The first step to getting a website online is to purchase web hosting. Your choice of website hosting services could have a significant impact on the quality of your site and how useful it will be for your business.
Having a website is essential for businesses in the digital age, even more so if your company is part of the retail sector. Online retail or ‘eCommerce’ is definitely one of biggest game changers of the current generation. So, for companies whose primary source of income is a website, making it as efficient and appealing as possible is a vital goal.
Web hosting is the service that gives you the web space and bandwidth needed to create and maintain your eCommerce site. Bad hosting has one benefit: it’s cheap. Aside from that, it’s a bit of a nightmare. In this article, we’ll look at a few of the ways poor quality hosting affects a website and how addressing them may well solve the issues your eCommerce site is suffering with.
Slow loading times
A decade ago, we all experienced the tedious, slow speed and screeching sound of dial-up. Now that we have high-speed internet, slow loading times just aren’t accepted, yet with bad web hosting, this has been known to happen. In 2017, people are far less patient with sites that are slow to load. If the wait is longer than a few seconds, you run the risk of them going elsewhere — which, in your case, is probably a rival eCommerce site.
Put yourself in the position of a potential customer visiting your website. You enter the domain and, instead of swiftly loading, you’re staring at a blank page for 10 seconds before anything happens. Not only does this test your patience somewhat; it also makes it a lot more likely that you’ll decide to check out a competing site that offers a much quicker and smoother experience.
Web hosting affects cyber security
In the digital age, there’s a lot of expectation for new technology to be of the highest quality in regards to design, manufacturing and security. In the realm of eCommerce, the importance of cyber security cannot be stressed enough. Not only do you have website data that could potentially be compromised, but your client’s financial information could be stolen, which would destroy all trust consumers have in your company.
Every year, businesses lose a lot of money thanks to cyber attacks. If your company website has poor-quality web hosting you leave yourself wide open to joining them. Website hosting services that include anti-spam and anti-virus email software will protect you from incoming threats, whilst regular backups will prevent you from the horror of losing all of your site data if something untoward should occur.
Potential for unexpected downtime
While slow loading times and other off-putting aspects of poor web hosting may reduce the chance of making a sale, a company whose website is completely inaccessible by customers will have no chance. Bad website hosting services will be unable to deal with the space requirements or amount of traffic coming to your website, resulting in unexpected downtime.
For any website, this can be frustrating, but for eCommerce, it directly affects sales and can have a severe impact on your ability to maintain success. A perfect example was in 2013, when Amazon’s website went down for half an hour, costing the company millions of dollars. With Amazon being one of the largest and most profitable websites in the world, it demonstrates how catastrophic not having the correct website hosting service can be.
It can impact your website’s SEO
Considering your interest in maintaining a website that performs well, there’s a good chance you’lll be aware of or stumbled upon the term ‘SEO’ before. This stands for Search Engine Optimisation and relates to how highly ranked your website is on search engines such as Google. In this article, we mentioned some of the problems with bad web hosting services in regards to eCommerce, but it can also impact your website’s SEO.
Slow loading times and downtime will both have a negative effect in this key area. It will reduce the volume of visitors and new people finding your site, as well as make it more likely for them to leave a lot quicker (the latter is known as your website’s bounce rate). If you’re ranking poorly on search engines, it gives you a much harder job reaching a wider audience, almost certainly resulting in fewer sales.
Web hosting is much more than a tool to get your website up and running. As you can see from the points mentioned above it’s essential for a variety of different aspects that can make or break your site. Of course, choosing good quality website hosting doesn’t automatically mean your site will be a success, but it gives you the perfect foundation to create something brilliant.