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The difference between your website’s success and failure is based on a multitude of factors, but there’s one key essential which cannot be underrated - rock solid hosting.
Credit: Stephen Phillips on Unsplash
I recently read that 88% of online consumers will not return to a site after a bad experience like a failure to load, slow loading or a security warning - all of which are dependent on the hosting account the website sits in.
Sidebar: for the non-techies among us; your hosting account is simply the space on the internet your website sits in. Sometimes this also gives your email a place to live, but for this article we’re focussing on the website only ;-)
So let’s crack this, here’s exactly what you need to consider when choosing your website host:
Shared server versus dedicated server. Put simply, this is the difference between your website having its own private suite with all bells and whistles, additional security, etc - versus a Shared Server where you’re bunking in with everyone else on the block. Most clients prefer the sound of Dedicated space, but it comes at a cost and may not be necessary for your needs - always speak with your web developer if you’re not sure.
What’s included? Here at FAT, we favour Outlook 365 for our email as it works nicely across all our devices and makes it easy for us to filter messages directly to the right team member. You may prefer your email to come into your host server so you can access it through webmail from anywhere so you need to know if your host supports that. Similarly, visitor statistics reports are included as standard on our hosting packages. If this is important to you, you’ll want this as part of your hosting as that’s where it all happens.
Show me the padlock. With most anti-virus packages now helpfully displaying warnings if a site doesn’t have security built in beside your listing in the search results, that’s an easy way to lower your click rate, so be sure to ask for SSL with your website hosting account. This displays the nice padlock we mentioned earlier. It’s a mark of trust and as we know, that’s the first step to converting a visitor to a paying customer.
We need backup! It’s best to choose a hosting account with automated, nightly backups - so they’re not happening during the day and potentially slowing your site down for active visitors - and keeping copies of these for a few weeks JUST in case you need to roll back to a previous date for any reason. This is not one you want to learn the hard way!
The key to choosing the right host for your website is to learn which questions to ask - then don’t be afraid to ask them! Your web developer should be your first port of call but, if they can’t help, reach out and let’s talk about getting your website on a stable footing. Giving you one less thing to think about!
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