Business Series: Your Business’s Online Identity
Part 2 – A Good Website Host is Important for Your Business
This is the second in my series of posts on your business’s online identity. In the first post, I talked about your business’s domain name. Now we’re talking about website hosting and why a good host is important for your business.
For a refresher on the difference in website domain and host, take a look at my previous post.
Why do I NEED a reputable Website host?
There are lots of reputable website hosts, like WP Engine, SiteGround, and BlueHost, just to name a few. The best way to find a reputable host is to ask your website designer/developer. They may even have a package for you where they will host and maintain your site’s security.
If not, they can most definitely refer you out to someone.
You’ll find as with many things in business, cheap isn’t always the right choice for your business. If you’re looking to cut costs, it should NOT be with your website host.
My top 4 reasons to focus on your website host are: reliability, speed, support and backup.
Website Host Reliability/UpTime
Do you know your host’s downtime? Minimal downtime is extremely important to your business. This is the amount of time that your website is offline due to your hosting company. For instance, if someone sees a Facebook post and it leads them to your website for a sale, is the website up and working properly?
If not, you could very well LOSE THE SALE!
All of the hosts mentioned above have a 99.9% uptime reported.
How Fast Can You Go?
There are many factors that determine your website speed and your host is one of them. In today’s world, we are all about instant gratification. We’re also using our cell phones for searches. If a customer heads to your website to make a purchase or book a reservation, you want them to actually complete the transaction. If it takes too long to load, they may not wait and head off to another site!
We get squirreled rather easily. If your website takes too long to load, something else may distract them and off they go, away from your site.
Google and the other search engines will also ding you in search results. This means that if you have a slow loading page, Google and other search engines will determine that you are not important and you will come up significantly lower (if at all) in search results.
This basically means that a bad host can undo all of your hard work improving SEO!
Who’s Supporting You?
You’ve got your website up and working, you’re getting sales, isn’t that all you need? Nope! You need to keep up with updates to your software and plugins. This is important because those updates keep your site secure. Many updates include security patches! This will keep your site secure and less likely to be hacked.
You are busy running your everyday operations and most likely don’t have the time or knowhow to consistently keep your website current and safe from hackers. Many good website hosts will notify you if an important update has been released, but it’s usually up to you to install the update. This is why it’s best to let the experts handle your website maintenance. Check with your developer/designer or contact me for a referral.
Back It Up
Don’t forget to backup your website and all of the data on it. This isn’t a one-time backup, you want to keep it current. Some website hosts will create a backup for you, but you need to consistently download a copy and keep it separate and off your host’s site. If things go wrong, it can also impact that backup file.
Most hosts will make this easy, but some will not. This is another case where you should consider letting someone else handle it. This should be included in a maintenance package.
What’s this got to do with Social Media?
My focus with businesses is their social media, however I always have a discussion about their website when first talking to prospective clients. If I’m writing a blog for them, I want to make sure that it’s getting all of the SEO juice it can get.
Another issue is where you send people from your social media posts. While some content will be to increase engagement on specific platforms, often times your goal is to lead them to your site for a sale or maybe to get a freebie so you can email them regularly about what is going on with your business and have it lead to a sale in the future.
This is KEY in social media. Leading people to a site that is broken, down or slow loading could cost you the sale and therefore undo your social media efforts.
Is your business worth it? Is it worth a little extra money when you’ve spent blood, sweat, and tears building it? If the answer is YES!!!! Then a good website host is important for your business, even crucial!
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