You already have a platform and a web hosting provider. Now it’s time to choose a web hosting package that’s just right for your website. When doing so, there are a number of factors to look into, because they will affect your site’s traffic, engagement, and revenue.
Most individuals, especially those who use personal blogs as their journals, opt for free web hosting. But free web hosting services are not recommended for business websites. Whether it’s selling products, services, or information, your business will suffer if you use them. Your beautifully-designed pages will be marred by lots of banner ads; space and bandwidth are limited; site speed is very slow; and, uptime is erratic and unstable.
Obviously, your business website should pick a reliable yet economical web hosting provider. The usual plans that these companies offer are shared web hosting, VPS (virtual private server) hosting, and dedicated hosting. There are other packages but they either need technically proficient webmasters (colocation web hosting,) or their features may not apply to what you need, i.e., cloud hosting, self-service hosting, cluster hosting. The web hosting package you select is crucial to your site’s performance.
Price is always uppermost in the minds of people looking for a web host. The cheaper alternative is not always the best though. Shared web hosting, which is about $3 – $10 a month, means that you share the server with hundreds or thousands of other sites. You also share its resources, such as disk space, bandwidth, physical memory, etc. There are several disadvantages to shared web hosting. Your website may not be accessible at all times, losing you potential clients. Your account can get suspended without notice because you have gone over the limit of use of resources. Security is minimal, and your site could get hacked, with sensitive data stolen. Your site loads very slow, since the server is shared and cannot respond immediately to a user’s click.
Site speed is a very important consideration when choosing your web hosting package. That’s why VPS hosting is your best option. This hosting package is a cross of shared and dedicated hosting, at a fraction of the cost of a dedicated server, and just a bit higher than the cost of shared hosting. In VPS, you share a physical server with a few other websites, but each one of you is allotted a private virtual server and your own operating system and server applications. You have customization and control, and a dedicated amount of RAM that cannot be used by other websites, as what happens in a shared hosting plan. You also have a dedicated virtual CPU and bandwidth. All these resources add to your site speed.
A comparison of page load speed showed that it took almost eight seconds in shared hosting and 2.5 seconds in a VPS hosted site. Site speed also affects the following:
A Kissmetrics study has found that:
- A 1-second delay in page load decreases conversions by 7%
- 40% of users leave a website that takes more than 30 seconds to load
- 79% of shoppers who are dissatisfied by the site’s performance will not buy from it again
User experience is influenced by site speed. It also plays a big role in getting visitors to stay and shop on your site, and to return and tell others
about it. Here are data to prove it.
- 16% decrease in customer satisfaction for 3 seconds of waiting for a page to load
- 52% of online shoppers say that fast page loading is critical to retaining site loyalty
- 53% abandon a mobile site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load
Site speed is so important that Google makes it a factor in search engine optimization. This started in 2010 for desktops and in July 2018, site speed will be a factor for SEO in mobile searches as well. A higher search ranking gives you more organic traffic which may lead to conversion.
To sum it up, VPS hosting improves page load speed by 62 percent. The cost can range from $15 – $100 per month depending on the type of VPS plan.
When you think about the enhancements that a VPS hosted website gets, and the possibilities for SEO, increased traffic and engagement, and ultimately increased conversion rates, you can’t stay stuck in a poor-quality hosting service. Upgrading to VPS becomes a necessity.