Let’s jump right to one of the main reasons you should be taking an interest in your website hosting. SEO or search engine optimization. Your host can have a bigger impact than you realize on your sites ability to be found and rank at a higher number. From poor technical specifications to a flat out slow site, your hosting providers overall makeup can effect your site in ways you may not see simply by clicking a link and loading it.
That’s not to say you need to over spend for the most expensive hosting. There are many budget friendly hosting plans that provide great service, good customer service, and extras to keep a new website running great. There’s also managed hosting plans that takes out a lot of the guesswork out of managing those technical details of your site. That’s for a later discussion and Somerset Interactive will create a more detailed blog post about that in the months to come.
What to Consider
- Budget – Always have your budget in mind. Most hosting plans are month-to-month, with some providing a discount if paid yearly. Create a budget and begin researching plans that fall within that. Check out reviews from other blogs or forums and see what others users have to say.
- Speed – Hands down this can have a huge impact on your user experience and your overall SEO scores. Make sure your hosting is up to the challenge of your site. If not, do your research, find a new host, and move on. Don’t hope it gets better by spending more money in the same place, find a new plan that fits your needs better.
- Support – If you are setting up your own site, how responsive has support been. Did the respond in a timely manner? Did they answer your questions thoroughly or fix the problem? A lack of support is a major red flag early on and leaves one to wonder what to expect if your site were to go offline all of a sudden. Would you be able to reach support in time to fix the issue.
- Security – Whether shared hosting or managed hosting, security should be a top priority for your provider. Do they have clear documentation readily available about the level of security for their servers and steps taken to keep your site free from malware and outside attacks. Make sure they take this seriously as this should not take up all your time. You have enough to worry about keeping your site filled with great content and product.
- Dependability and Scalability – In our opinion these two go hand in hand. From the outset your site should have maximum uptime. Most good hosting providers will have a “Guarantee” of some time that promotes their servers uptime. You need to know you can rely on your host to keep the site running especially at peak hours and if something has gone wrong it’s fixed in a reasonable amount of time. This leads into our secondary point, scalability. The ability for your site to grow not only on your current plan, but on subsequent plans within the same provider. If and when you outgrow your plan, does the next tier of services provide enough of an increase in speed and size for you. If you have an eCommerce shop seeing a rapid rise in sales, the last thing you want to have to do is disrupt that with a move to a new host. Be aware from early on whether a provider can grow with your website.