of website design. While designers and business owners focus on design elements and website performance, they pay little thought to their choice of a web host. This is unfortunate since your decision on a web host can and will have consequences on your website’s performance.
According to leading WordPress web development company Elementor, ” Web hosting has a significant impact on the experience your customers receive when they visit your website.”
Page loading speed is one of the most critical factors that a web host can impact. However, it’s far from the only variable that your host can impact. Here are 3 ways in which your choice of web host impacts your website’s performance.
Your website’s uptime is a measure of how long your website remains online and accessible to your users. Elementor recommends choosing a hosting service provider that can assure you of at least 99% uptime. This means your website is never likely to be down or inaccessible.
Your web host will use a variety of resources to power your uptime. Broadly speaking, these are Random Access Memory (RAM), hard drive space, and bandwidth. RAM is directly correlated to page loading speeds. The more RAM your web host allocates to your website, the faster it loads.
The question of RAM allocation is an important one when you evaluate a shared web hosting provider. In this web hosting service model, a large number of websites use the same set of resources. If your website has a large number of visitors (this is of course relative, and depending on the scope of your website,) using this infrastructure is not recommended since the other websites will draw RAM away from you. The result will be slow website performance that provides a poor user experience.
A website contains many files and data. The amount of hard drive space your host allocates to you impacts the ease with which you can expand your website. Again, shared web hosting services will place a cap on how much your website can grow since multiple websites use the same resources.
Bandwidth is a measure of how much data can be transferred to your users from the server. If your website is growing fast and is experiencing a surge in traffic, selecting a managed Virtual Private Server (VPS) is the best choice. You won’t have to worry about installing hardware or maintenance. At the same time, you’ll have a dedicated server that will boost performance.
Online security is more important than ever as more consumers have migrated to the internet to carry out daily tasks. Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t display websites that don’t meet security standards. Your web host plays a critical role in securing your website.
Elementor recommends choosing a hosting service provider who can provide you with a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate, backup services, malware scanning and protection, and firewall protection.
Installing an SSL certificate is as easy as contacting your host and making sure they execute this task. You’ll notice your web address change from “HTTP” to “HTTPS” in your browser. If you use Chrome, you’ll notice a lock appear to the left of your web address. Without these in place, Chrome typically displays a security warning to the user or outright refuses to take the user to the website. As such, installing an SSL certificate is basically a must; without one, you’re losing traffic.
Backup services are essential for when your website experiences downtime for whatever reason. In such cases, you can deploy your backup version and continue to service your customers while dealing with the problem affecting your website.
Cyberattacks are more common than ever before, with attackers using more sophisticated means of stealing confidential data and compromising businesses. Malware and firewall protection will ensure that unauthorized users don’t gain access to valuable customer data. Periodic malware scans will ensure you don’t harbor any hidden threats that might wreak havoc from within down the road.
Given the highly technical nature of web hosting services, you’re unlikely to be able to deal with issues by yourself. The result is that you’ll have to depend on your host’s ability to solve problems while minimizing downtime. A good web host will proactively take care of issues and updates before they become critical.
Customer support is critical in such instances, and good web hosts have dedicated 24-hour support services. After all, your website doesn’t shut down for the night, so why should hosting support? A host that doesn’t offer a wide range of support options is likely going to let your business down when you need them the most.
Many hosts offer fancy infrastructure options such as Content Delivery Networks (CDNs). According to Elementor, CDNs are a no-brainer for high-traffic websites since they reduce the distance between your servers and the user. If your host offers you a worldwide network of servers within a CDN, this will increase user experience and page performance significantly.
Hosting tends to get swept under the carpet thanks to its technical nature. However, it’s an important choice when evaluating the performance of your website. Choose the right host, and you’ll offer your users a great browsing experience all the time.
By: Sophie Turton