If you are new to the online world, you probably may not be aware that there are two main components to getting a successful online presence: Great web design, and equally great web hosting. And since both of these sides to your website are so entrenched, it’s sometimes difficult to decipher what issues you might face if you choose the wrong hosting company.
Making Sense Of It All
Just as it takes a good architect and an equally good builder to create that dream house for you, so too working with the right web designing company and the right web hosting service is vital to maintain a solid, safe and reliable online presence for your business.
When it comes to creating your website, working with a good design company will give you that “full service” experience – where you end up with exactly what you want. The same applies to business standard website hosting – you need high-quality hosting that’s been tested over many months and years by a company you trust e.g. your web design company.
Here are some points to keep in mind when making the choice of a new web hosting company:
1. Often It's The Hosting Company's Fault: When things go awry with your website, it’s not uncommon to think that the blame lies with the website developer or designer. While that may be true in some cases, most times the issue lies with the web hosting service – which provides the infrastructure (high-end servers (computers)) on which your website “resides”. If you're getting a web hosting service from a premium web design agency then they will ensure that the hosting they provide your website is high quality.
A lot of work goes into this from server monitoring to server software updates.
2. Frequent Server Downtime Can Be Avoided: One of the key challenges faced by businesses is that their websites may often be “down”. Servers at the hosting company can go offline; DDOS (distributed denial of service) attacks on those servers can disrupt committed web server up-times; and “routine” server maintenance may put your website out of commission for extended periods of time. Quality hosting services reduce these down times to a minimum, and maintenance work is carried out throughout the night while you and your customers are fast asleep.
In the case of low quality hosting companies, downtime could be as frequent as every other day, which translates into a huge loss of revenue and lost opportunities. Since they’ve been in the business for a while, front-line web designing companies steer their clients away from poor quality web hosting services and they know the good apples from the bad. It's vital, after spending good money on a website, that you are online all the time. Your website being offline reflects badly on your business brand – especially if it is an ongoing issue.
3. Customers & Google Dislike Slow Page Load Times: Even when the site is up and running, with a poorly chosen web hosting service, your clients and potential customers may still face numerous challenges with accessing your website. Some hosting companies may only offer minimal “pipes” from and to their servers, resulting in excruciatingly slow response times to access your site. If you see your web pages taking 4 seconds or more to load a web page then you need to call in the experts to see what the issue is.
As Google explains, site speed is a critical factor in ranking and rating your website. While web design and website build choices certainly play their parts in determining speed, the hosting company’s lack of investment in faster servers, switches, hubs and routers can prove decisive in compromising your websites’ rating in the eyes of search engines like Google and Bing.
4. Bad Support Is As Bad As Bad Web Servers: Very often, low quality hosting firms don’t have strong customer service operations. That means when your site does go down, or you are experiencing extremely slow web page load times, you might have to wait a day or two before you get someone to fix the issue for you – or even a whole day just to first look at your support ticket!
The hosting service you use is a long-term relationship – it's not much good that you website has alive all of last month when it's been down for the past few hours or a day and you can't contact anyone to fix that. The bottom line is that you lose business and your reputation is damaged.
Navigating Through This Hosting Minefield
It may be tempting to take up a low-rated web hosting company on a “lowest price offer” deal, but consulting with your web design partner before signing on the dotted line will save you many a headache down the line:
• Good web design companies have good reputations to protect. They won’t deliberately steer you into a web hosting nightmare. That nightmare for you would be a nightmare for them too as they're a conscientious company who wants the best service for you.
• Savvy designing firms have inside industry knowledge that you, as a business owner, may not be privy to. Trusting in their judgement will leave you with a much better “web service & support” experience – the best of both the web design and web hosting worlds.
Because of the front-facing relationship they have with you, you may be very aware of everything your web designer does for you, but lurking behind the scenes is another powerful partnership that you can’t afford to ignore – your website hosting service.
If you want both aspects of your website to function in harmony, it is vital that you consult with a professional web design firm before making any web hosting decisions. Not doing so will save you a few quid up front, but it may cost you dearly in the medium term and the long run – in terms of lost business and expensive hosting company changes once you see where the problem lies.
If you have any questions about your website's hosting feel free to call us for a no obligation chat on 01-6216866 or drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org .