Your website load speeds are closely tied to the quality of the server on which the site lives. And how fast your site loads has an impact on your SEO score – not to mention the number of people who “bounce” off your site in frustration, and go to a faster competitor’s site.
How your site is built certainly has an impact on your loading times, but what most people don’t realize is that the server on which that site resides has just as much to do with how fast your site can run.
With thousands of cheap hosting providers now on the market, there’s a perception that all hosting is the same and the only difference is the price (how low can you go?) Unfortunately, the way that many hosts achieve those low, low rates is by packing as many sites as possible onto the same computer (server). Sometimes, thousands of sites from different owners will all be stuffed onto the same server. Each site might have its own unique technical requirements, but the server that houses them will be configured to be as generic as possible. This overcrowding can result in something called “noisy neighbor syndrome,” where some other site getting too much traffic starts to affect the load speed of your site — here you thought you only had to worry if YOUR site could withstand making headlines and handle millions of visitors on the same day, when it turns out you have to worry about all the other sites you’re sharing a server with, too!
Plus, how your server is set up and configured can have a huge impact on the security of your site, and be the deciding factor over whether your site rebuffs a hacker or is toppled and defaced with spammy ads.
If we can see a risk for our clients, we will do everything we can to help them avoid it. And the seas of cheap, generic website hosting out there? We view that as a major risk on multiple fronts.
We’re proud of the hosting solution we have for our clients, because it addresses these risks and provides an array of other benefits. I’ve written at length about the risks that servers are exposed to and how our hosting solution addresses them, so in this post, I want to focus on speed. Our hosting solution is custom built and configured to make our most common type of website build – WordPress sites – absolutely fly. It is ultra, laser-focused on being very good at that one thing, rather than attempting to be a generic jack-of-all trades that will work “just well enough” for any type of site. It can withstand a sudden influx of millions of users without going down.
More than that, we fine-tune our server configurations even further for each and every site that we produce, to enhance its security and speed with custom-tailored hosting. This goes double for e-commerce sites, which can be tricky to cache properly. E-commerce sites are highly dynamic, handle large quantities of data and sensitive information, and often require some very custom configurations. We work to to make sure your ecommerce site is fully cached, without displaying stale information. Your users can continue to easily and quickly make purchases, which is what everyone wants.
I could go on and on about the other benefits (like nightly automated backups, software updates installed and integrated for you every week to keep your site up to date with the changing landscape of web technology and secure against known vulnerabilites, staging areas so we can test new code in the same environment without making a mess on your live site where visitors can see it,) but I won’t bore you. Suffice to say: please think twice before going with the cheapest hosting you can find. It often has hidden costs that come from critical failures.