Selecting a hosting company is like selecting a neighborhood to live in. You want to be in a safe, convenient location with neighbors you can rely on. In website terms, you want a host to be secure and fast that can provide you with personal support. These are the top three features that I believe everyone should understand.

HOSTING SECURITY
WordPress-logo-stacked-rgbKeeping your website safe will help you sleep better at night. Continuing the neighborhood analogy, having a secure hosting environment is similar to living in a safe neighborhood. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to move into an area that is known for having an average of 5 break-ins a week! Having that worry in the back of your mind about someone getting their hands on your personal belongings can be stressful. The same situation can be applied to the internet, there are many ways that a website can be put at risk – and your hosts security practices are some of, if not THE most important element to consider.

Elaborating on security slightly, the more secure a website is, generally the more expensive the hosting environment. WordPress, for example, is an amazing CMS (content management tool), but it’s complexity, and market-share make it a very large target for hackers. Our own hosting setup ensures that wordpress sites are always up to date, always backed up, and each plugin is scanned and up-to-date as well (other ways hackers can break in). From a security standpoint you definitely get what you pay for, and often times, cleaning up a hacked site – or restoring files, can cost MUCH more than utilizing a website host that provides these security practices up-front.

SPEED
It’s safe to say that people prefer to live closer to the resources they use on a daily basis. You’re not going to want to make a three hour commute to work or school daily, you need this transportation to be as quick as possible. If someone lands on your website and ends up waiting too long for it to load, then they will leave and find what they were searching for elsewhere.

According to a recent article on KissMetrics on load speed time: half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and they tend to abandon a site that isn’t loaded within 3 seconds
A 1 second delay in your site speed can result in a 7% reduction in conversions – Source
Not to mention Google will rank your website better if you load quickly, and lower, if you load slower. So site-speed is a marketing triple-whammy. Visitors get a bad taste of your company and brand, abandon your website if you don’t load quickly, and may never even get there because you’re not coming up in rankings.

We feel a combination of fast servers, the correct use of CDNs, great coding, and ongoing testing – all a normal part of our process help give our clients the edge over their competition and can’t be ignored in today’s digital marketing landscape.

SUPPORT
Many neighborhoods have homeowners associations or property managers to help make living easier. They can help with the repairs and maintenance work needed for a home. It’s a relief knowing someone is just a phone call or email away to help fix any issues you are having. This works the same way with your internet home. If anything stops working or you want to make some improvements, knowing you have a strong support team to help you is reassuring. Surprisingly most businesses we speak to don’t realize that hosting companies like GoDaddy, HostGator, and a bevy of others provide support when it comes to hosting – but won’t assist or even touch your website.

On a very technical level this makes sense. You wouldn’t ask the person that sold you the plot of land your home sits on to help you with a plumbing issue – but from an outsiders perspective it’s all very technical. Working with a company that has the resources to assist both with the technical hosting aspects, as well as the software coding, and design updates – can help make your experience better.