As an industry, hosting is entering an era of faster expansion. One of the primary areas is cloud hosting. The Internet of Things (IoT), which typically utilizes cloud hosting, is the clearest core reason behind cloud growth forecasts.
It is easy to get frustrated with a hosting service. Businesses have only become increasingly dependent on the reliability and support of their online presence, and of the systems that back their internal and external functions. The hosting industry is a highly competitive market. In this climate, you have the right to excellent customer service – with fast action to solve your problems. In other words, your support should be conducted very quickly, without having to wait around for answers.
Regardless of consolidation that is happening within the hosting industry, there is still a wide variety of hosting services from which to choose. When your host is not impressive in its support or otherwise, it is time to switch to one that treats you with respect.
That said, no one wants to get hasty and make a mistake in what is certainly a complicated and important decision. After all, you will need this organization to have a strong service level agreement (SLA) and to deliver on it – and for its support staff to be highly available and highly competent.
This two-part series covers the following topics:
- 14 ways bad hosting hurts your business
- Cloud & IoT will cause web hosting to soar
- How to recognize a great hosting company
14 ways bad hosting hurts your business
#1 – They hurt your visibility. A poor web host will hurt your search ranking. How? Well, page speed is a ranking factor. In other words, your search rankings will be impacted by the performance of your server; if a web host does not deliver a high level of service (basically keep the system up and running strong), that effectively works against the search engine optimization (SEO) that is so critical to your exposure.
#2 – You could suffer downtime. If you have a poor hosting company, you could experience a great amount of downtime. Your site could experience substantial latency (the gap between the request for a data transfer and the time that it is sent). If your host is either slow (i.e. you, and your customers, experience high latency) or has that high downtime (i.e., has poor uptime), it is time to switch to a different company.
#3 – You lose traffic. The average amount of time a person would wait for a page to load before abandoning it was 6-10 seconds, according to research from behavioral analytics firm Kissmetrics. In other words, your potential customers do not typically have very much patience. You must get them what they need quickly.
#4 – Customers become unsure about buying. If your infrastructure is not serving your site well (as would be the case with poor hosting, since you are basically using their physical data center equipment as your infrastructure), many customers will be driven away. A consumer will become uncomfortable with your site if it is unresponsive, especially if they are not too familiar with your brand.
#5 – Spikes in traffic are wasted. You might have a huge surge in traffic at a certain point, such as when you are offering a promotion, are running a series of ads, or have just posted a blog article that is getting attention. While that scenario sounds great, it can be frustrating if your hosting company is not able to maintain high performance. If the spike in traffic results in longer load times or crashes the site, you will not be able to turn that greater traffic volume into revenue.
#6 – It hurts your brand trust. Customers expect to be able to use your site and its tools. If anything is not functioning properly, they will often then pass judgment on the quality of your products or services. They may also think that your message, expressed through your content, is no longer credible.
#7 – You get bad customer service. Web hosting companies will always have some people who don’t like them, noted WPBeginner, adding that “only the [angriest] users leave web hosting reviews.” That is true to a point. Even if there are a few upset customers, you should still see great support and service described repeatedly as you look through individual customer perspectives.
#8 – Your company is unable to grow as fast. Failing at reliability or availability, resulting in corruption or slow load times, is a common experience for people who are with poor web hosts. When your site is unavailable or very slow, or when your systems cannot produce reliable responses, you will lose sales and newer customers who assume that the poor performance is typical for you.
#9 – You can end up with poor data security. Attackers could start pummeling or surgically invading your site at any point. However, a strong host will be able to stop many of them, as well as identify and mitigate them if they do enter your system. Check the security policies of the company and the extent to which the safety of your data seems to be prioritized. To know you can respond and adapt quickly, again, be certain that support is available and has a high degree of expertise. You also want to know that they back up your information sufficiently. You should feel comfortable with the SLA and its terms, as well as any other policies, if your data is ever breached.
#10 – Your site gets suspended. A hosting provider will generally shut down sites that breach their policies, which include the right to shut down accounts doing anything illegal. Some hosting services, though, may suspend you for actions you did not take or that you believe are legal and do not actually violate the agreement. If that is the case, you should certainly speak with another hosting provider.
#11 – Your site stops working as a sales tool. Your site is effectively a salesperson. Since that is the case, you want it to look right and to perform predictably. Basically, your site demonstrates the entire dynamic – not just the language but the appearance and consistency with which you approach the customer. Regardless of the design of your site and its data assets, it ultimately has to run well. If your site is, in a way, your top salesperson, then bad hosting can make your salesperson poor – not responding quickly enough to allow the customer to feel respected.
#12 – You keep getting “Error Establishing Database Connections” in WordPress. You may have a plugin that is not working properly, or your account has become too busy for a plan with a set limit of resources. Whatever the situation, your hosting provider’s ability and willingness to help you solve this problem should be a gauge. If they cannot or will not help you solve this issue, you need to go elsewhere.
Part 2 of this two-part series will be linked here when it posts on Tuesday, February 27.
Is your hosting service not living up to your expectations? In such a competitive market, you deserve a relationship that is founded on trust, respect, and follow-through. At Total Server Solutions, when you become our customer, you can trust that all our decisions are driven by our relentless desire to help you succeed. See our mission and philosophy.