With over 300,000 web hosting providers available on the market, you can have a tough job choosing the right one for your growing business. The fact that each one of the web hosting providers offers a list of unique benefits makes the selection process even more challenging.
Given that your official website is the pillar of your business — especially if you run an online company — you want to select the best hosting provider for your business.
The three critical aspects of every website hosting service are speed, security, and reliability.
How do you prioritize the features, though?
Before making a decision, you need to understand the impact of website hosting speed, security, and reliability on your growing business. Let’s find out what works best for you.
Table of Contents:
- What Are Speed, Security, and Reliability in Web Hosting?
- Why Speed Matters in Website Hosting Options
- Why Security Matters in Website Hosting Options
- Why Reliability Matters in Website Hosting Options
- Establish Your Business Goals
- Website Hosting Reliability Vs. Security Vs. Speed
- Make a Comparison Table of Your Own
What Are Speed, Security, and Reliability in Web Hosting?
When you read web hosting plan reviews, you will often find speed, security, and reliability being put under the scope. You must understand why they are relevant for running a successful site for a growing business.
If you look at the web hosting options, you will notice that they all advertise lightning-fast speed. The speed, in this case, refers to page speed and website loading speed. It’s the time that elapses between your potential customers’ request for a page on your website, and their browser completely processing, rendering, and displaying content.
Many factors affect speed, including the device, browser, operating system, type of connection, website code, and type of content. However, web hosting service providers are not affected by these factors.
The one factor that truly depends on a hosting provider is the distance the data travels. The shorter the distance between the servers and your customers, the faster the page will load.
Web hosting security encompasses various services with one shared goal — to protect your and your website visitors’ data from data leaks and fraud. If you dive deeper into the site hosting service providers’ offers, you will discover subtle differences between them.
Most providers offer secure network protocols such as SSH, automatic data backups, and real-time malware detection and removal. Secure web hosting is also made possible thanks to CDN support (multi-location caching guarantees uptimes), DDoS attack preventions, network monitoring, and hardware protection (controlled access, secure server racks, cameras, etc.).
When website hosting service providers talk about their services as being reliable, they have several things in mind. In this case, reliability is quite a broad concept. It encompasses several essential things:
- Scalability — your business hosting needs will not stay the same forever, especially if you are executing a growth strategy. Scalability ensures you can get the required bandwidth, memory, and processing power at any given time. It enables your site to stay up even during traffic spikes;
- Dependability — dependability stands for website uptime. Although many providers guarantee 100% uptime, they often don’t live up to their promises. Your site may go down during server maintenance or if there are file structure errors;
- Support — a reliable hosting provider also has an excellent customer support team with long support hours, and is available across multiple channels. A dedicated support team is at the core of reliable hosting providers;
- Security — we’ve already discussed security. With secure web hosting, you won’t have to worry about your data being breached or any data losses. You can focus on your core business and penetrate new markets.
Why Speed Matters in Website Hosting Options
In layman’s terms, website speed is how fast your potential customers can load the pages on your website. It affects various touchpoints with consumers, from visitors’ experience to rankings in the SERP.
Modern consumers are not as patient as their peers were just a few years ago. They expect the website to load within 1 to 2 seconds. Every second the potential customers have to wait to load your website is bad for business. With every passing second, the conversion ratings drop by 4.4% on average as visitors abandon the page and go to other relevant sites.
More than 70% of consumers who prefer purchasing products and services online say that page speed affects their purchasing decision process.
In other words, speed is one of the most important factors when choosing a hosting provider. Whether you are targeting consumers who use computers or mobile devices, loading speed can help you deliver an excellent browsing experience. Search engines take loading speed as a ranking factor too. If your site is fast, it can climb the rankings in search engine result pages.
Why Security Matters in Website Hosting Options
Over the last 5 years, the number of website-related security breaches has increased by almost 70%. When penetrating new markets, you must ensure that your old and new customers’ data is well-protected and your site is secure.
A successful cyberattack can have many outcomes. You can leak sensitive customer data, hackers can encrypt your data and ask for money to give back access (ransomware), or they can use your site to spread the malware further. You can get sued, damaging the brand reputation you’ve worked so hard on building.
Security features such as SSL/TLS certificates, malware protection, web app firewall, and domain privacy can help you build a trustworthy online brand and prevent breach-related inconveniences down the line.
Why Reliability Matters in Website Hosting Options
There are many reasons why reliability matters in website hosting options. First of all, it ensures your site has a high uptime. After all, you are paying for your online presence and need it to be available 24/7/365.
Every time a prospect, lead, or returning customer visits your site, it will be there, enabling consumers to look for information, make inquiries via a contact form or live chat, or place an order.
When penetrating new markets, businesses often deploy strategies to attract new customers (e.g., preorders, sales, limited-time discounts, and new product launches). What these strategies have in common is that they all invite consumers to check your brand and offer.
That’s why traffic spikes are widespread for growing businesses. Reliable hosting will provide you with the necessary memory and processing power to cushion the blow of a traffic spike, ensuring 99.95%+ uptime and fast loading speed.
Reliability also encompasses security. You want to ensure that the security features you paid for are always deployed. You don’t want to end up with a provider that turns off firewall or malware protection when some issues occur, or one that doesn’t back up your data regularly.
The quality and availability of the hosting service provider’s customer support is also a factor that can render a provider more or less reliable. You will inevitably encounter problems with your website at some point.
Being able to contact support at any time and get your issue resolved is paramount. It especially goes for growing businesses. Time is of the essence for them, and resolving technical, hosting-related issues quickly can enable them to see their growth strategies through.
Establish Your Business Goals
You can’t just prioritize website hosting options based on other peoples’ reviews. Your business is unique, and so are your business needs and goals. You already have an economic objective — business growth. However, you may also have other goals, such as improving your brand reach and reputation, serving the community, or strengthening customer services.
In either case, you must establish and clearly define your business goals. For instance, it can help you understand the role of marketing and how you can leverage your website to make your strategy successful. In most cases, your website will be at the center of your operations. Ensuring it’s secure, available, and fast can help you stand out from the competition and facilitate your business growth.
Once you have defined your goals and decided how to use your website to achieve them, you can prioritize certain features in website hosting options, and choose the one that specifically reflects your business needs.
Website Hosting Reliability Vs. Security Vs. Speed
The business objectives of growing businesses commonly include improving sales, expanding reach, improving customer service, and building long-lasting relationships. Your website is an important asset you can use to achieve any of these goals.
Having 24/7 availability will help you build a brand image of a trustworthy and reliable company that’s always there for its customers. Access to a responsive customer support team will enable you to quickly resolve technical issues and allow your customers to use all the features on your site.
Great scalability will ensure you get access to the required server resources in case there is a traffic spike to prevent downtime, poor browsing experience, and problems with latency. Some providers offer “only pay for what you use” plans. It can help your site sustain huge traffic spikes without you having to spend money on more expensive plans.
And finally, a secure website will instill trust in your customers. Once they know that their data is well-protected, they won’t be reluctant to subscribe to your email lists, engage with your agents via live chat, or disclose their payment information to make a purchase on your site.
Speed, security, and reliability are critical factors for a hosting provider if your company is growing. Fortunately, you don’t have to choose only one of the three options. Instead, you only need to make one a priority when choosing a website hosting option.
Given that a website becomes an indispensable asset in a business growth strategy, it’s clear that reliability should be the #1 priority for growing a business. A reliable host doesn’t only ensure that you will consistently get the speed and level of security you are paying for. It also comes with uptime guarantees and access to excellent customer support.
Remember that advertised reliability and actual reliability are often not the same. How then do you check whether the hosting option is reliable or not? Social proof, customer and professional reviews can be of great help.
You can get valuable insights from other people’s experiences in using specific providers. It can help you assess their reliability and choose the one with the reputation as the most reliable website hosting service provider.
Make a Comparison Table of Your Own
Even the best and most popular web hosting providers have different plans and features. To ensure you get the best in terms of speed, security, and reliability, you should make an informed decision. And the best way to do it is to create a comparison table of your own.
Make a spreadsheet to easily copy/paste the hosting options’ features. Don’t forget to closely inspect their pricing policy and hosting plans, as some may include priority for scaling, speed, and customer support.
Once you’ve completed your table, you are ready to narrow down your options. You can quickly compare the providers available on the market, and find the best one for your growing business and budget.
Poor internet presence remains among the top 6 reasons businesses fail to achieve their objectives. It makes choosing the perfect website hosting option for a growing business a more challenging task. Many business owners struggle with choosing between speed, security, and reliability.
Hopefully, now you understand the value reliability brings and how it can affect your business’ bottom line. Of course, it doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice speed and security. Your goal is to find the hosting provider that offers sufficient speed and security, but only if it meets your reliability requirements.