5 Ways Bad Web Hosting Can Damage Your Business
You may or may not have heard the term “hosting” get banded about before. The chances are, if you have a website, then you probably have been told you need hosting for it.
However, as is often the case, being as you are not an IT technician or a web builder yourself, you do not know how to ensure that your hosting is going to be doing your website justice or not. If you are unsure about what hosting is, then we’d recommend you read our blog entitled What is Hosting & Why Do You Need It? Which explains the reasons you need web hosting.
However, your hosting can have a serious impact on your website’s performance and therefore its ability to generate business for you. We have summarised here, what those main issues can be.
1. Slow Servers
Slow web host servers can have a negative effect on the way your website runs. If your website is running slowly this can cause users to navigate away from your website before reading any of your content or services. Therefore, meaning you are losing potential business.
There are tools on the internet to check your website speed, generally your home page should load in around 4-5 seconds on a PC and 10-12 seconds on a mobile. As a rule users are too lazy or haven’t got the time to sit and watch a page loading and will leave if your site takes too long to load up. This speed isn’t always down to the server itself, but it’s a place worth checking.
Bandwidth is a little bit like the corridor that leads in and out of your website. If it’s very small, then lots of people moving up and down it will bunch together and slow down. Meaning that everyone will see a slower website.
Making sure your web host is giving your site the bandwidth it needs is another high priority. If your site seems a little slow or sluggish (perhaps only at certain times of the day) this may be a bandwidth issue. Contact your web host and ask them what bandwidth package is included with your hosting agreement. As a general rule web hosts offer “unlimited” bandwidth and speed however, in our experience this hasn’t been the case, nothing is truly unlimited.
3. Shared/Dedicated Servers
So, what is the difference between a shared and a dedicated server?
Shared servers are, as it says on the tin; you are sharing server speed, bandwidth, storage space and IP addresses with multiple other websites out there on the internet. The majority of websites are in this bracket. However, this can cause issues with overall speed, bandwidth and IP address blacklisting, which we will talk about later.
Dedicated servers host only your website or application. Meaning the issues of shared space, bandwidth and so on are removed. The main downside to this way of hosting is the cost, dedicated servers will generally cost upwards of £75.00 per month. But there is a lot to be said for having dedicated resources just for your site allowing your website to make full use of the server’s firepower.
4. Blacklisted IP’s
Blacklisted IP’s can occur when you either share an IP with another domain who is running some form of spam script, or the IP range itself has been blacklisted. The most common cause of which is another website on the same server as yours is spamming.
This means that any emails coming from your server will be blocked by the mail host at the other end. It has happened often to a lot of companies where another site on the same server as theirs has been hacked or started sending out spam and then, suddenly, you find that none of your website’s emails work! On top of this google can also block your IP address meaning it cannot cache your pages for SEO.
If you have cause to believe your website is on a blacklisted server, often the only real way to fix it is to move the site elsewhere.
5. Up Time
If you look at different web hosting companies, you will see some offer what is referred to as an “uptime guarantee” for example “We offer 99.999% uptime”, meaning they can guarantee that your site has a very minimal chance of going down due to their fail-over systems.
So how does this work? Failover systems are setup so that there are multiple servers, running simultaneously, with exact copies of your data stored on each. In front of these is a “load balancer” which directs traffic to any one of the servers at any given time, depending on whether the server is up and running or if traffic is high on the usual one.
This means that if one server goes down another server simply takes over the job of hosting your site until the primary server is back up and running again.
Some web hosting companies, despite offering a 99.999% up time, do not have failover systems in place with which to ensure such an uptime, so asking these questions is a must in our opinion.
If you would like any advice on server setups or website hosting, then please do not hesitate to get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.
Written by Ryan. S
IT Guru & Server Wizard @ Dragonfire Marketing