Finding a solid website hosting company is one of the most important aspects of creating a website for your business that’s commonly overlooked.
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a good web hosting company is their guaranteed uptime. Uptime is a measure of time that your website is up and available to visitors. Most website companies advertise that your site will be up at least 99% of the time.
While 99% sounds reasonable and no hosting company will guarantee 100%, let’s look at what that 1% of downtime represents. The amounts below are how much time your site could be down.
- Daily: 14m 24s
- Weekly: 1h 40m 48s
- Monthly: 7h 18m 17s
- Quarterly: 21h 54m 52s
- Yearly: 3d 15h 39m 29s
So as you can see being down 1% of the time could mean a lot if your site goes down for 3 days during a business season or new launch of a product. For instance, we have a client who over the course of a 3-day launch did over 1 million dollars in sales. Imagine losing 1 million in sales because your server crashed for 3 days!
When it comes to uptime while almost every company will guarantee 99% uptime it’s always good to ask them what happens if my site does go down?
A good web hosting company will promise, and deliver, on a very high percentage of uptime. Great Web hosting companies such as User Theory go the extra mile by offering:
- Duplicate servers within one data center: if the server your website is on goes down, a duplicate server kicks in so there’s no uptime interruption.
- Duplicate servers within multiple data centers: if a natural disaster occurs, a duplicate server in the same location will not keep your website up. If however, the duplicate servers are in multiple locations on different sides of the country or even on a different continent, your site has a much better chance of staying up and available.
- Uptime guarantee: the best Web hosting companies offer an uptime guarantee of at least 99.5%
The speed at which your website loads and functions, is a critical factor online as slow sites lose leads and customers. Faster is better and good Web hosting companies continually strive to increase the speed of the sites they host.
- Use servers with solid state drives (SSD): SSDs are much faster than traditional hard drives when accessing data.
- Limit the number of sites that share one server: this will increase the amount of resources available to each site on each shared-hosting server (GoDaddy, Siteground, ect..). That is why here at User Theory we recommend and offer dedicated resources for each of our clients.
- Use caching to pre-load unchanged parts of the site: when a part of your site is cached, it can be displayed much more quickly because the server does not have to build it every time it’s shown.
Cyber security is a hot topic for small businesses as more and more of them come under attack. Good Web hosting companies protect your site using standard security measures. Great Web hosting companies hold down the fort by:
- Automated malware scans: it’s bad enough that malware can knock you site offline. Taken one step further, malware can commandeer your site and use it to send SPAM and even to launch attacks on other sites, running the reputation you’ve worked so hard to build. Automated malware scans alert you to the danger so you can protect your business.
- CloudFlare integration: many of the best hosting companies have begun offering integration with CloudFlare, a well-known solution that provides security as well as other useful features for your site.
- Firewall management: having a Firewall up and running to protect the sites a hosting company houses is routine. Great hosting companies go above and beyond by enabling each customer to configure their own firewall so they can manage access and security 24/7 without submitting a support ticket.
Sometimes bad things happen. Maybe someone got login credentials to your site or a plugin starts redirecting your traffic to an adult site. Whatever the issue may be you always want to make sure your hosting company offers backups. Backups are the AAA for the internet. If you have an issue with a plugin, security, or just plain ol’ screwed up your website, then a backup will save you a lot of time and stress.
The good hosting companies include backups or at the very minimum offer you a backup option to purchase. Here at User Theory we always include backups with our hosting that are automated and daily. We want our users to be protected and have peace of mind.
Your backups should:
- Automated Backups: At minimum backup once a week. Great hosting services will back up daily for you without you having to even worry about it.
- Include Databases: Databases are essential to your backup. Having your page content backed up is wonderful, but having your entire content plus users, plugins, themes and all backed up is what great hosting companies always include.
- Restoring Your Backup: Having a backup is great! But being able to restore your site can sometimes be complicated or some hosting companies even charge you to roll back your site. We find this to be in poor taste. Great hosting companies like User Theory will always help the customer get things back up and running.
It may be listed last on our list but to be honest, we think it deserves its spot at the top. Great hosting support is nothing to dismiss.
Getting things setup and moved over does not have to be difficult. Find a hosting company that will take your call, help you add or change the things you need, and not nickel and dime you to death. Take the time to ask the questions in this post and see if the person you are talking to can answer you without hesitation. Ask them how often their servers go down or do they help with the onboarding process. If they say no… give us a call here at User Theory, we will be happy to bring your business to the next level.