You created the perfect website (or had someone build it), now what? The website needs to live somewhere online. The simplest way we can think of explaining this is all those images and copy on your website are files. There is also a file that explains the structure of your site to web browsers (html and css). These files need to live somewhere online so that when someone types in your domain, the browser knows where to go and finds all the files to build your site onto the viewer’s computer screen. The place where these files live is called a server. The viewer’s computer calls the files of your website and the faster the server can return them, the faster your website loads on the screen. It is important that the speed is fast because people have a short attention span. It is estimated that 53% of mobile users click back if a site doesn’t load in 3 seconds. 3 seconds! Don’t lose customers to slow loading sites. Paying a solid company to manage that server is called hosting. Below are the must haves you need to look for when choosing a hosting service:
- Type of server: If you have a WordPress website, (our go to content management system) then you want a Nginx server. We won’t bore you with the details but it is best for WordPress websites.
- CDN: This makes copies of your website and puts them on servers all over the globe so when someone goes to your site, the site loads from the closest server.
- SSL certificate: This securely encrypts data, but even if you aren’t really collecting data Google punishes you for not having it and you will rank lower. Which is bad for your SEO value.
- Bandwidth: This is how many people can go to your website at the same time before things slow down. You want more than you need so people can visit your website without it going down.
- Uptime monitoring: You want someone making sure your website doesn’t go down and if it does, they should do something about it to get it live again.
- Daily backups: Something crashes the website? You do not want to have to rebuild. Have backups!
You can get this from many providers out there like Godaddy, Network Solutions, or our favorite Flywheel (WordPress Only though). If anything goes wrong with your website, you will have to be the one to call them and troubleshoot to fix it. That is why if you really want to be secure that your website stays up and running and has the fast load times your business needs, you need a managed hosting service.
There are also SEO implications to consider when choosing your hosting platform. Besides the SSL certificate that Google will punish you for not having, people clicking back will affect your SEO. When your site takes too long and people don’t wait for it to load, they click back like we talked about. Google sees this and they think the result was not relevant to the search they made. If this happens, say with 53% of your mobile users, then you will begin to lose rank for those searches.
Lusca Digital can help with all of this, by partnering with FlyWheel for WordPress and SiteGround for non WordPress sites, we make sure your website stays up and running and loads as quickly as possible. We also go beyond what these hosting companies offer. We check your sites for needed technical updates like WordPress updates, plugin updates, php updates, and more. We also check your sites analytics quarterly to make sure we are seeing trends in the right direction and offer tips to help grow your sites. The best part is, if your site goes down Friday night right before you were about to have that much needed night out you haven’t had in months, Lusca Digital does the work of getting that site back up online as quickly as possible. We know you’re octopied with everything else that goes into running your business, so let us help. Got that octopus pun in, woohoo!
Do you have questions about your current hosting and wonder if we could be a better option? Reach out now and set a time to chat!