April 14, 2018

It still comes as a surprise to many when they find out the fact that web hosting has a huge impact on your website. Starting from SEO all the way to user experience. In this article, we’ll go into detail on how web hosting affects a visitor’s experience on your website.

Website speed

The first thing anyone notices when visiting your website is how fast it loads. Naturally, faster websites are better. A number of studies have shown that 53% of users will leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. With today’s advanced caching techniques and compression methods, a 3 second load time is unbearable. Not only does speed affect user experience, it’s also a ranking factor. So, if you want your visitor to have the best experience possible, optimize your website. Your web hosting provider has a huge impact on how fast your website is. If you need a faster website, you should focus on getting cloud hosting instead of shared hosting. Though they’re rare these days, you should avoid servers that still use HDD instead of SSD. Most hosting providers have caching pre-installed and configured, especially WordPress hosting providers, so if you don’t know how to optimize your website yourself, get a managed hosting provider and let them do it for you. When you’re on shared hosting, you’ll likely share the same server with hundreds of other websites, which makes your website slow. Not to mention the fact that you can’t really set up complex caching systems on shared hosting.

SSL as a trust signal

Nobody wants to see an “insecure” error or a warning when visiting a website, even if’s not an online shop. It’s a red flag, almost literally. Seeing as how most web hosting providers today offer a free SSL, there is no reason why you should not implement it. Aside from improving your visitor’s trust and experience, you’ll also get an SEO boost since SSL (https) is a ranking factor. Contact your web hosting provider ASAP and request an SSL, or do it yourself via your control panel.

Downtime

Everyone knows that downtime is bad for business. You’re literally losing money from potential customers every second your website is down. You don’t want a user to associate your website with frequent outages. If you choose the right hosting provider, you should be getting at least 99.99% uptime. Be careful here, as your hosting provider has the biggest impact on your website’s downtime. Make sure you go with a reputable hosting provider with proven uptime records. Again, not only does downtime affect your user’s experience, but it also affects SEO. If your website keeps going offline and search engines notice it, you’ll get deindexed.

Security

The software you use and how you use it affect security, but so does your hosting provider. If their servers are not secured properly or if they don’t handle attacks well, your website will go offline. In some cases, your website can be hacked and defaced, and you definitely don’t want a user to visit your hacked website. Developers that use unmanaged hosting need to make sure they properly secure their server and keep it updated. If using managed hosting, just make sure you’re using a decent hosting provider and you should be fine. Of course, you’ll also need to keep your software updated if your managed hosting provider doesn’t offer updates as part of their service.

(Dis)allowed software

Plan on using a WordPress plugin for your website? Wanted to use a new CMS? Check with your hosting provider first. Some hosting providers have a list of disallowed plugins and software they don’t support. Now, obviously, plugins with simple(r) features are allowed on all hosting providers, but if you plan on using a more complex plugin that requires access to other services like FTP or SMPT, your host may not support it. You don’t want to miss all those subscribers or not be able to send out a newsletter because of your hosting provider. Managed hosting providers usually support certain software. So, if you plan on using a new unpopular CMS, you should ask your hosting provider if they’ll still offer you managed support for the software you plan on using.

There are many other ways that a hosting provider affects your website and your visitor’s experience. Everything should be fine as long as you choose the right hosting provider. So, do your research.

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