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Reliable Web Hosting Impacts Both Audience and Revenue

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Reliable website hosting is an easy way to increase a site’s audience and revenue. A few simple practices help identify the best hosting companies.

The opposite is just as true. An easy way to chase away audience and revenue is cheap and unreliable hosting.

It is of course important to focus on controlling costs in order to improve a site’s profitability. But sometimes that focus may go too far.

Imagine website visitors who come to a site that is slow to load. They have good reason to go elsewhere to get the same information.

The resulting loss of audience and revenue often exceeds the savings from inexpensive hosting.

That’s why it’s critically important to find reliable website hosting even if it means paying a little more money — sometimes only a few dollars a month more.

Impact of Unreliable Hosting

A typical industry standard for hosting is 99.9 percent uptime. To put it another way, it’s the equivalent of 43 minutes of downtime during a typical month (60 minutes x 24 hours x 30 days = 43,200 minutes x 0.001).

That still seems like a lot of downtime, but my current environment has had 100% uptime over the last 30 days.

Even a good environment will have an occasional outage. Quite often it will be brief and last only several minutes.

Anything longer represents a more serious concern. But the more common problem is not downtime but rather slowness.

A web server with slow response will result in:

  • Fewer pages per visit
  • Less frequent return visits or no return visits at all
  • Lower page rankings on search engines, which will detect the slowness and punish the site
  • Ads that take longer to load
  • Fewer clicks on ads because they take longer to load — or don’t load at all

Finding Reliable Web Hosting

Two of the most important guarantees by a hosting company are uptime, backup frequency and server speed.

Uptime guarantees should come with a service credit if the site isn’t up 99.9 percent of the time. For example, Rochen offers credits ranging from five to 100 percent depending on the situation.

Backup frequency is critically important for sites that update on a regular basis. Some hosts may back up only once a week and sometimes not at all. My hosting company, for example, backs up my sites twice daily.

Another consideration is server speed. Your site could be on a shared server that becomes bogged down with traffic because of a heavy load from another site.

It isn’t easy to measure server speed of a hosting company before buying the service, but some methods include:

  • Researching the company’s reputation via search engines.
  • Finding sites hosted by the company and use a tool such as http://gtmetrix.com/ to test its response.
  • Asking the company for a demo account or free trial account.
  • Pinging their servers.

For some companies with a large site or more than one site, there is a great deal of risk and work in moving to a new hosting company.

Another option is signing up for a small paid account for one month (some hosting companies allow month-by-month agreements) and running tests on that site.

Regardless of the methods used, reliable web hosting is too important for the performance of the site to be left with a cheap and unstable service that saves only a few dollars a month.

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