Hydra is founded on bringing the best consultants and experts together to deliver for our customers with a dedication to demystifying marketing and empowering our customers and readers with great advice. Continuing this theme this week is our focus on an often overlooked and forgotten essential element to your marketing, website hosting. Our premium partner Sia Shamsai from Black Label hosting is our guest this week to help you understand this crucial part of your business.
Sia is an IT and digital marketing professional currently consulting with top-tier corporates with over 17 years of commercial experience and knowledge in search optimisation and digital marketing. Sia applies this knowledge and experience to his own hosting service specifically designed to optimise marketing and SEO outcomes providing the fastest and most reliable experience for customers. Hydra Digital is a partner of Black Label hosting.
Why Web Hosting Matters
Having a beautifully crafted website makes your business look professional and helps it grow. Working with a developer ensures your users have the best experience possible on your site, but there’s one thing missing: web hosting. Once you’ve got that lovely website, it needs to ‘sit’ somewhere so that users can access it. And whilst this may seem trivial, where you put your website can have a huge impact on how well it converts viewers into clients. With 40% exit rates on sites that take longer than 3 seconds to load, and a 7% drop in conversion rate for each second in webpage response times, having a good web hosting provider can make a huge difference to your business.
What is web hosting?
In a nutshell, web hosting is simply where your website is stored. When you type an address into google, this is pointing you to the location of that website. In most cases, these are physical computers, called servers, sitting in a data centre. Every time a user wants to access your website, they connect to the server and read the information from there. The term ‘bandwidth’ refers to how much information can be sent to the users, and how quickly.
There are three main ways web hosting works: shared hosting, dedicated servers and cloud-based hosting. Shared hosting involves one large server that stores multiple websites owned by many different people or businesses. This is the cheapest option, as the costs are shared across all owners but so too is the bandwidth of the server.
Dedicated server hosting means that your website has a server all to itself. This drastically improves the amount of bandwidth and space available, but also significantly raises the cost. The final type, Software-as-a-Service, is technology still in its infancy. Also referred to as serverless hosting, you aren’t renting a server but rather you’re paying for access to a platform in the cloud.
What difference does it make?
When considering your web hosting options, there are three things to consider: speed, security and cost. Each option is a trade-off against the others. For instance, a small website with low traffic might choose a cheaper, overseas shared-hosting service. This saves on cost but reduces the speed and security. If a website with more users went down this path, they may find the limited bandwidth slowing down their website and reducing the user experience. Remember that statistic from the start: your conversion rate drops by 7% for each second in webpage response time. So, while the hosting cost may have been cheaper, the loss of revenue as a result of this can quickly override any of these savings.
As for security, this is mostly a trade off against cost. Cheaper hosting providers are little more than storage. They’ll host your website but don’t provide the backend smarts that help protect against things like brute force attacks. A good quality hosting provider will implement measures such as blocking IP addresses after too many failed logins to increase the security of your website.
Getting the balance right is critical to ensuring your website performs properly without blowing your budget. Going for a cheap service can hamper your website’s conversion rate. Without local servers, the loading times for Australian visitors can increase dramatically which will impact both your SEO and your website bounce rate. However, forking out for dedicated servers when you don’t need the extras it entails can really impact your business’ bottom line.
Shameless Plug – How Black Label Hosting can help
Black Label Hosting is a fully managed hosting service that quite literally takes the hassle out of website hosting. Whether you’re after shared hosting or dedicated servers, they’ve got the knowledge and experience to help. Not only do they provide fast, local hosting, they also offer a Black Label Concierge service which takes care of all on-boarding activities. This means that switching providers goes smoothly and with next-to-no disruption to your business services. Each site that is brought across to their platform is tested, health-checked, performance tuned, security hardened and configured with its own SSL certificate.
So, if you’re wanting to maximise the potential ROI of your beautiful new website, then make sure you give web hosting the consideration it deserves. Don’t go with the cheapest option you find, think about your requirements and remember the trade-offs between speed, security and cost. Don’t invest thousands on a new website and digital marketing campaign, only to have inferior hosting undermine all your hard work.
Ask us about migration to managed website hosting designed for SEO and marketing outcomes.