Quality hosting and support for your website is often overlooked and undervalued. But it is a critical component of the digital experience that you should be delivering to your customers.
The days of a website launch as a sign of its completion are long gone. “But my website never goes down!”, I hear you say, and that’s great, but it is only part of the picture. Your website is a constantly evolving entity, meaning it’s an aspect of your business that needs 24/7 support. That’s where website hosting and support comes in.
Website hosting is often a key contributor to the performance of your site. And with Google previously confirming site speed as one of the factors that determine search rank, poor site performance can directly affect revenue (a potential customer may not wait around for a slow website to load when the next result - that’s your competitor - from their Google search loads in seconds.)
Factors that will affect the performance of a site include the specification of the actual web server (just like your desktop or laptop computer, you want this to be as powerful as possible). So the questions you need to be asking your host are: Has the server been properly set up and optimised for the type of website you are running? If the server is shared with other sites, are any of these taking a larger slice of the hosting cake than they should? Are there too many sites on the same server for that matter? These are often hidden factors that your host will not advertise, but that you have every right to know about.
There are two broad types of support to think about. The first being to resolve hosting related issues – there shouldn’t be any, but it does happen, and you want everything up and running as soon as possible and without fuss. The second type of support is essentially product support for your website itself. You want to know how to add a new page, or are having problems uploading some images – who you going to call? Well, no-one, if your hosting partner doesn’t provide this type of support, and most low-end hosts don’t.
That’s it right? No, not quite - you want your web host to be going further than this and actually taking proactive action to ensure that the health of your site is maintained. Your host can do this by updating the website framework and any plugins and themes installed (if applicable), and making sure there are no problems that might affect the site in the eyes of the major search engines. Your host should be reporting these issues, upgrades and actions to you on a regular basis.
Firmly underpinning all of the above has to be the responsiveness and accessibility of the people that you need to speak to when it matters. Waiting weeks for a response or resolution is not unheard of, but isn’t acceptable. Your hosting partner should document and guarantee their response times, and if not, you should be looking elsewhere.
Having your own website is a lot like owning a car. The more you service your car with a reliable engineer, the better it will perform, and the same can be said of investing in good hosting and support for your website. The more reliable your hosting and support partner, the better your website can perform in the eyes of search engines AND your target customers.
So if you’re keen to support your business’s digital growth, investing in professional hosting and support for your website is an absolute must.
If you would like one of the specialists at Mackman to provide a comment or write an opinion piece for your publication, give us a call on 01787 388038, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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