Keeping your website fast and secure is no doubt critical to gaining new leads and turning those leads into paying customers but what makes a website fast and secure. Having a base understanding of hosting, domains and website security can set you aside from the competition and ensure that you are asking your web developer the right questions to get the best service possible.
- Hosting is one of the biggest factors in influencing site speed as if you are using cheap hosting (a shared server with lots of websites) then if there were any issues with another website such as viruses or the site receiving a lot of requests your website is very likely going to be affected
- When comparing the different types of hosting the general trend that you can notice is that the more you pay the faster its going to be as there are less resources on the server and because it is faster it makes for a better customer experience
- If you are using cheap hosting then the likelihood of your website loading slow is much higher and if your website consistently loads slowly then that will drive customers away from your business
- Another downside to having a slow loading site is that Google tracks site speed as one of its ranking factors, so if you have a consistently slow loading website you will be ranked lower by Google and in turn will be seen less than your competitors
- A lot of business owners will go for the cheaper hosting options as they don’t see any tangible benefit in paying say $120 versus the $30 basic hosting package but what you don’t see is the support and maintenance offered in the $120 package as the $30 package probably just has a basic hosting account with no continual maintenance or speedy support
There are four main types of Hosting when it comes to websites, these are:
(a) Shared Hosting
- Which is by far the cheapest option) where there is one computer sitting somewhere that is hosting hundreds of websites so when someone wants to see your website the computer gets the request then the computer sends out the data for that website
- The biggest issue with shared hosting is that if one website has faulty code or a lot of visitors it could be using 75% of the servers memory leaving only 25% of the capacity for all the rest of the websites on the server.
(b) VPS (Virtual Private Server)
- Where you will have a server and the host might split up the server into a few chunks and the server manager will say right we are only going to host 10 websites on this server in different chunks
- The main disadvantage of using VPS for hosting is that it can cost more than the cheaper options. You can also face issues from a service standpoint as some web hosts offer VPS hosting but do not allocate the resources properly which may cause problems down the line if a site uses its resources at peak levels. The reason for this is that the web host may have over sold its spaces, banking on the probability that each account on the physical server will not use its allocated store of resources.
(c) Dedicated Servers
- Where you are the only person who has an account for the server, the main benefit of this is that if one website is using a lot of resources on this server the manager might move them onto another server
- One of the biggest downsides to using a dedicated server is that you need to be quite knowledgeable on computers and server technology, there are managed dedicated hosting solutions but you will need to do more wor
- The other big concern with Dedicated servers is hardware failure. With a shared server if something fails there is often a backup of a failsafe that kicks in but with a dedicated server the onus is on you, the website may be down a lot longer especially if all server monitoring falls to you.
(d) Cloud Hosting
- With this type of hosting you have a network of servers, so there will be one server where the website is hosted. Then it will be connected to network of other servers that also have a copy of your website, so it loads quicker because one the servers will be closer to your user’s location.
- The biggest advantage of cloud hosting is that the user experience is must better because the website loads much quick
- The domain name is sometimes called the url. For example www.yourbusiness.com.au.
- Your domain name needs to be registered with a domain registry, examples of domain registrars are Go Daddy, Crazy Domains and NameCheap
- One of the most important things regarding domains is ensuring your domain never expires, it is possible to set up auto-renewal on your account with a credit card so the domain registry will always renew the domain before the website expires
- Another thing to consider with domains is to make sure the domain is registered in your name. Quite often in the past a website developer would go and register a domain name on your behalf, it would be registered in their name and they would simply just charge you. But this means they are the contact for and own your domain name, which is very bad as your domain is an important asset of your business.
- The best way to ensure your website doesn’t get hacked is to have decent hosting in place as this is one of the best ways to protect your website
- You should make sure all the website files, themes and plugins are kept up to date as if there are any updates to the website it can affect the code of plugins and themes making them vulnerable to malware and hackers
- An easy piece of advice to implement regarding security is with passwords, instead of using a password generator or a random sequence of letters, numbers and symbols try using a short sentence maybe 3 or 4 words and then capitalise some of the letters, and change some letters to numbers
- Another thing to be careful about when buffering up your website security is if you are outsourcing any work, make sure you give the contractor a username just for outsourced work or give them a current user and ensure you update the password after they have completed the task
- Its advised that you download an extra security firewall plugin, there are plenty of good ones out there that just provide an extra layer of protection for your website against brute force attacks.
- Another way you can prepare against any unforeseen website issues is to constantly make backups of the website so if there is a massive issue you can just use the backups to ensure there is minimal interruption to your day to day business.
If you want to improve your website, take a minute to click on the button above. If you need more leads, clients and sales on a consistent basis, our Marketing Planning and Marketing Done contract marketing services could be your answer. Give us a call on (02) 9125 0520 or contact us for an obligation free consultation.