Let's talk about hosting. I want to revisit it because it is an important aspect of your website and business. It affects how your site performs and how quickly your site appears for visitors. It also affects search engine optimization, PPC, and ultimately, your bottom line. In fact, if you have poor hosting you could be losing 90% of your traffic because of the things I mentioned above. So let's delve into it.
How hosting affects your SEO.
Hosting and SEO are intertwined, meaning that they are vital to each other. One needs the other to work in order for both to work perfectly and here is why. Websites need to load fast, meaning that when someone types in your website address like www.sambuno.com, the faster it loads, the better the search engines like Google, MSN, and to a lesser extent, Yahoo will rank it.
Because the search engines are concerned with the customer experience and how quickly a website loads is part of the customer experience. Think about it like this, the search engines only want to show websites that are easy to navigate and will not cause people to be frustrated, or irritated. Imagine searching for a topic on Google, clicking on the link you find and waiting 2 minutes for the site to load. That would be a very poor experience and consequently, the search engines will rank it lower. Now here is how your hosting factors into how quick your website loads.
What is an example of good hosting and bad hosting
Your hosting environment is the space you have your website on. It can either be a good space or a bad space. If it is a good space, it means that your website has enough room to do all the things it needs to do. For instance, if you have a WordPress website, then your website will need to do things like process contact forms, interact with its database, process links, update itself and a host of other things. If a lot of people visit your website, then your website will need to do multiple things at the same time for each of those visitors. If your hosting environment is not good enough then your website will perform slower, freeze, or crash and all of these affect how search engines see your site. So your website needs the space appropriate to it in order to do a lot of the things it needs to do.
If your hosting environment is good, then your website will be fast and responsive, meaning that it will appear quicker for visitors and it will be able to do all of the things that it needs to do with enough space, which is obviously good. This helps your website to rank better with search engines because your website provides a great customer experience and search engines are now concerned with the customer experience.
Choosing between different types of web hosting.
When you decide it is time to build a website and you are at the point when you need to decide on your own hosting, I’m sure you’ve found yourself confused because of all the options out there. Do you decide between shared hosting, deluxe, VPS, WordPress hosting, and so on. The choices can be daunting, so much so that I find a lot of my clients either choosing the cheapest option from the cheapest hosting provider or choosing the most expensive hosting from an expensive hosting provider. Both of these happen due to lack of information.
As a small and growing business you should not be paying above $150 a year for hosting
This is where I always recommend learning as much as you can about your business needs so you can make an informed decision about your hosting. You don’t want to get the cheapest hosting out there because it means having a poor hosting environment which as I have mentioned above can cause you to lose 90% of your traffic because of the accompanying poor experience. And you don’t want to choose the most expensive hosting option because obviously, you don’t need it.
As a small and growing business you should not be paying above $150 a year for hosting, and if you are then you are absolutely paying too much. And this only happens because, during the time you were selecting a hosting provider, you probably chose an expensive one thinking it was good because it was the most expensive, or the representative for the hosting provider sold you on something.
The hosting providers I recommend.
The three options I recommend, I do because I have had extensive experience with many different hosting providers and these were the ones that offered every single thing that was necessary for the various scenarios I encountered. All three of these offer everything that 99.9% of small and growing businesses would need and even larger organizations. Additionally, the robustness of the hosting environment is crucial and perhaps one of the most important facets of a hosting provider. Having configured multiple hosts, the ease-of-use is also important, because it may not be me administering the website, occasionally it may be the client so I take all this into account as I recommend these three options.
As a website developer, it is important that I help my clients understand the relationship between their website and their marketing because when they make the right decision then together I can achieve the best results in optimizing your website and growing your business. Here are my recommended hosting providers and why I recommend them.
My first choice is GoDaddy because as a hosting provider they have everything from the low-end to the high-end, but at every level the offering is strong. Each of their hosting options provides sufficient space for your website to run the processes it needs to. And what’s great is that you can easily and seamlessly upgrade from one hosting package to another, without interruption of service.
Godaddy has the best of the low end offers and the best of the high end offers, simply because they have the money and technology to achieve this. When it comes to hosting environment, they are tops. Additionally, with Godaddy, it is easy to upgrade or downgrade seamlessly and this is very much appreciated as a website developer.
Godaddy customer support.
Godaddy’s support is the one that will go above and beyond to help me troubleshoot an issue and sometimes I have them on a phone conference with the client as we discussed an issue. I work at all hours and I have had to call the Godaddy customer support line at 2 am, 3 am, 4 am, and all of these times I have had access to a knowledgeable staff member who helped me troubleshoot and correct a technical and complex hosting issue.
I love this about Godaddy and when I am working with my clients, I am also thinking about when my client may need to call their hosting provider and Godaddy’s support can help an expert like me and someone who may not be so knowledgeable.
Free backup included in WordPress Hosting.
Having a backup of your website is very important for those times when you perhaps make a change on your website which ends up crashing the site. Being able to revert the site back to before you made the changes is a great thing. Godaddy includes this free in their WordPress hosting and I have had to use this on the rare and sometimes routine occasion I or my client may add something to the site which may cause issues. It is a safety net and an insurance that is absolutely invaluable when it's needed. And it is all automatic and seamless. This is definitely one of the reasons I recommend this hosting provider.
In summarizing the reason why I recommend GoDaddy to my clients, I would have to say that in my experience, it is because it is the most robust hosting provider on the market. Having used each of their hosting packages, and experienced their technical knowledge first hand, I am confident in making this recommendation. But be forewarned, as a business owner, get knowledgeable on what type of hosting you need, and work with your website developer to select the right one so that you don’t pay too much for hosting you don’t need or too little on poor hosting that cripples your website business.
The next hosting service provider I recommend is HostGator. There are many hosting providers out there and I’ve probably used them all over my 15 years interacting with the world wide web. Hostgator stood because they were always trying harder and they’re offerings and service, from my experience, had greatly improved.
Hosting providers have different offerings and sometimes by layering and stacking different elements together you find that one offers the same package but at a lower cost. I worked with HostGator on many client projects and what I like about them is again their powerful hosting environment.
HostGator is similar to Godaddy, but it is sometimes cheaper. For instance, on a recent website project I worked on, I found out that HostGator’s WordPress hosting and SSL certificate when combined are cheaper than with Godaddy. Why is this important? Because having SSL security on your website has become an important search engine ranking factor and the fact that HostGator’s offering was less sold me on them.
HostGator customer support.
The 3 hosting providers I am recommending all have great customer support and I experienced HostGator’s support many times. And remember when I said that I always have to think about when my client may have to call the hosting provider, I am always looking to see how a hosting provider handles simple issues and complex issues and HostGator, from my experience, is very proactive with their support. They have knowledgeable staff and over the past 5 years, they have risen to be my number 2, and sometimes number 1 option when recommending a hosting service provider to my client.
The last and final hosting service provider I recommend is 1and1 Hosting. As a host 1and1 offers many of the same features as Godaddy and HostGator and I work with them steadily. In fact, many of my own personal websites are with 1and1 Hosting.
Long ago I settled on 1and1 for my websites and projects for a number of reasons, but the number 1 reason was that they were less costly than the other 2 for the specific reason I needed it for. I have a lot of personal projects, and some of them are not always websites, some are CRM systems, documents managers and many other tools that need a database, so I needed the space and scalability and 1and1 was able to offer it to me at a lower cost.
Now the reason why I have 1and1 as my third hosting service provider is that you need to be somewhat knowledgeable about what you’re doing. You can’t just call them up and expect that they will help you with troubleshooting an issue if you yourself don’t know what is happening. Don’t get me wrong, they have great customer support, but not as good as Godaddy, although they can be less costly if you are interested in certain hosting packages. Let me approach this for 3 points of measure, hosting environment, customer support, and general offerings.
1and1 general offerings.
As a hosting service provider, 1and1 is a top notch company, and it is the one I use. They offer everything from SSL, email, and ample hosting space, however, I will recommend Godaddy and 1and1 Hosting first before 1and1 because again, I have to think about when that time comes when the client may have to call the hosting customer supporting. While 1and1 can help in setting up many things, from my experience, there have been moments when the rep on the phone line thought it best to send me a link to a support article in order that I could solve my own issue. Now, I am easily able to look at a support article and solve my own hosting configuration problems, but my client may not be able to do the same thing.
I routing host my websites on 1and1, but usually, it is only when clients decide to buy hosting from me directly. So in effect, I become their hosting company. And because I use 1and1 hosting for my websites, in this occasion, I usually will host that client’s site on 1and1.
They have a superior hosting environment, very quick, up to date, and configurable. In addition, just like GoDaddy and HostGator, you can easily upgrade your hosting package seamlessly.
1and1 Hosting environment.
As I mentioned above, this is the hosting service provider that I use, but I don’t always recommend to clients. At any rate, since I use it, you can be sure that its hosting environment is good and provides ample space for my websites to run all the processes it needs to run. And because it is a top hosting provider, all of the things I say that describes a good host available with 1and1. Additionally, on top of their hosting, they offer free SSL, which I found to be very useful and cost-effective, seeing that Godaddy charges $69 for SSL a year, and Hostgator charges just a bit less than that. I’ve been with 1and1 for so long that I have no qualms about recommending them. I know how good they are because I still use them.
1and1 customer support.
1and1 and the other 2 hosting providers all offer 24/7 customer support, which means that you can call them at any hour and likely get someone without too much waiting. This is crucial because you never know when a website emergency may happen. Additionally, this is a crucial factor in my choosing to work with a hosting service provider. Just like with GoDaddy, I have called 1and1’s hosting support at late hours in the night in order to troubleshoot some hosting DNS issue or some other problem. Consequently, I wholeheartedly recommend them because of their support
So these are my 3 recommended hosting companies, and I don’t deviate from them because of the reasons I mentioned above. And let me say as a website developer who works on these things, take my advice and choose from 1 of these 3 if you want to be in good hands. When you decide that you want a website, you obviously want it in order to help you present your idea or business to a wide audience and you don’t want that to be mitigated for one reason or another.
Having access to a customer support line that can help when hosting issues occur is important and all 3 of these hosting providers have great support.
Ensuring that the hosting space you have has ample room for your website to run all the processes it needs to run is crucially important and all three of these hosting providers offer robust hosting environments so you can rest assured that you have your bases covered.
Thirdly, you want to have the option to upgrade, and add other features and functionality to your hosting environment and it is important that the hosting service provider is able to support and offer the various elements you may need to add to your website for instance, databases or SSL certificates and all three of these posts offer all of the features and functionality she would need and most importantly they are all scalable, meaning that they can grow with you as needed.