When it comes to having an incredible online business, there are two key players: You and your web host. A third party, the website designer, might also be in the mix or you might take that responsibility. If you don’t, it’s your job to give the designer direction to make sure your wishes are fulfilled. As the owner, having the “right” website is only half the battle because a poor web host can flush all your efforts down the toilet. First, consider everything you’re in charge of.
You need to have a website with a purpose, that’s attractive and isn’t bogged down with things like huge images that will slow down load times. You also need to make sure search engine optimization (SEO) is on point (which is a continuous project), nav bars are easy to use and that you’re embracing both responsive design and mobile-readiness. Once that’s down pat, it’s up to your web host to make sure your audience is able to quickly access the site at any time.
Here’s the bad news: A perfect website can be bolstered higher or taken down by a web host. Unfortunately, too many people figure out which it is until it’s too late.
Making your business better
A web host is in charge of “hosting” your website via a server, whether it’s shared or dedicated. It’s basically the mechanism that allows your website to exist online. You’ve probably tried to visit a page which was “down” before and sometimes servers are down for days. That can lead to lost revenue, customers assuming you’re unprofessional, and it can seriously hurt your online reputation. That’s why a web host that promises limited down time (and provides an actual percentage) is crucial to helping your business thrive.
If a site is always up, fast to load and you’ve done your end of the bargain, that’s what fosters growth. Just one day of having a site down can make your biggest clients go elsewhere. No matter what your niche or industry, you’re going to have plenty of competition. A solid web host can give you the support, speed and help you need to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Taking your business down
You might get drawn in by the appeal of free web hosting, but remember that it still comes with a price. Shared servers, the most common, might have five clients sharing it or dozens. The more people who are getting a slice of that server pie, the slower everyone’s website will be. You’ve probably been on a site that was so slow to load you just gave up and went to the next site. You don’t want that happening to you, your business or your site, and the web host can play a major role.
Likewise, if a web host has a high amount of down time, it’ll also send your customers running. There’s always going to be competition to happily scoop up your unhappy customers. You can be doing everything right, but if your web host drops the ball, it could cause a downward spiral that leads to your business shutting down.
There’s one way to prevent this: Research. Pick a quality web host with a great track record and happy customers. You and your customers deserve it.