Web Hosting Blog
When it comes to selling online, there are a number of factors that are important. First is the content on your site. Good grammar, clear structure and professional images can go a long way to improve the trust that your audience has with your brand.
At the same time, the delivery of your products/services is important. Some customers will abandon a site if it takes too long to load. Your site also needs to be mobile-friendly. If a user can’t see your website on their mobile device clearly, you’ll look old fashioned.
These factors are probably well known to you. They’re often spoken about in marketing blogs and the key focus for many website designers. However, there is one element which is often ignored: the hosting solution you choose.
What are the different types of hosting solutions?
There are numerous different types of hosting solutions available. There are Shared Hosting, Virtual Private Server (VPS), Dedicated Servers and Cloud Hosting. Each has their advantages and disadvantages for your business. For instance, shared hosting is a low-cost way to enter the market, but you’re sharing resources with other websites and this means at high traffic times, you might not have access to everything your website needs.
Likewise, dedicated hosting is great for businesses who have large amounts of traffic and need a hosting solution that can handle that. However, a dedicated server can be quite expensive, but the performnce you receive from a managed dedicated server, often far outways the cost of the server.
Cloud hosting is a great solution for an e-commerce website or for mission critcal websites and applications. A true cloud hosting platform should have no single point of failue, so that if there is any hardware failure, your cloud server should remain online. Due to the infrastructure of a cloud, you will be able to scale the resources on demand, giving you the felxibility to manage costs, whilst ensuring you are getting the performnce you need during peak times.
How do different hosting solutions have different speeds?
All hosting solutions allocate resources to the servers differently. And these resources are what determines the speed of your resources. With a shared hosting solution, you and several other websites share a set of specific resources that you must all use. If a website has a lot of traffic, then the other sites won’t be able to use all the resources they need and this slows them down.
A VPS is the next step up from shared hosting. A VPS is a physical server, that is virtualised allowing multiple virtual server (VPSs) to run on a single server. Each VPS will be allocated pre-defined resources (vCPU, RAM and Storage) and will have it’s own operating system, and control panel if required. While this sounds perfect, it isn’t the fastest option, as there will be multiple VPSs running on the single server, and there are physical limitations of a server and network capacity.
A dedicated server solution ensures that there is no-one else using the resources of the server as the hardware is provisioned solely for your use. Therefore, you have complete control and can utilse the server and network to its fullest extent. If you need more resources, these can just be installed in the server with minimal downtime. Therefore, a dedicated hosting solution offer a powerfull and versatile solution.
A similar aspect is true with cloud hosting. However, should you need to change the allocated vCPU and RAM, this can be achieved without any downtime. A cloud platform is built on fully redundant hardware, so should any part of the platform fail, your cloud server will remain online. A cloud servers offers great performce and uptime, which is perfect for mission critical websites and applications.
Why does speed matter?
Speed is very important when it comes to any online activity. Research has shown that for every second it takes to load your website, you’ll lose about 7% of your revenue. That can be considerable. The average eCommerce website can take as much as 10-11 seconds to load. That means that some businesses are losing about 70% of their potential revenue, yet cutting down the load time in half would double their revenues.
Google also recommends that you reduce your website’s speed to less than four seconds. Even then, you could be losing up to a quarter of potential revenue. Yet with some of the best hosting solutions, it is very possible to have loading times that are less than a second.
In addition, the speed of your website can make a massive impact on your SEO. Google and other search engines do take into account your speed when it comes to your ranking in search results. So a faster website will lead to greater traffic for your site.
How to test your website speed
If you’re getting complaints from customers about your website speed, then it is best to check the speed for yourself. There are sites like Pingdom and GTMetrix that can provide you with a free website speed test. Using these tools allows you to not just find out the speed of your website, but also what might be slowing it down.
Your server might not be the only problem with your speed. And a speed test might reveal that your images need optimising or that a plugin/app is slowing down your website. This allows you to make an informed decision about whether you need to move to a new hosting solution or make a few adjustments to your existing website.
If you’re confused on what some aspects mean, you can speak to your hosting provider or a web developer to see if they can help you understand.
The speed of your website is vital. Too slow and your potential ranking on search engines and revenues can be massively affected. The hosting solution you have could be making an impact on your speed, so be sure that you’re choosing the right service for your website’s needs.
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